Summer fun

Summer is in full swing and often times, as parents, we’re wondering what to do to keep our kids busy and out of trouble with so much free time. Below are a few tips to help kids deal with boredom.

1. Let your kids know it’s OK to be bored sometimes. There won’t always be something or someone to entertain us, and it’s good for kids to learn how to deal with boredom. Being able to identify the feeling and to learn how to overcome boredom will help kids of all ages as they become teenagers and young adults.

2. Talk with your kids about appropriate activities for them to participate in to help prevent boredom. Encourage them to use their imagination, read a new book, take a family walk, play outside or create a new game to play with the family. If you are able to get your kids involved in an organized summer activity, such as a sport or a camp, this is a great way to keep them active and engaged. As a family, there are many opportunities in Omaha throughout the summer for free events that can expose kids to many new experiences. It’s important to set limits on technology, especially video games, TV, cell phones, etc., and find something engaging that will keep kids active and out of trouble. It can be too easy to fall back on technology to entertain us, but we need to teach our kids alternative options to keep their minds and bodies alert.

3. Teach kids to avoid negative behaviors and activities. Talk with your kids and be open about behaviors and activities that are inappropriate when they are bored. Be direct and answer questions they may have. Make your expectations clear of how they spend their free time, and set up clear and appropriate consequences if they make poor choices. For older kids, know where they’re going, who they’re spending time with, what they’re doing and set up check in times to help them earn your trust and more privileges. Periodically check in on them to make sure that what they’re telling you is accurate. This monitoring can help keep our kids safe and involved in appropriate activities.

When we teach our children how to accept and deal with everyday boredom, we are setting them up for success in future settings.

For more information, visit www.boystown.org.

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Jennifer Simpson joined Boys Town in 2013 as a Family Teacher working with teenage boys and began working for the Intervention and Assessment homes in 2016 as an Intake and Compliance Specialist. In her current position Jennifer assesses youth referrals from different agencies regarding placement in the I&A homes, as well as provides resource information to consumers in need of services. Jennifer is also the mother of two young children and has a Bachelor of Social Work and a Master’s in Business Administration.

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