Being bored for kids can feel unbearable! Did you know that being bored is actually an emotion? And the really cool thing about emotions is that we get to choose how we want to respond to them.
Sometimes we choose to respond to our emotions in good, healthy ways. But other times, we may act out in ways that cause problems. You see this a lot of with anger and fear responses. But the same is true for actions that come out of kids being bored.
So, if we are able to teach our kids that they have a choice in how they respond to their boredom, they can learn to have better reactions to feeling bored.
Choosing How to Behave When You Feel Bored
Here’s the thing though… when I talk to my kids about this they tell me that they don’t feel like they have a choice. That in the moment, when you are feeling really big emotions whether it’s being angry or feeling really bored, it can feel like that emotion is in control of you. Like you don’t have the choice of how to react or respond.
And while I totally understand why they feel that way, I know that they don’t have to let their emotions control their behaviors. I know that there are things we can do to train their brains and your bodies to respond better when they feel big emotions like boredom.
Training Your Brain to Respond Appropriately to Boredom
To help you understand what I mean I want you to think back to when you or your kids first started learning to ride a bike without training wheels. Remember how wobbly and out of control it felt? You had to practice a lot in order to learn to have control over your bike and your body so that you didn’t constantly fall down and get hurt.
Training your mind is really the same. When kids (or adults) feel like you don’t have a choice in how they respond to feeling bored (or any other emotion), it means that they need to do some “strength training” on their brains.
A Fun Trick to Train Your Brain
There are lots of ways to train your brain to take control and help you respond better when you have big emotions. Today I want to teach you one fun trick that I think will help your kids if they are feeling a lot of boredom (or anger caused by the frustration over being forced into a boring situation like we all are right now.)
So before I teach you this trick, I want you to understand why this works.
When you feel really big emotions blood actually leaves your brain making it harder to think and react in the way that you might normally choose. This is why your children feel so out of control when they are experiencing boredom (or anger, fear, etc.)
So, if we can do something to calm down their bodies enough that it lets blood flow back to their brain, then they can start making better choices.
There are lots of ways to do this. Check out this article on 75 Calm Down Activities for additional inspiration.
But, for today here’s the fun exercise to help your children gain more control over their brains when they feel big emotions.
Step 1: Go to a couch and sit down backwards so that your feet are towards the back cushions.
Step 2: Bend down backwards over the couch so that your head is hanging off.
Step 3: Hold this upside down position for 15-20 seconds.
Not only will this help blood get back to your child’s brain, but it might also make them laugh and laughter is another way to help the brain reset and start allowing good choices again.
I hope you and your kids have fun with this trick and that it helps alleviate some of the negative behaviors that you may be seeing stemming from their boredom!
Sending You Love and Light,