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Bored: Shake it up! - Issue 293
April 05, 2013
|Hi there! ....
This week was a drizzly rainy kind of week - one where you just want to curl up with a good book or movie and lots of chocolate! But that wasn't to be.... we had things to do! Though we had days where it was hard to focus, I think by the end of the week it has been fairly productive. I did have a scarey mother-moment, as I watched my youngest drive and manoeuvre a big tractor on my front lawn! It is times like this that I have to go inside and not watch. How can it be that my 'baby' is doing things that I would never ever attempt!! They grow up, and really, it is a delight to see him succeed in these man jobs!
Live life with your kids!
If you are a new Australian reader I would appreciate you reading this special request.
Bored: Shake it up
When my kids were little (or even now I guess) I could never deal with “I am bored” with the traditional parenting thing of giving them a job. I asked myself – why are they bored? They aren’t bored because they are naughty – so they don’t need training or discipline (or punishment). They aren’t bored because there is nothing to do in the house (my overfull cupboards belie that idea!) They are bored because they cannot make a decision, they can’t make a choice. My role is to help them make wise choices with their time. So we would break it down, make a short list of the projects they had going, or things they were interested in. They could generally make a choice from this short list, if they couldn’t do that immediately, I’d give them 5 minutes to think about it. If they still couldn’t, then I’d make a choice for them – I’d choose something from the list, and give them a set period of time where I needed them to focus on that one activity, then they could make the next choice. If they arc-ed up then they did have heart issues and we’d take a different path.
I share all this for two reasons
We all get bored. It isn’t a ‘sin’ in and of itself – the question is what do we do when we are in that state? Boredom leads to unwise choices. When I get bored I tend to do one of two things
I don’t think my boredom came from not being able to make a choice. So maybe there are other heart issues as well; discontent, distraction, lack of purpose, or maybe a more physical issue like being burnt out and tired. I find it interesting that if I see these issues in my life I’ll set about to change them, but when we see ‘boredom’ in our kids’ lives, our first reaction is punishment. (Interesting thought to think about.)
When I noticed that I had a lack of enthusiasm for teaching my kids this year, I did some heart thinking. What was going on? My vision and purpose hadn’t changed, I was still passionate about discipling my kids and yet the day in and day out of lessons was blah! I was bored. I’d been doing the same thing for 14 years and I’d lost the enthusiasm, and this was expressed by a lack of creative thinking on my part. Sometimes there is no way to change the mundane of life – sometimes (as my Dad says) build a bridge and get over it! But sometimes we can do something to shake it up.
Shake it up has become my theme for this year. I want to step outside of the norm – not just for the sake of being different – but for the sake of seeing things fresh.
I made some ‘shake it up’ decisions:
Do you have to shake it up in your house? Are things growing mundane? Are you bored? Are your kids bored? Lacking enthusiasm? Lacking creativity?
Family life can get this way – it isn’t just about homeschooling. We can all get stuck in ruts – date nights, family nights, being hospitable, doing Bible study, Quiet times. Though there are benefits of regularity and consistency, the benefits aren’t really there if there is no life in what we are doing. Going through the motions just for consistencies sake isn’t what it is about.
I’m reminded of the old song:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases
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