There is a fine line that a parent sometimes ends up crossing during the parenting journey and moves over to what we call Helicopter Parenting.
Every parent is a concerned parent, a learner and forever over-anxious to give the best to his/ her child.
And in this passionate journey, many of us often end up crossing the line without intending to.
In our quest to be a 24/7, 21st-century parent, we end up believing that we must have the answer to every problem concerning our child.
And one such problem that we happily undertake to fulfil is –“I am Bored. What do I do?”
The minute the child brandishes this question, the parent turns into a salesman of sorts –selling every possible option to the child.
Such as, Eat this, play with this, watch this, read this, unscramble this, paint this and so on.
And this is how a child gets conditioned or habituated to instant gratification. The child starts believing that is the duty of the parent to solve and resolve every issue the child’s faces.
Let us try to unscramble the Helicopter Parenting problem
- Every time the child says, I am Bored!
Try saying, ‘What do you mean by bored? What do you want to do?’
- Every time the child says, I have already read this story. I am bored!
Try saying, ‘Re-Read it. And show me your favourite character.’
- Every time the child says, I don’t want to play with the same toys. It is boring!
Try saying, ‘Just think how can you make them look different?’
- Every time the child says, I don’t have friends to play with, I am bored!
Try saying, ‘Just look around. It is not just boys and girls who can be your friends. That’s a hint, can you find 5 friends within the home?’
To start with, we may need to offer a few suggestions every time a child comes up with the complaint of being bored. Consider it as a teaser to a movie or like the first set of books or toys that you hand picked for your child. Similarly, you may want to handpick some thoughts and place them in your child’s mind to chew upon.
These suggestions could be:
- Try pasting some stars on your old toys to make them look new.
- Try drawing the story of the Olympic gold medalist with your colours.
- Here is the bread, here is the butter. Can you make me a special sandwich?
- Why don’t you try making a new label for wrapping your toys? The same one in which your toy came gift wrapped. You could do a better one!
- It’s a good idea to begin volunteer practise with your child, say once a week. You could begin by volunteering at an Animal shelter, a blind school or a senior citizen home. Children love to be of service!
Every once in awhile, it is good for children to spend some time with their selves. Children are always in a high energy zone, so a short break in trying to think, imagine and resolve an issue does wonders for their creative and critical thinking habits.