Boredom due to an inability to pay attention and to fully engage with our children’s activities isn’t primarily our fault. Our wandering and worrying minds manage to drown the appeal of play. Our thoughts and worries fight for our attention and often win. Yet, this type of boredom isn’t irresistible. If we experience boredom while playing with our children, it’s often because we aren’t really playing with them. So, we can attempt to alleviate our boredom by immersing ourselves in their world. Our participation won’t just make them happier, it will also take care of our boredom and help us to form stronger relationships with our children. It’s up to us and to our children to figure out what type of activities foster this type of joint attentive play. And plenty of them—sports, hiking, crafts, dancing, reading together, solving a puzzle, etc.—seem to do just that. … [Read more...] about Parenting and Boredom
Parenting the defiant child
Believe it or not, one of the simplest things might be just having that “one good friend.” Helping to foster this and creating opportunities to explore these (e.g. clubs or team sports) may be one of the biggest elements that help students feel less isolated. Shared abilities and interests, as is true with all humans, are key to feeling less isolated. … [Read more...] about Why Is My Gifted Child So… Quirky? Sullen? Needy?
Finally, adolescent illness management is something that should be talked about openly and often. A therapist can be essential in sorting out with the family the underlying meanings of treatment non-compliance. For most adolescents, their executive functioning skills are not well-developed enough to remember medication dosing. With these teens, it’s useful to put a plan in place to help them bolster that functioning. They can pick out a pill case for the week and put their medication in for each day of the week. They can use phone reminders, place their medication where they will remember to take it, etc. It’s important for parents to work with their teen in formulating a plan and tweaking it as needed. Progression and regression are normal. For example, a teen may do fine on his own during the semester, but require parental assistance during exams or other stressful times. … [Read more...] about Chronic Illness and Adolescence
Doing the Math, 1% of 1,000 equals 10 students in this school coming back with COVID-19. And when they only sit kids three to six feet apart for a whole school day (yes, our school district is actually considering 3 feet to be ample social distancing when at or below a Level 2 advisory), there’s a good possibility we are going to find out quickly if kids contract the virus and can spread the virus to other kids. Also, if you haven’t heard, recently we learned that more than 200 of 600 kids attending a Georgia Summer camp in late June, tested positive for COVID-19 after just six days of being together. And if there are students in schools that do have it and can spread it (and as every Magic Eight Ball shares “All signs point toward YES”), let’s also assume each of these 10 tweens or teens during the first week of school infects three more kids (you know, something small and conservative like one other student every other day). … [Read more...] about Back-to-School Pandemic-Style is a Dangerous Fantasy:
Let's start here. One motivation for separating and detaching from childhood (around ages 9-13) is boredom. Old childish possessions, activities, enjoyments, and relationships become less satisfying than they used to be. That’s what boredom is: an expression of dissatisfaction with the old, existing state of things that announces a readiness and restlessness for change. Boredom can be an opening for growth. This is why parents suggest the young person take initiative: “Maybe you can find a new or different way to entertain yourself.” If possible, they want the young person to draw on personal resourcefulness and creativity to fill the void. … [Read more...] about How Detachment from Childhood Begets Adolescent Boredom