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Boredom and Never Satisfiedness

462 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Alexander
My 4 yo is constantly asking, "What I can do, maman?" This is fine. I am here to help. But it has become constant. And she increasingly dislikes, refuses my ideas. Fine. Normal development. I'm sure.

But what are some good things to say to her when she is in this mood? She did her emotional release wailing for a couple of hours today and I just kept saying, "Is it because you feel like you have nothing to do?" And she would stop for a minute, nod, and then continue. I finally got her calmed down with tea & cookies.

It's especially hard when I wish I could just take her to a damned library. Or read a new book (getting some soon!).

Also, she has started to say that she doesn't have anything "pretty." This means a new toy or something. She has relatively few toys. I will not load this house with plastic (only thing available here). All the local kids around us are perfectly content (and forced) to play in the dirt.
She has mountains of stuff compared to them. I know I find it more irritating because of this fact. I will have to work not to project that. But one example really bugged me! We bought her a $50 pool for her birthday. She came home the other day and said she wished she had her old (pierced and dirty) fish wading pool. Now, I understand that it is perfectly normal for her to be nostalgic about an old pool. I do understand that. But what would you say? I mean $50 is a lot of money for us and she is so so so lucky to have it.
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We haven't gotten to this point yet, but I have "stored" an idea I read in a book for when the time comes...

Instead of offering ideas of what to do (which she is likely to reject), ask her questions to help her find her own idea of what to do. For instance: "Do you want to do something inside or outside? Alone or with a partner? Quiet or active?" etc. That way (theoretically), she will learn *how to find activities that meet her mood.

As for the old fishy pool--yes, she probably is just being sentimental. I would empathise ("yes, that was a great pool. you had lots of fun with it..."), and let it go. She will make new memories with the new pool!

Hope you get those books soon!!!! It would be so crappy not to be able to just go to the library
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Sometimes we have boredom too, so I suggest 3 things which I know dc likes (not more than 3). Or say that boredom is a feeling in yourself, not something I can fix for you. Sometimes I explain what I am doing myself to keep from being bored, and accept dc's help if interested, or just let her pout until she gets bored with being bored! It helps to have a few things set up that dc can decide to do independently. Painting, playdough, a basin of water for pouring experiments? Lacing, beads, lego? Whatever.

Another possibility is that dc is not really bored, but has heard others saying they are?
Give her something to do that is really fiddly, like piling up matchsticks while you're kneeding the dough or baking cookies.

If you are busy, teach her "boxes" (dots joined up and put your initials in. If you don't know, I'll explain the rules)

weighing out ingredients.

Sitting on the hoover while you hoover.

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