Guest Post: Cure for Childhood Boredom

This is the second post in my Rage Quit guest blogger series. At this point I am somewhere in Scotland, most likely enjoying a pint at the pub, or even better, running across the Forth Road Bridge.  This post is from my friend Bex. She rocks an incredible YouTube channel called Fitness By BexLife.com. Check it out and subscribe!

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Rebekah “Bex” Borucki

I have some basic rules for my kids:

  • No hitting, no name calling
  • No TV in your room… ever
  • No computer in your room… ever
  • You NEED and are entitled to food, clothing, shelter, and love… everything else that I choose to give you or let you have is a privilege
  • Be kind, play fair, show manners, put the toilet seat down.
  • If you know where to get it, you know where to put it back
  • If you know how to mess it up, you need know how to fix it
  • If you want to call this place home, you have to help maintain it.
  • You may not curse [this includes “fart” and “crap”], and I promise to never curse in your presence… out of respect.
  • If you make the mistake of telling me that you’re bored or that you have nothing to do, I will fix that by making you do something that probably won’t be a lot of fun.

I often talk about fitness as a lifestyle, and my lifestyle is very much framed around my family and my kids.  If I’m striving for fitness and good health, then I have to include my children in that as well.  It’s always been easy to feed my children well because I love and care for their well-being, and eating good food is an obvious path to good health.  What is sometimes easier to forget is how important it is to teach them the value of physical activity and good old-fashioned hard work.

I was lucky to have a mother who taught me that women are also physically strong beings, and that I have to see myself as that always.  I grew up watching my mom doing hard work right along side my father… remodeling our home, doing heavy lifting in the garden, getting up on a roof in a storm and helping him fix a leak.  I grew up watching my father work seven days a week in construction, and when we didn’t have a sitter I was there with him – hammering, lifting, dragging shingles and 4 x 4’s around.  I was shown hard work, and I learned to love and respect it.  They also allowed me to play outside, dig for worms and make my own fishing poles, pick bikes from the trash and scrub the rust off to make them new, build forts and run free.  I was never bored.

But today it seems – with hundreds of channels on TV, video games, iPods, cell phones, the internet – that our kids are more bored than ever.  They’re bored and they’re lazy and they’re unhealthy and they’re overweight.  They don’t know how to play in the dirt or dig for worms or fix a bike.  They don’t know how to make their own healthy fun.

This morning, my three children had the misfortune to wake up to a sunny sky, beautiful weather, miles of safe suburban streets where they can ride their skateboards and bikes safely, and a million possibilities for fun and adventure.  All of these terrible circumstances led Winona to whine the phrase I love the MOST, “I’m bored”.

This got me very excited, because I had the very good fortune to wake up to the same sunny sky and I thought this was a great opportunity to be active and make my home a better place.  My driveway has been a weed-y eyesore since the June rains and my house is fast becoming “that house” on the block.  I decided almost as soon as I opened my eyes this morning that I was going to tackle this monster head on.  My poorly planned idea was to dig up all the hundreds of pounds of gravel from my driveway, lay down weed-block, put the gravel back, and make a garden bed near the fence.  I was determined to get it done today AND make my training appointment AND go to Bingo [where I won for the second week in a row-WOO HOO!].

So you can imagine my excitement when Winona “volunteered” to help me out.  Remember, “I’m bored” is code for “Mommy, give me something to do that will teach me something, help me grow, and make my mind and body stronger”.   Rule: If you want to call this place home, you have to help maintain it. Let’s go work on the driveway, Winona!

To be fair, my children are not allowed television, computers, or video games in their rooms, so sometimes they need a little help from me to stay “un-bored”. The boys are pretty good at keeping themselves busy. Most of the time they have to be dragged inside at night away from their skateboards and bikes or upstairs from the basement where Calvin is always building a new invention or they’re writing new metal tunes for SnakeBite, but Winona is sometimes more of a challenge. She’s often bored, so she’s often working. This is great for me, because I always need an extra hand and it’s important to me that my daughter knows that she’s strong and capable and up for all challenges – both physical and mental. What’s even more important to me is that she knows that her health is dependent on her moving around and building strength. No matter how well she eats, without exercise she won’t be at her physical best.

She naturally complained a bit and moved slowly for a while, but I kept working full-force and encouraged her to move faster and work harder. When her brothers woke up and gladly came outside to volunteer [for real], her competitive spirit kicked in and she was suddenly glad to help. Justin eventually joined in after he wrapped some early morning photo edits. So there we were, the whole family, working together… not sitting on a couch, not watching a television, not buried in our laptops or our handheld video games consoles. We were being active and breathing fresh air, staying fit and working hard.

For them, it was just another day of chores and hard work around the house. For me, it was heaven.

Rebekah “Bex” Borucki is a mother, a fitness and yoga instructor, popular YouTuber and a permaculture hobbyist raising backyard chickens and growing her own organic garden. Bex currently lives with her husband, four children, sixteen gossiping hens, one curious cat and a little turtle that could on her 8-acre homestead in South Jersey, USA.

http://bexlife.com
http://youtube.com/genghisgirl
http://twitter.com/GirlRucki
http://facebook.com/BexLife

1 comment to Guest Post: Cure for Childhood Boredom

  • Nicole
    Twitter: runwhilemommy

    So today, my kids told me they had nothing to do and we sent them out to weed the garden. I think we will stick to this method. Thank you for the idea!

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