Advice to Dads From Dads

1:29 PM

This article written by Contributing Writer Tom Bowns.
Little kids can get majorly bored. My four-year-old son Michael, when he gets bored (and that’s every night), hops around like a jackrabbit with its tail on fire, bouncing off of this bit of furniture and that, twirling and spinning, knocking over whatever might be in his path. It’s not a pretty sight.
Rather than just getting angry at him when he misbehaves, I’ve found that it’s far more productive to engage him in doing something. So I’ve constructed a list of things to do with him during these fits of boredom.
Pipes. Michael has always had a fascination with drains and what might go “down the hole” so this was obvious for him. We’d had a set of 1½ inch plastic balls that belonged to another set of toys, so I bought a few sections of 2 inch pipe and fittings such as elbows and other couplers. Michael and I can spend hours connecting the pipes into different shapes and configurations so he can put the balls down the hole at the upper end and hear them clank all the way down to the bottom.
Disassembling something. It costs five bucks tops to buy some old electronic or mechanical doodad at Goodwill, but it provides an entire afternoon of joy taking it apart, screw by screw, wire by wire. Of course, you’ll want to be on the lookout for sharp things, poisonous things or things that might hold a charge like old television sets
Blowing bubbles. Another great sunny-day outdoor activity. I make my own bubble solution out of glycerin, dishwashing liquid and distilled water. Cheaper than the pre-made stuff and lasts longer.
Car games. “I spy” is a classic. I tell Michael that I spy something yellow, and he has to tell me what it is. Another one we like to play is “Cash Cab”, in which I have to ask Michael a question about a favorite show or story and he has to provide the right answer to win “cash” along the way. This is best on short little trips, otherwise you’ll be scratching your head for more questions and he’ll get bored.
A bored kid can be a real terror, and coupled with an aggravated parent, you have a recipe for disaster. But add a dose of imagination and an hour or so of undivided attention and you have a happy child, a grateful parent and memories to last a lifetime.

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  1. Thanks for this. I'll show my husband. I'd like to add another tip(something my husband does with our little ones). Garden together i.e. pot plants or water the plants.


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