“….Mom! I’m booooooored….”
Thea is five and yet she seems to be figuring out all of the rites of childhood just fine. This summer she squarely handled the “I’m bored” stage.
I could have ignored it. I could have given her “the speech” on boredom. I could also have orchestrated an afternoon of fun, hoping my inspiration would rub off on her and lead her to figure things out on her own. But I didn’t. Instead I looked for one thing to jolt her out of her mindset, one little thing that would snap her out of it. Whether it was a book, a pencil, a sparkly princess dress, or something else that caught my eye. One thing, that’s what I handed her.
At first she thought I was stupid. You know how five year olds can give you this look of disgust that even a 13 year old would be envious of. But then she got an idea. She told me about it and off she went for a bit, using the one thing to not be bored.
What Thea teaches me over and over again is that I don’t need to have a whole activity planned out but just one good thing, one idea that will spark something in her, leading to new and grand adventures. Sure, she reaches the “I’m bored” stage again but every time we try this her ideas get better, her ideas gain life.
Earlier this summer she got to pick the sparkliest, pinkest, biggest princess dress from Just Pretend Kids. They had asked me if I would have her pick one and then write something about her experience with it (thus this post). At first, I wasn’t sure how much she would use it, after all, there are only so many days that you can pretend to be a princess, right? Except Thea wasn’t confined by my thinking. Sure, she may have been in a princess dress but that didn’t stop her from being a pirate princess, out on an adventure in the backyard. That dress didn’t stop her from staging a huge performance for us creating songs on the spot and complicated dance routines. That dress didn’t stop her from running with the ball trying to escape from the evil babies chasing her. That dress only made it better, sparked her imagination and sent her off. So I shouldn’t have worried. I should have realized that although she may claim boredom, often it just takes one thing. That although she may be the girliest girl I know, that doesn’t sop her ideas from growing. It only enhances what she does.
So sparkly princess dress, yes please. For Thea it turned out to be the one thing that made a day better. It didn’t hold her back, it just upped the ante. After all, if you look like that, then you need an even grander idea than your first one. If you are dressed like a princess, adventure is sure to come, even if you have to make it yourself.
Thank you Just Pretend Kids for making Thea’s summer and sending us the dress.
I am a passionate teacher in Wisconsin, USA, who has taught 4, 5th, and 7th grade. Proud techy geek, and mass consumer of incredible books. Creator of the Global Read Aloud Project, Co-founder of EdCamp MadWI, and believer in all children. I have no awards or accolades except for the lightbulbs that go off in my students’ heads every day. First book “Passionate Learners – Giving Our Classrooms Back to Our Students” can be purchased now from Powerful Learning Press. Second book“Empowered Schools, Empowered Students – Creating Connected and Invested Learners” can be pre-ordered from Corwin Press now. Follow me on Twitter @PernilleRipp.