What to do when your kids decide annoying you is more fun than playing with their toys.

Posted on February 22, 2012


Bored on the couch

Welcome to today’s installment of WTF Wednesday, where if you find the same advice at a lower price anywhere else, we’ll give you triple your money back (minus a $20 re-stocking fee, $10 service charge, $13.50 shipping, $50 handling fee, and some beer money).

Today’s question comes via Twitter from Anntrea (@doodlesandJots). She also runs the Doodles and Jots blog.

Anntrea writes:

Dear IBMP,

URGENT! Need ideas how 2 spend winter vacation week off from school, stuck at home & it’s 2 cold out, been to library & movies

Oh yeah, we’ve all been there:

Mom, we’ve been stuck at home for 25 minutes now. I’m bored.

Why don’t you play with one of the ten thousand toys you got for Christmas?

I’m tired of that stuff. I’ve already played with it all.

Play with the boxes, then.


You used to like the boxes.

I still do but my stuffies are sleeping in them and I don’t want to wake them.

Play with your sister then.

I don’t have a sister, Mom.

Well times like this I wish you did. Go play with the dog then.

He won’t go near me since the last time I played with him.

Right.      His fur’s growing back nicely, though, don’t you think?


It’s an unfortunate situation that is all-too-common among those with children in their homes. The clinical term is Bored Kid Syndrome (BKS). BKS is in the class of illnesses known as Serious Unmentionables Caused by Kids and Youth (SUCKY). It includes such maladies as Parental Deafness, Offspring-induced Premature Baldness, and Patience Deficiency Syndrome, and it affects parents of all socioeconomic statuses.

But, there are solutions. You don’t have to live your life fearing rainy days.

This is where a less experienced advice blogger would recommend yoga, meditation or prescription sedatives to calm your nerves and take the edge off. But that treats only the symptoms and not the root problem.

According to the IBMP Dictionary of Parenting Terms, “I’m bored” is a term used by children who decide that annoying their parents is more fun than playing with their toys.

To cure BKS, you need to make even staring at the ceiling seem several times more attractive to your kids than annoying you.

For example, our son was taught at a very early age that every time someone says the word “bored” a puppy gets swallowed by a dolphin that’s in turn run over by a jetski towing a freshly killed mermaid.

If that’s not your style, you can always suggest some great rainy-day games to try and divert your children’s attention from the tremendously satisfying act of pissing you off with declarations of boredom.

I know what you’re thinking: we’ve played all the games we have and I’m as sick of them as the kids are. Fair enough, but there are some games you may not have tried.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Lets See Who Can Finish Dusting First. This is a fun family game in which each child is given a dusting rag and assigned a room of their very own to dust. The child who finishes first and with the fewest missed spots gets to do another room of their choosing.

Be Silent Or Youre Grounded. This challenging strategy game is played just as the name implies. The object is to see who can last the longest without getting grounded for speaking, whining or singing off-key.

Bathe Brother Billy. This game requires two players: the child who takes the bath and the older sibling who washes the bather’s hair, dries them and helps them get into their jammies.

The Salt Grain Sorting Game. Your child or children must sort all the grains of salt from your shaker in order from smallest to largest. The task must be completed within 81/2 hours or a tabletop fan is turned on and all grains must be recovered and re-sorted.

Clean and Sort Mommys Shoes. Children must take the pile of unsorted shoes in your closet(s), clean them and sort them. Trust me, guys, this is harder than you think.

My personal favorite is Hide and Go Seek Coffee. In this game, the children hide. Once the kids are comfortably hiding, you go seek coffee at your favorite coffee shop.

Finally, if you’ve tried all these things and you’re still having trouble, consider replacing your working spouse’s calendar with one that declares “Take Your Child To Work Week” coincidentally on the same days your child has no school.

Problem solved. You’re welcome!

Posted in: Advice (bad)