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To think I shouldn't need to constantly entertain my 10 year old?

(34 Posts)
MuthaInsuperior Sat 01-Oct-11 15:58:53

I started a full time degree last week and so my timetable was hectic and tiring and I was looking forward to the weekend to just chill out a bit. I went out for the first time in ages last night (My mum looked after the kids) but even then I deliberately limited my alcohol intake and made sure I was home earlyish so that I could pick the kids up early today and take them to the cinema and Mcdonalds as a treat. We got back about 1pm today and ever since my 10 year old has been following me around saying he's bored, can we go out somewhere, what can we do etc etc. I've tried explaining to him that I don't have the money to constantly galavant all over the place and it cost me a fair bit for the cinema and lunch this morning. Aside from that I have tons of housework to do (stuff that I got behind with whilst at uni such as laundry) as well as actual work from uni. I wouldn't mind but he has an xbox, TV (with sky so tons to chose from), his bike, a trampoline in the garden, skateboard etc. yet I feel I'm expected to constantly entertain him like a toddler.
I know someone will say "take him to the park" but believe me - when I do that we're there 10 minutes before he's saying he's bored and doesn't know what to do, plus all the parks are a drive away from us and I really can't spare the petrol.
AIBU to think a 10 year old shouldn't be so reliant on his mum for entertainment?

squeakytoy Sat 01-Oct-11 16:00:31

Where are his friends? In weather like this he should be out on his bike or playing out with mates his own age.

MuthaInsuperior Sat 01-Oct-11 16:01:35

That's what I said to him, he says he doesn't know where his friends live.

TalesOfTheUnexpected Sat 01-Oct-11 16:02:15


I could write a page long rant about how kids expect so much, have so much and can't entertain themselves... but I won't.


kblu Sat 01-Oct-11 16:02:17

I don't think you are being unreasonable. I don't have to entertain my 3.5 year old all the time anymore and there's a huge difference in age. He plays with his toys, does colouring in or drawing or watches Ben 10 or whatever. Just tell him how it is!

lljkk Sat 01-Oct-11 16:04:02

It depends on the 10yo. 2 of my DC can self-entertain no problem but DC3 is a different personality, really wants feedback/stimulus all the time. Fine when siblings are home, but he's a pest if there's nobody to play with. And DC3 doesn't have much sense, I don't really like him playing out much on his own (was okay for other DC, just not DC3).

Even TV doesn't occupy him long, sigh.

KittyLilith Sat 01-Oct-11 16:04:12

When mine are bored I offer a list of household chores to entertain themselves with. They soon find something to do then. grin

rogersmellyonthetelly Sat 01-Oct-11 16:04:31

Yanbu. If there's loads of housework to be done, you can set him on doing some of that. I find the suggestion of sorting washing or cleaning bathrooms is a sovereign cure for all types of whinging and boredom.

kblu Sat 01-Oct-11 16:05:15

Great idea Kittylilith!

squeakytoy Sat 01-Oct-11 16:06:27

Good idea Kitty.

Mutha, get him onto the laundry, he is old enough to do it, and it will free you up to get on with something else!

pchick Sat 01-Oct-11 16:07:54

Maybe he's feeling a little unsettled with the new routine - ie. Going back to school, and your new degree.

Maybe you should set guidelines. Ie 'Mummy will spend the next 30 minutes playing, and then has to do some work'

grovel Sat 01-Oct-11 16:08:25

Buy him an addictive computer game.

breadandbutterfly Sat 01-Oct-11 16:08:29

Brilliant idea! I shall remember that tip, and in fact get a list of chores ready!

I simply don't understand how anyone can be bored. I'm never bored. If I suddenly found myself with unfilled free time - what a luxury! - there is such a wealth of wonderful things to fill it with.

fastweb Sat 01-Oct-11 16:08:41

Is there a youth club ish sort of place nearby ?

My just 11 yo would live there if he could.

I've also just set up a "study group" so his nest friend/desk mate at school comes here after school twice a week so they can do homework and play together.

If there was no youth club I'd be inclined to up the number of freinds and days per week where that happened.

I'm a bit jealous of you though, you son still thinks you are somebody to be considered for jiont entertainment.

I'm only good for watching Dr Who together (so hecan hide behind me for the really scary bits), and to be honest if any of his freinds understood English I think I'd be made redundant in that one small way too.

If he hasn't got the hang of sorting out after school hanging out together maybe you organsing it in tje beginning would kick start it ?

Grumpla Sat 01-Oct-11 16:10:19

Sounds as though he is definitely ready to start doing some housework! If you have a mental list and assign him a chore every time he comes pestering, he will soon have the house sparkling / take up an absorbing hobby which requires him to be out of earshot for much of the time grin

valiumredhead Sat 01-Oct-11 16:11:46

My 10 year old is out playing all the time with his mates, or they are here playing in the garden. Does he have local friends? Is the park close enough to go to by himself?

valiumredhead Sat 01-Oct-11 16:12:17

I also offer housework if the 'bored' word is mentioned! grin

talkingnonsense Sat 01-Oct-11 16:18:35

Have you let him just play out before? Because if he doesn't know where his friends live, it doesnt sound like he has lots of local mates. If he is still at primary you may have to organise a few playdates. But the housework idea is fab!

zest01 Sat 01-Oct-11 16:33:09

I borrowed and idea from another forum for a "bored" list which is pinned up in the lounge. Basically it is a big list of about 50 activities that the kids can do when they are bored and they can go and look at it and see what to do. All the things are stuff they can do unsupervised, though some might need me to get some bits out. It has things such as deisgn my dream bedroom, look through catalogues and cut out something I want to save my pocket money for, make a vehicle out of a cardboard box, have a soak in the bath with a face pack and magazine (we have 12 yr old DD), make a list on love film of movies I would like us to rent, sort out some old toys to sell on ebay.....etc

If they still can't find anything to do then it's chores......they soon come up with something then believe me!!!

Also I find what works well is to say "I need to do x, y and z" and then I will be free to do something with you" I point out that the more I am interupted (whether by fighting or them being bored or whatever) then the less time we will have for whatever we are doing together. That works quite well too as they know they will get some time with me but just not right now

worraliberty Sat 01-Oct-11 16:35:27

Why isn't he out playing in the street?

WhereYouLeftIt Sat 01-Oct-11 16:47:38

My DS was like that around 10 too. I believe I told him that boredom was a good thing as it encouraged you to use your imagination and FIND something to do. Yes, I am that harsh. You know he's got loads of stuff he could entertain himself with, so I'd go for the giving-him-chores approach. Don't feel guilty about getting on with what you have to do, it's really not deserved.

RoseC Sat 01-Oct-11 17:35:27

YANBU. My DM's response whenever I said I was bored was, 'Tidy your room then'. Consequently the rest of the afternoon was spent reading/playing games/being quiet in my room... definitely not tidying but I knew I couldn't get away with being under her feet either, having been given a job to do.

Present him with a list of jobs to do if he's bored. They don't have to be hard or last long (so he has a sense of achievement) but he needs to understand he has a choice: entertain himself (as I did) or pitch in.

dawntigga Sat 01-Oct-11 17:38:11

You say:

Good, boredom is character building

And leave him to it.


Bellavita Sat 01-Oct-11 17:38:31

He should be out with his mates.

If he that bored, get him to do some housework, it won't hurt him.

MrsRobertDuvall Sat 01-Oct-11 17:40:42

Agree with everyone else.
He should be out with his friends. What does he mean, he doesn't know where they live? What does he do after school?

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