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What do you do...

(13 Posts)
catnipkitty Sun 21-Aug-11 22:05:48

...if you HE and have one of 'those days' when you're sleep-deprived/ unwell/ irritable and have no patience or inspiration and your children say "I''m BORED!!!"...?

I'm using the summer hols to have a good think about HE my DDs and observe their (and my) behaviour and have had some fab days when we've done loads and all been jolly and got on well but past couple of days have been as above and made me feel like I'd do a rubbish job sad I'd love to HE but don't want to make the wrong decision.

Any words of wisdom gratefully received.

MyDadWasADesertRat Sun 21-Aug-11 22:16:25

Hi Catnip, how many/how old are your dcs?

catnipkitty Sun 21-Aug-11 22:23:41

DD1 is 7yrs old, DD2 & 3 are 6yr old twins. They generally all get on really well and are lovely smile

ommmward Mon 22-Aug-11 08:37:50

Three responses, all of which I remind myself of.

1. You are a person too, with feelings and preferences and tiredness and irritability. Better to be honest about that, and to apologise for the times when you are are a termagent than to pretend to be a Stepford Wife all the time.

2. The more our children become accustomed to taking control of their own activities and learning, the less and less they demand that we are the cabaret. My older child is now quite content with their own projects for hours and hours on end - welcomes company and interest if it's on offer, but otherwise quite happy. That develops given time and space.

3. We are mothers. That means we don't get to do 8 hours of silent meditation a day and become enlightened beings. But we can treat our children and our interactions with them as our spiritual practice. (and yes, I ebb and flow - mostly ebb - with that, but being with children can be a wonderful way of learning to accept what is, right now, and to be in that moment)

FionaJNicholson Mon 22-Aug-11 08:51:47

What ommmward said. Absolutely.

My home ed son is 18 now but I do remember before we "officially started home educating" and I'd just had (another) meltdown on the way to playgroup and when we got there one mum said "ooh I could never home educate because you'd have to have so much patience" and I shrugged and said Oh I do hope not.

Once you're actually doing it, you kind of drop the job spec and person skills quite a bit!

Maybe it's like being married, you don't need to think "we make each other incredibly happy ALL THE TIME" in order not to divorce? (Am speaking hypothetically here of other people's marriages, as my own brief experience of wedlock was somewhat weird and unpleasant)

CheerMum Mon 22-Aug-11 11:11:20

i agree with what everyone else has said and would add that i always have a stock of things for dd (10) to do without me. they are usually craft activities that don't require my input, or i'll let her loose with her laptop and she'll create a slideshow about something (usually hideous spider/snake/reptile themed)

also, if you can, get a few good dvd's that you can plonk yourselves down in front of. we do a lot of topic based study so it is easy to find at least one related dvd (for instance, our next topic is rainforests so i got the Orangutan Diaries series). I would also highly recommend the Horrible Histories series dvd as it can get you half an hour's peace at any time.

i think you have to remember that they don't need you to be, as omm said, a Stepford Mum. they need to learn about moods and feelings and the proper way to deal with them. when we first started HE last september, my dd and i wrote out a contract and both signed it. we discussed the things that the other did that we wanted to change and so our contract states "If we do not understand something, we will say so (for dd) and We will try not to get stressed and grumpy (aimed at me)". it is stuck onto the wall so we can both see it.

the great thing about HE is that you learn all the time so it doesn't matter if, come 11am, you've had enough and need some peace - there is nothing wrong with plonking them down in front of the tv or wii and leaving them to it for half an hour while you go and have a coffee and recharge your batteries.

ooh - just had another thought - maybe look into getting them onto Education City - that's a great learning tool that gives you peace.

Saracen Mon 22-Aug-11 15:17:49

I do what my own mother did. I tell them that boredom is character-building and if they try hard enough they will think of something to do. When they keep pestering me, I tell them that they are very welcome to go and be bored somewhere away from me. When they still keep on at me, I tell them that it's good that they have nothing to do, because I have lots of jobs for bored children to do. Then they usually go and hide.

Tinuviel Mon 22-Aug-11 18:21:53

Chores usually works in this house too!! And yes, they do get better at entertaining themselves.

homeedmam11 Mon 22-Aug-11 19:31:53

A trip to the library or a good runaround at the park usually does the trick for

northernmumto3 Mon 22-Aug-11 21:41:38

We go out...anything to shake the cobwebs off..

or I give myself permission to loaf, promising myself that tomorrow will be better

I think it can be handy to have a box of emergency projects for such days. craft kits, some new art supplies, a new game ... or whatever.

northernmumto3 Mon 22-Aug-11 21:46:56

I just noticed that you said you are thinking of he rather than doing so currently. As an op said, it is totally different when children are used to filling their time a bit more...I can count on one hand the amount of times I've heard complaints of bored.

Saracen Tue 23-Aug-11 08:09:09

People who have withdrawn their children from school sometimes say that they go through a phase of boredom at first. They are used to being told what to do all day and aren't in the habit of thinking of things to do.

Whenever my 11yo does a week-long activity, she often moons around being bored for a bit afterward. She just returned from a week-long summer camp which finished Friday morning. She was quite tired from it, and yet she still said she was bored for the first few days back. For her these are only brief phases because she does know how to entertain herself, and it doesn't take her all that long to get back into the swing of things.

Mind you, even though she hadn't gone to school, when she was quite young she was not good at entertaining herself. She was fine as long as she was with friends, so our life was one endless round of playdates.

MyDadWasADesertRat Thu 25-Aug-11 02:29:47

I think I'd agree with all of the above. Addressing the 'boredom' thing is paramount. Learning to entertain oneself and, when necessary, to have some quiet time with your thoughts is a really good lifeskill to develop. The latter is not so easy when they are younger but short spells of 'thinking' time are acheivable.

That said, some days if I just dont have it in me, I run down their batteries at the park then shove the telly on when they get home..something educational obv. wink

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