Not Every Day Needs To Be Crammed With Adventure


not every day needs to be crammed with adventureEvery Saturday morning my son wakes me up far before I am ready.

We get up and get his morning snack, consisting of mini belvitas (1/2 pack) and almond milk (1/2 plain, ½ chocolate).

Snuggling, I ask him, “What should we do today?”

He looks at me with those big blue eyes and says, “Can I watch a show?”

“Bud, I am trying to talk to you. I want to do something together today.”

“Oh, fine.” He relents.

I suggest a trip to the grocery store, followed by some laundry and reading time.

“If all goes well we can make cookies for when Dad gets home.”

“I am not doing that.” He says, adamantly.

I’m mildly annoyed. So I tell him he is doing that, and he can watch one show while I ride my spin bike. Then we are out the door.

As a parent, I want everything we do to feel special. I want every activity to be an experience.

Sometimes it goes well, other times it is a disaster.

A few hours later

We are snuggling on the couch reading Harry Potter. All of a sudden, he hits me with it, “Moooom, I’m bored!”

I stand up and say, “Ok you are going to have to amuse yourself for a while. I give up.”

The frustration I am feeling is obvious. My neck is tight and I am working hard not to shout.

I add, “NO TELEVISION” as I stomp back to my room to fold laundry. I need a minute alone to collect myself.

My child is totally capable of entertaining himself.

I am not solely responsible for making his life fun and meaningful.

Believe it or not, this is something of a revelation to me. I always feel like it is my responsibility to keep him entertained and off the television.

Little did I know, that if I turned it around on him, he would find ways to keep busy. (Of course only after the obligatory moaning.)

Given a little space and time kids will find ways to entertain themselves.



After some initial whining that day, my house got quiet.

I emerged and found that my son was sitting on the couch reading by himself. Independently.

Which is exactly what I want him to do.

Yes, Kids can read on their own

I understand that this is not possible with every child at every age, but picture books and board books are certainly acceptable for younger children who have not learned to read.

My son is enjoying Captain Underpants and Dog Man at the moment. Both are by the same author and there are enough pictures to keep early readers interested.

We are loving the crash pad

After a particularly trying day at school, the little dude asked me if I would come downstairs for him to crash on his pad.

Considering how much calmer he is when he has that full body, proprioceptive input – I happily obliged. We stayed down there for about 15 minutes and took turns falling (or jumping) onto the pad.

As a side note the crash pad is good for napping movie watching as well.

The weighted lap pad

Since discovering that my son will read independently, I have been researching weighted lap pads.

We both have some anxiety issues, so I ordered one from my affiliate, Harkla.

Turns out, this handy little pad is great for school work too. It has a calming effect and allows my son to concentrate and feel more secure. Below is an affiliate link. See my disclosure/privacy policy.

I use it when I write, too.

We love this lap pad! So much so we might get another one, or maybe I’ll spring for the weighted blanket.

Kids A-Z

This handy app was introduced to me through my son’s school. You can find it here.

Basically your child listens to short books, then reads the book independently, and then answers some comprehension questions.

At first I was surprised how much he liked it, now I am thrilled. If I let him he will read for a solid hour.

Pssst – I let him do it in restaurants, too.

Legos rock our world

This is old news, I know. But my son actually requires some sensory input in order to do fine motor activities.

I help him set up by getting him the lap pad I mentioned above, and then we spread out all the pieces where he can see them.

He sits in a chair with the instruction booklet next to him on the table.

Legos are perfect as an independent activity because your child can work with them, while you are nearby. You both get to do what you need to do.

As a bonus, Legos are great for fine motor skills.

Here are a few affiliate links. For my full disclosure policy click here.

Our children need and deserve our attention.

Sometimes we make big plans hoping that we can give them a meaningful experience and spend time as a family. Often that works out.

Other times, we expect too much of ourselves.

We feel responsible for entertaining our children even when we shouldn’t.

Given a little space and time kids will find ways to entertain themselves.

Don’t make yourself crazy trying to plan everything.

Life isn’t perfect – they need to figure out what makes them tick on their own.

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