Views #1515 | Intermediate 5

Kids and Boredom

Angela talks about how to remedy boredom in kids.
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Todd: Did your kids work when they were in school? How did you feel about your kids when they were in high school?

Angela: My kids had to work for their pocket money, so they would have chores to do and they would get pocket money. They would help with the washing up, sweeping, cleaning, whatever. They worked hard to earn their pocket money. They thought it was really hard.

Todd: So did you ever withhold their wages?

Angela: Yeah.

Todd: You did? Really?!

Angela: Yeah.

Todd: You’d be like, “No, you didn’t do your chores. You don’t get the money”?

Angela: Yeah, you're not having it. Yeah.

Todd: Really?! How often would you have to do that?

Angela: More so in the beginning. Once they get the idea, you know, if you don’t work for your money, you don’t get your money. And that’s a life lesson, isn’t it? If you don’t do your work, you don’t get money.

Todd: That is great! Because I think a lot of people just assume, even me, like I’ve never had children, but the parents just spoil the kids. They don’t want to have the hassle, they don’t want to have the fight, they just give them the money.

Angela: But you look at the difference between the Western kids and the kids out here. You can go on a bus trip with the kids out here. You can go on a six-hour bus trip. You don’t hear a peep out of the kids. They stop there. The mom’s asleep, maybe the kid’s asleep as well. If you put Western kids on a bus for six hours, you’d have to have a PlayStation or a tablet or something. They’d be crying. You’d have to feed them things. It’s a totally different way of acting.

Todd: Yeah.

Angela: I miss that. When I came to Asia, I noticed that the kids were happier with less, much less than we have. And it wasn’t until I spent the year in Asia and then I went to Australia, landed in Sydney, noticed one thing, that the people were much bigger, but also the kids were just so spoiled. The parents were just giving in to them.

Todd: So you think that maybe we need to rectify that situation, that we should stop spoiling kids.

Angela: Yeah, I do.

Todd: Take away the PlayStation.

Angela: Yeah.

Todd: Just stick them outside, yeah.

Angela: You can get stalls today with - a place where you can put the kids’ tablet.

Todd: Yeah, it’s crazy.

Angela: Why won’t the kid just look at the world?

Todd: Yeah. It’s so funny you mentioned that because before we were talking about potential business ideas, and I have an idea called “Camp Boredom.”

Angela: Boredom is good.

Todd: Yeah. What happens at Camp Boredom is you send your kid to Camp Boredom and it’s just a camp in the woods or on a farm. The kids come and they go, “What do we do?” and I go, “I don’t know. Nothing. Go outside. Just find something to do.”

Angela: No Wi-Fi.

Todd: Yeah, because I grew up no Wi-Fi, no nothing. I grew up on a farm and I’m really blessed. I had no idea how blessed I was at the time. But I grew up, I spent all time on my grandfather’s farm, and we had nothing to do. I mean, nothing. But we had this farm, like, so we had everything to do. So the rule was, you had to be up for breakfast at 7:00 and then once you finished breakfast, you had to be out of the house, like you could not be in the house. It was almost forbidden to be in the house unless it’s like raining outside. And you would be outside from sun-up to sundown.

Angela: Yeah, climbing fences, climbing trees, [inaudible 0:03:02.2] haystacks.

Todd: Right, having the best time of your life. And your imagination is going and you just… Oh! The little things that you would do. Oh, we’re going to build a tree fort. Oh, we’re going to do this. Oh, we’re going to do that.

Angela: We’re going to stop the river from flowing.

Todd: Right, right. So that’s my idea. I think Camp Boredom. So maybe we have to…

Angela: I think boredom is good for kids.

Todd: Yeah. How so?

Angela: Because, as you say, you know, if they’re always entertained and always fed, then they don’t get to learn how to entertain themselves.

Todd: Yeah.

Angela: If you sit them in a car with nothing for six hours…

Todd: Right.

Angela: Then look out the window.

Todd: There was a great thing recently with Jerry Seinfeld, the comedian. He has a bit where he talks about how his mother would take him to the bank when he was a kid, and like a bank or department store was the ultimate space of boredom. Like there’s nothing you can do. You’re so bored, you just want to like flop down on the floor type of thing. But you’re right, like I don’t know if kids have that anymore.

Angela: No, they don’t.

Todd: Where they hit that wall where there’s nothing for them to do, you know.

Angela: No.

Todd: So do you think that maybe we should limit the devices, the smartphones, all that, that kids use?

Angela: I do think we should but I think it’s too late now. I think we’re past the point where you can get Wi-Fi and it’s that… You know, if we took off the kids now, what would they do? They’d be bored.

Todd: Well, you can just never give it to them, right?

Angela: Yeah, in the first place.

Todd: Maybe that’s impossible.

Angela: It’s impossible.

Todd: Okay, cool.

Learn vocabulary from the lesson!

pocket money

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Work for their pocket money.

Pocket money is a small amount of money. Notice the following:

  1. He used his pocket money to buy a candy bar.
  2. Do you have enough pocket money to go to the movie?

get the idea

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Once they get the idea.

When you get the idea, you understand. Notice the following:

  1. Once you get the idea, riding a bike is simple.
  2. The old man got the idea that people liked him.

spoil the kids

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The parents just spoil the kids.

If you spoil the kids, you give them too much freedom. Notice the following:

  1. Don't spoil the kids or they will become lazy.
  2. My mother didn't spoil her kids. She made them do chores every day.

stick them outside

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Just stick them outside.

To stick someone outside means to make them go outside. Notice the following:

  1. I will stick the dog outside if he keeps barking in the house.
  2. Stick the kids outside so we can have a quiet conversation.

type of thing

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Down on the floor type of thing.

Type of thing means it's an example of other similar things. Notice the following:

  1. He brought soda, juice, and that type of thing.
  2. The old car is a barge type of thing.

hit that wall

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Where they hit that wall.

When you hit a wall, you don't have any idea how to keep going. Notice the following:

  1. He hit a wall on his test when he didn't remember the formula.
  2. Her business hit a wall when everyone left the town.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

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