Kids and Boredom
Angela talks about how to remedy boredom in kids.
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
Todd: So did you ever withhold their
Todd: You did? Really?!
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.
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.
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
Angela: Yeah, I do.
Todd: Take away the PlayStation.
Todd: Just stick them outside,
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
Todd: Yeah. It’s so funny you
mentioned that because before we were talking about
potential business ideas, and I have an idea called
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
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
Todd: Right, right. So that’s my idea.
I think Camp Boredom. So maybe we have to…
Angela: I think boredom is good for
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.
Angela: If you sit them in a car with
nothing for six hours…
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.
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
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.
They work for their pocket money.
Pocket money is a small amount of money people use to buy everyday things. Notice the following:
- He used his pocket money to buy a candy bar.
- Do you have enough pocket money to go to the
get the idea
They get the idea.
When you get the idea, you understand something. Notice the following:
- Once you get the idea, riding a bike is
- The old man got the idea that people liked
spoil the kids
The parents just spoil the kids.
If you spoil the kids, you give them too much freedom. Notice the following:
- Don't spoil the kids. They will become lazy.
- My mother didn't spoil her kids. She made them
do chores every day.
stick (something) outside
Just stick them outside.
To stick something outside means to place it outside. Notice the following:
- I will stick the dog outside if he keeps
barking in the house.
- Stick the kids outside so we can have a quiet
type of thing
Flop down on the floor type of thing.
Type of thing means it's an example of other similar things. Notice the following:
- He brought soda, juice, and that type of
- The old car is a barge type of thing.
hit a wall
They hit that wall.
When you hit a wall, you are unable to make any progress. Notice the following:
- He hit a wall on his test when he didn't
remember the formula.
- Her business hit a wall when everyone left the
stick • type of • hit a wall
Is life too fun for kids?
How families and money differ worldwide
Life after the kids grow up
Natalie talks about street cuisine.
Natalie talks about a great Asian city.
About the Teacher / Creator
Hello, and welcome to elllo. My name is Todd Beuckens. I've been an ESL teacher for 25 years. I created elllo to provide teachers and students free audio lessons and learning materials not usually found in commercial textbooks.
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