I am in a program where I mentor a girl who is going into the 3rd grade. She says that she enjoys doing arts and crafts, however whenever I try to do something crafty with her she quickly looses interest within 10 min. and would like to move onto something new. In the past I have done an unplanned task, however she would get "bored" with that too. I do not know if the girl has ADD and am sure that her mother would not get her tested. If anyone who has a suggestion of what I can do with her? Or to make me feel like I am not alone has dealt with something similar.
<p>Dear Mentor, </p>
<p>First, thank you for giving your time and attention to this 3rd grader! Second, here are some thoughts from a recent article of ours that might help you in finding ways to help her with the feeling of boredom: </p>
<p>There are chances to learn to help children with the feeling of boredom. </p>
<p>Some summer days can lose their sparkle. Children feel listless, and say they are bored. You’ll notice that there actually are things they could do, and people they could play with, but they are missing that sense of adventure that can turn a simple piece of paper and a scissors into an experiment with hat making, or airplane crafting, or cut out design. The feeling inside of them is actually the problem, not any lack of things to do. </p>
<p>As far as I can tell, when children say they’re bored, they really are telling you that they don’t feel connected enough to feel hopeful. So rather than become irritated that they don’t appreciate all the things they have, or all the time you’ve spent trying to make them happy, move in close. Lie down with them, or next to them, where they languish. Don’t try to solve the problem of what to do. But do look pleased to be with them. Do cuddle. Do just stay there with them, until they can absorb your presence and your attention. If you want, after several moments of just lying with your child, paying attention but not prodding, you can begin musing about stuff they could do. But be silly in your suggestions. Say things like, “Well, we could start a booger collection and pick all our noses and see how much we can get, and figure out where to store it!” “We could try to give Bowser an airplane ride like you get on my feet!” or “We could hide under the bed when Daddy gets home, and see how long it would take for him to find us.” or “I could lick your toes and see how they taste!” or “I could shake you upside down, and see if that gives you any ideas at all,” or “We could put a cotton ball on the overhead fan, and then turn it on, and see what happens!” </p>
<p>Any silly idea will do. You’re not trying to solve the problem of what to do. You’re trying to get a bit of laughter going, and then a bit more, and then even more. While children are laughing, the bridge between you and them rebuilds. Your silly ideas, and the release of laughter, jumpstarts their minds. Soon, they know what they want to do again. If not, they become irritated with you, and your presence becomes more and more of a bother. They work themselves into a good cry, which is the other way children clear their minds of emotional sludge, and regain their enthusiasm for life. Stay. Listen to what a dumb day they are having, and how you are a stupid parent because you won’t let them x, y or z. To really get the awful feelings out, they need someone safe as their target. That would be you! You don’t have to believe that this is their full and final evaluation of your parenting. It’s not. It’s just what they need to do to get the tears going strong, so they can come back to you and feel their love for you again when they have finished. </p>
<p>The above was taken from our recent article "Ahh, Summer!" in The Connected Parent column on CleverParents. </p>
<p>Hope you find it helpful and continue your generous work with children. </p>
<p>Julianne Idleman </p>
<p>Hand in Hand Program Director </p>
No you are definitely not alone :) Kids often have a way of turning even the best laid plans upside down. First off, I think it's wonderful that you're commiting your time and energy to mentoring this child. It's a kind and generous thing to do and I'm sure you're having a greater influence over her life than you think.
How long have you been working with her? Perhaps the issue is that you two haven't had a chance to connect and form a rapport. A little time and patience may resolve that and help you communicate with each other better.
Although she says she likes arts and crafts, it may also be that her interests may be more active and movement-oriented. Try a few other things like games or mini field trips (if that is possible to do). You could also get her to suggest an art and craft project like a gift for a sibling, parent or pet, help her make a list of things you will need to complete it and go with her to purchase them. If she comes up dry, there are a number of suggestions for activities here on this site (See http://www.education.com/activity/third-grade/ ) that focus on different kinds of skills and also underscore learning content.
If none of these work, it could be that your ADD suspicions may be correct. Or something going on with her at home that you need to be aware of. Whatever it is, hang in there and keep usn posted on how it's going.