Saturday, 16 March 2013

Question! About Boredom . . .

We've been on the sick-again-well again Merry-go-Round a lot since January. It's part of the business with young kids. In any case, what it translates to is a lot of missed work days for me, and though I love love LOVE the extra cuddling, by this point, especially since it's winter, the cabin fever is also hitting. When I'm home with the kids for days, and we can't go out many places since they are sick, I do end up relying quite heavily on electronic media to keep them entertained. (Guilty mom disclaimer: not all of it is un-educational: my son loves "reading" Encyclopedia Brittanica, that comes with an electronic pen that can read the entries to him, as well as following along story books with CDs). In any case, I was just wondering how people cope with entertaining their kids on Shabbat/similar holidays, when much of this stuff would be off limits. In general, is Shabbat something that you can't wait for because it's a break, or does shabbos "get old" for adults too?


  1. Shabbat boredom busters:

    Deck of cards
    Some board games, Apples to Apples, etc.
    FRIENDS - they have their regular Shabbat playdates
    Floor hockey in the basement
    Shmoozing with the kids (quite different than the "get on your shoes NOW" that they hear from me during the week)
    Seeing other family members
    During the long summer afternoons, long walks and hanging out in the park

    My kids love their various i-whatevers, and I spend lots of time on the computer during the week, but I do look forward to Shabbat as a time away from all of that. It sort of forces the kids to learn the art of free play, and it forces the adults to learn how to unplug and carry on a conversation face-to-face.

  2. I really love the relaxation of Shabbos without the electronics. Even my autistic son, who's addicted to the ipad, doesn't even attempt to use electronics on Shabbos. However, when we had a power outage for a very short time on a weekday, he was quite upset that he couldn't use the TV. So he knows the difference between Shabbos and other days, and it's possible for kids & adults to get used to the idea of a special day with no electronic media.

    Personally, I read for almost all my waking hours on Shabbos and I have not gotten a kindle because Shabbos reading is so important to me.

    On the longer festivals (2-3 days) my kids will break out the Scrabble, etc.

  3. Mostly, from what I've seen, they entertain the kids by yelling "muktzah!" at them whenever they touch anything. It's a fun game that keeps the kids engaged.

    1. I can't say "there's an app for that" since an app wouldn't be allowed on Shabbos . . but there is a game for that:

  4. Speaking for myself, the question of "coping" totally depends on the situation. There were times when we lived in places without an eiruv, relatively isolated, with little kids/babies who needed constant attention. And Shabbat/holidays (especially the 3-day marathons) presented some *major* cabin fever. That was a struggle. Now we live in Israel, the kids are a bit older and can entertain themselves with games, playing outside (no Shabbat traffic around here), running around to different friends' houses, etc. A total breeze, and actually very relaxing and enjoyable. I'm glad for them to have a one-day break from electronics, and they don't miss it (despite the fact that they clamber for it the minute Shabbat goes out!).

  5. Thanks tesyaa, JRK and AJ! Your Shabboses sound lovely! I guess it's the entertaining the under 5 year old crowd that's a trickier - but temporary - variable!


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