Right in the Centre - Bored?


By Ken Waddell

Neepawa Banner & Press

Every parent has heard their kids state, “I’m bored!”

In my parents’ home and in ours, young people quickly learned to not say those two words. There was always another job awaiting idle hands and minds.

There was always the dreaded job of cleaning out the chicken barn. Few families have that opportunity to offer children today but there is always furniture, shelves and floors to dust and clean. If a kid can’t do their own laundry by age 12, parents aren’t doing them any favours. Even I can do laundry but, I admit, my wife spoils me.

Many would say there aren’t the opportunities for people today to do useful chores and duties but, in addition to the above mentioned household tasks, there is always garbage and recycling to look after, lawns to mow, snow to shovel, neighbourhood cleanup to do, paper routes and many other tasks. If kids aren’t busy, then the parents are to blame.

But aside from tasks, a lot of people say there is nothing for the kids to do in this (fill in the name) town. Well, it seems to me that in addition to school studies, the schools have sports, crafts, fund-raising, school plays, music and a mountain of other activities.
Outside of the school and home, this past month across the area, there have been endless hockey games and tournaments, basketball games, dance recitals and many other events. 4-H clubs are approaching year end after a winter of activities. In some communities, there are gymnastics and Cubs, Scouts, Guides and many other activities. Playgrounds will be accessible soon. Soccer, baseball and swimming will be happening right away, along with camping.

While churches may not be as plentiful as they once were, many still have a Sunday School or youth program.
There is no excuse for anyone to be bored, at least not for a lack of work or activities. Money can be a limiting factor but a lot of activities are cheap or free.

The biggest limiting factor is attitude, be it the kids or parents. And if money is factor, kids can often find small jobs, it’s a time honoured method to find cash and beat boredom. For able bodied youth and adults, there is no shortage of jobs: Many employers are begging for workers. And admittedly, some parents find they are short of cash and that may be true. But don’t  complain about being short of cash if you drink multiple cups of take-out coffee a day, spend money on alcohol, cigarettes, drugs or gambling. Rare is the family budget that can’t be stretched a little bit towards a better lifestyle.

The whole point of the above rambling is that while there are some real roadblocks, in most cases, boredom and money shortages are not as big a problem as a lack of ambition and imagination.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this column are the writer’s personal views and are not to be taken as being the view of the Banner & Press staff.