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A lesson in navigating negativity – in kids and adults

By: Jennifer Hamilton, Summit Chicago | Apr 14, 2020

kidsThe subject of this article may lead you to believe I have an answer. I do not. I have learned to communicate better and feel confident in the way I remind those in my life who bring negativity into our lives, that we are fortunate for what we have. 

I admit. I have bad ideas. I have ideas even I wouldn’t want to do, but I have ideas. A lot of them. I can sit down with my family and within 1 minute give 10 ideas on what they could do when they are bored. Try it. See how you do. Feel free to call me. I’m a pro at inventing games. Have you heard of friz-ball, brick jump, crack smack, tri-cup? Neither had I until just now. I can invent a game for my kids in about a minute and have them engaged in whatever I’m making up at that moment. IF they are open to it at that moment.

When I recommend anything not involving playing a video game, the typical answer is “no.” Here are my latest suggestions. I kept going and going to see if anything would win.

Bake something, play a board game, make a movie, play the piano, do research on a fun topic, run around in the yard, swing on the swing, clean your room, do the laundry, read a book, do an art project, take a drawing lesson online, learn a new language, see how many sticks you can find in the yard, make ice cream, sew something, try to put on all of your pants at once, count the windows in the house, play hide and seek, put the tent up, sweep the garage, rearrange your room, draw each other with chalk in the driveway, count your stuffed animals, teach school to the stuffed animals, put on one of your old Halloween costumes, paint a picture, call Nana and Papa, call a friend, make a list of ideas yourself. 

It is exhausting and defeating having every. single. idea. shut down. The adult in the house is not any better. Go for a walk, go on a bike ride, do an online yoga class, cook something, clean your office, work on the basement, get rid of clothes you don’t wear anymore, read a book, take a nap.

You may deal with this at work also. It is mentally exhausting, but do not let it get you down. I will continue to answer to the “I’m bored” with multitudes of suggestions of things to do. 

I almost gave up today. Then I let my family know how it feels to be on the receiving end of their negativity. They are the ones asking me for the ideas. Maybe I didn’t give the winning idea. But I tried, I will continue to try and now I am going to play friz-ball with my kid once I figure out what the rules should be.

Jennifer Hamilton is the director of sales and marketing for Summit Chicago. She is also mother of an 8-year-old and 10-year-old, and wife to someone slightly older than that.



Jennifer Hamilton, Summit Chicago
Director of sales and marketing at Summit Chicago

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