Quick tips for beating boredom
- Quick tip 1Provide structure.Provide structure.
Kids and adults with ADHD do best with structure and routine. Having set activities and tasks leaves less room for boredom to set in.
- Quick tip 2Plan activities in advance.Plan activities in advance.
Waiting until the last minute to fill free time doesn’t work for many people with ADHD. They need more time to plan and organize activities.
- Quick tip 3Join in with others.Join in with others.
Having people to share interests with — bike riding, gardening, playing music — makes it easier to beat boredom. Invite them in or join a group yourself.
- Quick tip 4Limit screen time.Limit screen time.
It’s easy to turn to screen activities when you’re feeling bored. But ADHD makes it hard to transition away. Set limits and stick to them.
Boredom isn’t a symptom of ADHD. It’s a common result, though. Kids and adults with ADHD need more stimulation than most people. Not having it can lead to behavior that’s confusing and challenging.
Here’s an example: Clay, a grade-schooler, keeps disrupting the class. The teacher sends him to the principal’s office, where Clay says “it’s stupid to just sit there” in class. This might mean: “To sit still and stay focused, I need something really interesting to do.”
Most kids can stick it out until class ends or the teacher moves on to a new subject. But kids with ADHD often can’t. When boredom sinks in, they might have trouble with self-control. Or they might seek out attention in inappropriate ways.
Boredom doesn’t just happen when kids need to do things that they don’t find interesting, either. Kids with ADHD often say they’re bored even when they’re free to do what they want.
The situations are different for adults, but the challenge is the same. Adults might take out their phone and send texts during a presentation. Or they might start an argument or a debate if a conversation is too dull.
People with ADHD don’t mean to be annoying or rude when they behave this way. They just can struggle to find ways to keep themselves from being bored.