How was your weekend? If you attended July 4th celebrations and spent time with family and friends, I hope you had great times. Perhaps you heard fewer declarations of “I’m booorrreeeddd!!!”
You and your kids learned they can find ways to stay busy. But, now it’s the beginning of another summer week.
I fully recognize that bored children can complain and be difficult. To avoid boredom they may want to use a handheld device every waking minute – or that’s what it feels like. This can cause us to complain. Neither constant technology or our complaints are ideal responses to the reality that each day in the summer has 24 hours.
Boredom can actually benefit children. Have you planned and plotted to try to avoid it at all cost? Don’t. We can’t fill every waking moment with something entertaining. We shouldn’t try. It’s not what they need even if they think they do.
We also shouldn’t try to engage them during every minute even though engagement is what they need.
- They must learn on their own to find things that engage them.
- They must learn to benefit from quiet and having “nothing to do.” In reality, in those times when they feel like nothing is happening, much can happen.
Boredom cultivates reflection and generates ideas. If our children don’t run from boredom, but embrace it instead, reflecting on their thoughts can prove very beneficial. They might arrive at new conclusions. They might formulate their own opinions and be able to explain and defend them. Confidence in what they believe can increase. All of this is good.
Boredom develops curiosity and increases creativity. During quiet and moments when there’s nothing to do, children left alone will can explore thoughts and things. They can investigate things and ideas they’re already familiar with ideas and things that are new. They can try doing familiar things in new ways. All of this means they may discover new talents. All because they’re bored.
Boredom inspires vision. New thoughts, deeper thoughts, and new ideas can result in new vision – for today, tomorrow, and the future beyond that. This can be very good. Boredom can be very good.
Don’t be afraid of it.