With summer here and school out, it’s a good time to remember we don’t need to entertain our kids!
We are a society afraid of boredom… adults and children alike. We are addicted to entertainment, we are addicted to social media, and we are addicted to “BUSY”. We are losing the ability to just be. Studies have shown that boredom stimulates problem solving areas of our brains that cannot be accessed in any other way. Boredom breeds creativity and new thought pathways. Boredom generates idea’s and brings peace.
When we deny ourselves and our children their God-given right to boredom, we are restricting development. Do you remember the hours you spent in boredom as a child? We would daydream in the waiting room, stare at the dust motes dancing in the sunlight, invent new games, draw, read, create, research. We were building important pathways in our brains. Did we whine to our parents that we were bored? OF COURSE! But we quickly learned that this would only lead to chores or being forced outside regardless of temperature or weather.
When we had a question, there was no Google. We had to ask another person, look it up in a book, or think on it until we found the answer within ourselves. We developed common sense and logic, because we were experiencing the world firsthand and engaging our problem solving skills.
Your kids fun is not your responsibility. If they come to you bored, invite them to join you with whatever task you’re doing. Don’t react in frustration or guilt trip them. Encourage them that they are really good at being creative, but don’t fix their problem or offer solutions. This doesn’t allow them to grow or develop critical thinking.
Remember they follow your lead! So, when you are in the waiting room with your kids, don’t pull your cell phone out ~ instead, sit quietly or pick up a magazine or engage in conversation with them. When you head out to your favorite restaurant leave your cell phone at home or tucked away until you get home.
So, don’t be afraid of boredom! Every generation before this one has had to learn to live with it. And they have benefited because of it.
Give yourselves and your children the gift of boredom this summer!