“Mom, I’m bored!”
Here’s why it is good for kids to be bored
These dreaded words make us scramble to come up with ideas to keep our kids busy. The norm these days is to switch on the television or put a device in their hands. We feel better for having solved the problem and the kids are quiet – at least for a while.
However, these short-term solutions could have negative long-term effects on your child’s ability to create, innovate, and indeed be a more content adult.
British education expert Dr Theresa Belton said boredom could be an “uncomfortable feeling” and that society had “developed an expectation of being constantly occupied and constantly stimulated”.
But she warned that being creative “involves being able to develop internal stimulus”. And this is where boredom serves an important purpose. We don’t rely on things and people outside ourselves to keep us happy. You tap into your inner being and resources to innovate and be content – even when you do nothing.
Let’s look at the top five reasons why boredom is good for your children
1. Bored kids learn to solve problems.
New ideas are born when your children are forced to come up with a plan. Instead of giving them ready-made toys that require no imagination and only a mechanical reaction, let your kids make their own with bits and pieces of scrap paper and other craft supplies.
2. Bored kids become creative kids.
Encourage your children to use their imagination. Give them an empty box and ask them to come up with ideas of what could be hidden inside the box. Let them imagine a few objects and you guess. Or get siblings to play the guessing game! I have a few games I play with my self.
3. Bored kids get to know what they like.
If your kids are forever busy doing something they never get the chance to discover their passions. Let them chase butterflies, bake mud cakes, roll around on the grass. Kids need unstructured play to explore their bodies, hearts, and minds.
4. Bored kids become happier adults.
When kids learn that it is okay to daydream, be quiet, and just do nothing they don’t grow up with the notion that busy means worthy or appreciated. Today busyness is revered in the world. However, people are becoming less creative and more disconnected from what truly makes them happy. If you can instill this in your child from an early age, you are serving them well for the future.
5. Bored kids are interesting kids
“Only boring people get bored.” I am not sure who said these wise words, but they ring true. Because how can you ever be bored with your mind is bursting with ideas, plans, and innovations?