Dear Parents, Children Get Bored and That is Fine
As parents, does it bother you to see your kids feeling bored? Do you think their boredom should be your burden?
Many parents think boredom is a problem that needs fixing. A lot of us turn to provide technological entertainment or structured activities for our kids so they won’t feel bored. This practice, actually, is not healthy. Boredom has a lot of advantages that we often overlook.
Would you believe, we do not have a TV at home? And we have no plans on getting one anytime soon. We do not find the need to have a TV when everything that we need to know is already available on the world wide web. I remember a relative once told my husband how “kawawa” our child is for not exposing her to “normal” things in life. They said Skye will be bullied by friends when she grows up. We take such comments with a grain of salt. We feel we know better.
One of our fears as parents is to see our children grow up without knowing how to entertain themselves. We fear that they grow up so used to screen entertainment that they never learn how to look inside themselves for direction.
Allowing our children to feel boredom is okay. That does not make us bad parents. Truth is, when we do not constantly provide them with entertainment, we are making them great favours.
BOREDOM LEADS TO CREATIVITY!
When children have nothing to do, opportunities to use their imagination become available! They will have unlimited chances to figure out what is interesting. Idle time will lead them to explore their inner and outer worlds.
Let’s let our children use their idle time to claim imaginations. We cannot plant imagination into them but we have the power to provide an environment where they can nurture and use their imaginations to the full extent. Who knows our children might discover the best versions of themselves through boredom, eh?
BOREDOM ALLOWS CHILDREN TO EXPLORE THEIR PASSION
How can someone hear the call of his/her heart if s/he is preoccupied with structured activities and screen entertainment? I and JimBry are no music lover but Skye shows an inclination to music despite not having the talent for it. She is responding to the stirrings of her own heart because she heard them during those times when she has nothing to do. Her life is more meaningful than I was at her age. Let us give our children free rein to explore and pursue where their interests lead them. Shall we?
BOREDOM LEVEL UP THE TALENT & SKILLS OF YOUR CHILD
Skye learned to read at 39 months (3 years old and 3 months) and we think her eagerness to learn sprang out from her getting bored just looking at the photos from the books. I am a WFHM (work-from-home mom) but I am keeping an 8-hour job so I do not really have the luxury of time to give full focus to my daughter all day long. Despite that, I do not always provide her with anything to do even if she throws a fit. Most of the time, I let her find something to do, and she always ends up in her playroom, reading books.
Offering technological entertainment and structured activities is counter-productive. To have an unstructured time is nothing but normal, and children need to encounter and engage with the raw stuff that life is made of. How will they ever learn to manage their time well and regulate their own behaviour if they will not experience deciding for themselves on how to use periods of unstructured time?
We are happy and proud to say that Skye has never been dependent on gadgets. Even if I am glued to my computer, finishing tasks, I never let her squander the day in front of the screen. If she goes beyond an hour watching YouTube, I feel guilty that I cannot concentrate on my work. We allow her to have screen time daily (except for weekends, since she turned 2 years old), but not until she tidied up her play area.
JimBry and I believe that if we keep on providing ways to keep our children entertained, they might grow up to be unhappy teens and adults. What will happen to them if we’re gone too soon? Will they realize that it is not everyone else’s job to entertain them?
So the next time you feel like stressing yourself out looking for gazillion activities to keep your children entertained, schedule boredom instead and let them learn through engagement, imagination, invention, and ultimately creation.
We are sure there are more advantages that boredom brings than we can imagine. Should you figure out some, please share them to us in the comment box below.
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Note: We have no diplomas nor certificate of expertise about parenting. All that we have are experiences. We highly recommend that you still verify everything through research or seek advice from the experts.