“Mom, I’m bored.” Have you heard that recently?
“Put the iPod on the dock please!” An admonition I’ve said many times to all my kids.
I’m not immune to screen overuse either. But life exists beyond a screen, solitude, even, and we have to find stuff to do that isn’t tapping on the screen (which I am, hilariously, doing RIGHT now.)
In our culuture, boredom is hard to come by because it’s easy to quell.
For anything truly clever to emerge in our society, like new technology or new book plots, new music, scientific discovery, huge swaths of time are necessary.
We need to allow ourselves to feel the boredom.
When our kids were younger, we spent a good portion of our homeschool days living in new surroundings as we travelled a lot. Adjusting to a new locale was slow in the beginning. So we had to find ways to fill time in creative ways.
Once upon a time, I might have said, “If you’re bored, there’s always something to clean.” I certainly heard that as a child.
Now, I say, “Boredom is good: free time to come up with new ideas and activities.”
Because now they have free time to…
- Meet new friends…equine, canine or otherwise…
- Bake pies
- And coffee cakes
- And bread
- Play chess
- Play dress-up
- Hoola hoop & give the younger siblings horsey back rides
- Visit neighbours
- Paint an outdoor stage and create a child version of Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice
- Plant seedlings
- Prepare picnics & hot dog roasts
- And find a place to hike, cross country ski or bike
Expect kids to go outside.
Plan for it. Make it part of your daily routine. Don’t prescribe what they’re doing. Just let them explore the wonders of the great outdoors. Let them fill in the blanks.