My kids are bored — and that’s good!
Why? I’ve noticed that my kids are becoming addicted to entertainment. I hesitate to use that word, “addicted,” because we seem to throw it around a lot nowadays, but it fits, at least in a small way. When I was a kid, I remember getting bored in the summer, quite often, actually. When I whined to my mom, “Mom, I’m bored!” she shooed me away. If she replied at all, it was to say that it wasn’t her job to entertain me. If she was feeling extremely patient with me, she might suggest that I use my imagination or go outside and play, but that was about it. It usually took me a while to get to the point of whining to my mom about being bored, though.
My kids are different. If they have “nothing to do” for more than a minute or two, they start to panic (not in a ‘Quick-get-them-to-the-psychiatrist’ way, more of a ‘I’ve-never-known-life-without-iStuff’ kind of way). It’s a little scary. I’ve realized that they don’t know how to handle boredom. It’s like they don’t remember that they have an imagination. Is that what we’re doing to our children? Are we literally shutting down their imaginations?
We took a month-long break from media last year. Maybe it’s time to take another break to reactivate their minds. Maybe it’s good for our kids to be bored sometimes. A little boredom shouldn’t be a cause for panic in a child’s life. I think I’m going to start engineering a little boredom into my kids’ lives. What about you? Is it time for your kids to be a little bored?