Talking about children’s boredom, have you ever thought that if someone gave you a pound for every time your child complained about being bored, you’d be a millionaire?
Dealing with children’s boredom, like most aspects of parenting, is something most parents struggle with. Most parents try to be a constant source of amusement. Not letting the kids have a single moment of boredom. They plan activities and, once they’ve completed them all, some parents would go to the extent of playing with them until they fall asleep. Now this may sound like great parenting, but actually it isn’t. Boredom is something children will face for the rest of their lives, and it’s essential that they learn early how to handle it.
Boredom is viewed negatively in today’s fast-paced world. According to new research, fewer than one in every five British parents strongly agrees that it is healthy for children to be bored from time to time. This can result in us overscheduling their time and not providing them with enough opportunities for child-led play.
We’ve become an instant gratification society, and children almost panic if they don’t have anything to do.So let’s look at some reasons as to why you should let your child be bored from time to time.
Children’s Boredom boosts their psychological well-being
Life has meaning because of boredom. That is not a quaint thought. According to this American Psychological Association article, when people are bored, they tend to reflect on their lives and believe that the things they have done are more meaningful. They also begin to interpret the next things they see in a more meaningful way. It occurs as a result of our brains’ fear of inactivity. When we aren’t doing anything, our brains try to make life more interesting so that we don’t spend our entire lives staring at the walls. What we are processing is given more weight and purpose. When we reflect on something while bored, it becomes more meaningful, and when we experience something new, it becomes more significant. Boredom is an important part of discovering one’s life’s meaning. Boredom helps our children find value in their own experiences and develop their own unique worldview, making them psychologically stronger for the future.
Children’s Boredom boosts their creativity
The mind does not always take us where we want it to. It likes to wander, especially when we try to keep it still. And it is never more active than when there is nothing for it to do. Numerous studies have shown that people are more creative when they are bored – and this is true for our children as well. It’s simply the way the human mind works. When we are bored, our minds begin to daydream, and this daydreaming sparks creative thought. When our children are bored, they use their imaginations, which may be the most important skill they can learn. The workplace that our children will enter is rapidly changing, and we are unable to prepare them for it.
Boredom motivates children
We won’t be able to be with our children at all times as they grow older. We won’t be able to keep them entertained or fill their calendars with educational events. We must let go and hope for the best at some point. That is why children must learn how to motivate themselves. Allowing them to be bored is an important part of learning that skill. Boredom allows children to practice making their own decisions.
Children become more interesting as a result of boredom
Boring people are the only ones who get bored. One of the most important life skills a child can learn is this. We never teach our children how to entertain themselves if we spend all of our time entertaining them. We may believe that we must always be there for them, but there is no correlation between the amount of time you spend with your children and how they turn out. They don’t require us to be present at all times. They must learn to manage their own affairs. Giving our children too much attention can lead to serious problems. It may inadvertently teach them that they are the center of the universe and that everyone is here to serve them. It can also lead to children accepting their parents’ identities rather than developing their own.
Children’s boredom is also beneficial to parents
Allowing your children some alone time allows you to spend time with your spouse. You don’t have to wait for your child to pass out before you acknowledge each other. Getting some mommy and daddy time is essential for maintaining your relationship and being a good parent. Parenting 24/7 has the opposite effect. It increases your stress and anxiety, which can be harmful. Children pick up on their parents’ anxiety, which can impair their academic performance and lead to behavioral issues later in life. You don’t have to kill yourself in order to keep your children happy. In fact, it may aggravate the situation. If you are unhappy, your children will be unhappy as well, and if you are mentally ill, your children will be mentally ill as well. So put down the juggling balls and allow your children to be bored for a while.
How to encourage your child to make the best of boredom
If your child is used to having their time micromanaged, making the shift to a way of life where they’re responsible for amusing themselves some of the time can be tricky.
‘It will be difficult at first because they don’t know how to do it, and you’ll have to be their imagination coach, but once the spark has ignited, it will get better,’ Melissa says.
Try these techniques for encouraging children to entertain themselves when you observe childrens boredom in them
1. Have a weekly activity detox. ‘Nominate one day a week where the family has no structured activities, and make it up as you go along,’ says Melissa.
2. Give them a creative, open-ended task like building an obstacle course in the garden or setting up a treasure hunt. ‘This will inspire creativity, as they have to decide what the treasure will be, hide it from you, write the clues, and so on,’ says Teresa.
3. Provide low-tech toys. If you have the space, collecting things like offcuts of wood and fabric, cotton reels, junk modelling resources and old clothes from the charity shop will give your child endless opportunities for free play. ‘You don’t need to buy an expensive marble run when your child can make an even better one from things you have lying around the house,’ says Teresa.
Don’t mind the mess. ‘Everything can be cleared away, and you can make it a condition that your child has to help tidy up afterwards,’ Teresa explains.
4. Get outdoors. ‘Take your child to open spaces and resist the urge to jump in and protect them,’ Melissa advises. ‘Let them climb on the highest monkey bars, and allow them to take risks.’
Be a good role model. ‘Wait as long as you can before introducing smartphones and other devices to your child,’ says Teresa, ‘and model healthy attitudes to technology yourself: you can’t insist that your child puts their phone down if you’re always on yours.’
5. Create a sense of community. ‘If you live in an area where it’s safe for children to play outside, get a group of parents together who all know to look out for each other’s kids,’ says Melissa. ‘It’s what we were used to in our generation, and it’ll help develop a great sense of belonging for you and your child.’