In today’s fast-paced world, boredom is seen as a bad thing. People do not want to get bored so they fill in all of their time trying to do something interesting. Many turn to movies, some to music, some immerse themselves in work, and others just sleep. While there are no oversights on the part of adults to define boredom in relation to themselves and their work, many adults do not understand that children get bored too. In fact, children are more liable to get bored quicker than their adult counterparts.
The problem with many children is that they do not know what to do once they are bored. In fact, many kids panic once they realize that they do not have something to do. With the rise of technology, consumerism, and the huge rise in extracurricular activities for kids, we have created a world where kids live very structured lives, with very little time to just “be.”
This trend may be attributed to the constriction the labor market imposes on the working class. People who work are more likely to have kids who spend more time in childcare or other organized activities. Now imagine if both parents have to work. Children who manage to find what to do once they are bored most times end up doing creative things.
Similarly, many of us are afraid to let our kids play outside alone because of the risk of stranger danger, and looking at other families’ lives on social media can make us feel like our kids aren’t active enough. However, boredom can be a good thing. In fact, children need to be bored in order to learn how to use their own resources to have fun. It isn’t something that should be bad for a child.
Let’s take a look at how boredom might be good for your child’s growth.
1. Boredom encourages the growth of imagination and creativity through
Kids are more creative and innovative when they have to figure things out on their own. This leads to them being more successful in their projects. As long as kids have the chance to try new things on their own, they will be encouraged to be curious and to find out what makes them happy.
Indeed, research has found that people who are given a lot of boring tasks and then asked to think creatively show more imagination when they have the chance to do so. Children need to learn how to take charge and think of their own ways to have fun that isn’t forced on them by someone else. It helps people think of new ideas and come up with new ideas.
2. Boredom gives you a sense of perseverance
People now use the term “resilience” when they talk about how students can have a positive attitude even when they’re facing a lot of problems at school. A big part of developing “grit” is being bored or having to come up with new ways to keep yourself entertained. The ability to try new things and fail without being afraid of failing is important for a child’s ability to build grit and resilience.
3. Boredom helps people learn how to solve problems
Your child might think that if they’re bored, you’ll come up with something to do. Instead, let them be bored so that they may work on their problem-solving skills. Don’t bother them. It’s possible for kids to be uncomfortable if they don’t have anything to do in a world where they are always getting attention. However, because they have to deal with the “problem” of being bored on their own, this encourages initiative and problem-solving skills, and many times they come up with very imaginative creations.
4. With boredom, a child learns to build friendships
Playing with other kids without a plan will help your child learn interpersonal skills, which are becoming rarer and rarer in this technology-obsessed world. If kids have time and space with no distractions, they’ll be more likely to negotiate and interact with each other, as well as come up with new activities together.
5. Being bored makes people more confident
When your child is able to do something and does well at it, it helps them build their self-esteem and confidence. Since they have free time, your kids can try new things, push themselves to their limits, and take risks. All of these things will help them gain more confidence.
6. Being bored is good for one’s mental health
When kids and adults are busy these days, they don’t have a lot of time to sit down and let their minds go. However, having some alone time allows kids to think about their own thoughts and get a better sense of who they are. Research has shown that letting one’s mind wander instead of staying focused on tasks all the time is very good for one’s mental and physical health.
Boredom also helps kids feel more like part of a group, as well as giving them time to think about what they’re doing, and despite how things might seem, it’s possible that being bored will make your kids’ childhood more fun in the long run. Though boredom can be a good thing, parents must realize that there is a flip side to this coin, and things could go haywire when children are left to their own imagination and doings. Parents must also realize that just as boredom can help a child build confidence, it can also deflate the self-esteem of a child. Everything boils down to the upbringing a child enjoys while growing up. When a child enjoys a healthy upbringing, it allows them to use their alone time progressively, and vice versa is also the same.
How can you ensure that your child enjoys getting bored?
If your child is used to having their time controlled, it can be hard for them to adapt to a new way of life in which they are at least some of the time responsible for their own fun. Therefore, it will be nice for you to put your kids into situations where they have to fend for their own activities, of course under your supervision but without much interference from you. Try some of these ideas to get your kids to spend more time having fun.
1. Set a no-planned activities day for the entire family
Set aside one day a week for no planned activities, and then make it up as you go. Doing this will allow your kids to come up with creative ways to fill in the time. They will be better able to manage their boring moments when forced to counter these moments.
2. You can give them a project that is both creative and open-ended
For example, you may make an obstacle course in the garden or set up a treasure hunt. They will have to decide what the treasure will be, where it will be hidden from you, write the clues, and so on. This will help them think outside the box. They will also learn about teamwork and how to work together.
3. Play with things that aren’t very high-tech
In addition to getting wood and fabric scraps from the hardware store and thrift store, you can also get things like cotton reels, junk modeling materials, and old clothes from the local charity shop to give your child a never-ending list of things to do for free play. It doesn’t make sense to spend a lot of money on a marble run when your child can make a better one out of things you already have around the house.
4. Let them play outside
There is a chance that your child could get hurt in a public place. However, you should resist the urge to step in and protect them. Make sure to let them climb on the tallest monkey bars and take risks.
5. Be a good example for other people
Parents should try to keep their kids away from smartphones and other electronic devices as long as they can. You can’t expect your child to put down their phone if you’re always looking at yours. Being a good example to your children is foundational for any parent-child relationship. The primary assignment of a parent is to teach the child through the actions they portray. When parents get creative and imaginative, their kid would also show a severe imaginative and creative tendency, borne from watching the parents act.
Make your children feel like they belong. If you live in an area where it is safe for your kids to play outside, allow them to enjoy the privilege of playing with other children. Get together with other parents who know how to look out for each other’s kids, and watch your children enjoy their leisure time without any interference.
In conclusion, while many parents view boredom as a negative experience, your post highlights the potential benefits that come from allowing children to be bored. By encouraging boredom, parents can help foster creativity, independence, problem-solving skills, mindfulness, decision-making abilities, and a healthy relationship with technology in their children.
Overall, it is important for parents to recognize the value of boredom in their child’s life and to provide them with opportunities to experience it. This does not mean that parents should neglect their child’s need for stimulation and social interaction, but rather that they should encourage their child to explore their interests and passions without relying solely on external sources of entertainment. By doing so, parents can help their children develop important life skills that will serve them well into adulthood. Ultimately, boredom can be a powerful tool for personal growth and development, and by embracing it, parents can help their children thrive.