Quoting an article in the February 2015 Real Simple magazine entitled Never a Dull Moment,
“Experts say boredom has real benefits. And by eliminating it, you’re only cheating yourself – and your children.”
We live in a plugged in world, so in many ways boredom is a thing of the past. Maybe that isn’t such good news. According to Dr. Toohey from the University of Calgary in Alberta, “Boredom makes us look inward,” and we become more creative, self-aware, and motivated to help others.
More creative? That’s a good thing! Toohey doesn’t stand alone in thinking boredom is a positive thing. The article noted that “a little tedium is often credited by artists and writers as a source of inspiration.”
It’s too easy to handle the cry, “I’m bored,” by supplying the dissatisfied child with an electronic device. The odds of that action making the child more creative, self-aware, or motivated to help others, are somewhere between slim and none.
Another option is for the parent to decipher what the words, “I’m bored,” really mean. It could mean, “I need a little attention from you.” “I want to have a conversation with you when you are actually giving me your full attention.” Mom and Dad, that means putting away your electronic device.
Giving a little added attention, however, isn’t the end of the boredom-buster equation. Your job as parents isn’t to be your child’s playmate. Instead brainstorm with your child about things that might end the boredom knowing these ideas don’t have to include you. Encourage your child’s creativity.
Your child needs the freedom to spend some time just thinking. What might look like boredom could turn out to have very positive results. Perhaps even a child who is more creative, self-aware, and motivated to help others. And a little boredom might be good for you too!
You can hear John and Kendra’s conversation with Austin Hill below:
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