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Parents Zone

I’m Bored, Is that your child says? Boredom is the great for your child

Boredom leads to #creativity “Imagination is more important than Knowledge ” – Albert Einstein

And you know what, the cure for Boredom is curiosity! Dr.Vanessa Lapointe, an author, parenting expert, and registered psychologist, has to say “Children need to sit in their own boredom for the world to become quiet enough that they can hear themselves. It is only when we are surrounded by nothing that something comes alive on the inside.”

Are our kids getting Bored? Are we allowing boredom to children?

I'm bored, is that your child says too often? Boredom the best thing you as a parent should feel. Boredom os something which develops creativity and imagination #boredom #childcreativity #creative #childdevelopment #passion #downtime #unstructuredplay

Summers are the best time, times, when we are surrounded by so many “Summer Camps”, to structure the time of our children from morning till evenings. And so does it goes once the schools reopens. School time, homework, time to land for pre decided sports, numerous activities. Amongst all this schedule, somewhere and somehow, our kids have forgotten how to ignite their creativity when they actually do “Nothing”. Ya, I do mean by saying “doing nothing”, atleast for few hours in a day.

Well, this doesn’t means that we are asking them to stay quiet and sit on the chair for couple of hours, but here I mean that we need to leave them on their own to get entertained. This is when most of the kids say “I’m getting bored mama, can I watch my favourite video or play video game or watch my cartoon?”. And yes most of us succumb to the request way too quickly. If not this, we as parents, feel guilty, and try to bring upon many new additions in our kids toys portfolio or plan another class for them so that kids remain occupied throughout.

Have you ever thought, if you are filling up your child’s every small spare time, the child will never learn to do this himself. Children can never learn to entertain themselves if we are always intervening them and their schedules. Believe me, next time your child says, I’m bored, I need something. Hold on the temptation to do something, smile and ask your child to entertain themselves. You’ll see a sad face for next few minutes, but what after that? You’ll be pleased to see your child getting engaged in something they like, they’ll work basis their imaginations, they’ll go creative in a minimalistic way. And this is why we want a child to be bored daily, to welcome his innate strengths and give and answer to their own curiosity.

What I saw when my son used to get bored?

When I see my 3.5 year old has nothing to do, I love that moment. He does merri-go-round around me but soon after I find him asking so many things which were there in his mind. He tries to do something innovative with the small toy basket he has. One day, he lined up cushions and started making a bridge to allow his car to run on it. Good Imagination and Fun! Other day, he started looking at the fridge magnets and was curious to know about magnetism. See, boredom got him a new concept and he was immensely happy. Then another day, he pulled out the coin box, started sorting and made a tower out of it.

What made me happy was, his creativity, self thoughts and learning of new concepts with these imaginations, all driven by his own.

Related : How to foster creativity in your child.

Sports, Drama, drawing, music, all these structured activities need to be a part of a child’s life, as they help immensely in cognitive, social, emotional development. But what we need to include is a “Boredom time” daily and atleast one day of unstructured life in a week. Like us, children also need time to connect with themselves. They need to cut from the outside world, the pre scheduled activities, to discover what they “truly like”, to explore their innate creativity, to “DREAM” and to know how to entertain themselves. And they can do all this only when they precisely have nothing to do.

Bertrand Russell, a philosopher, who wrote a book “The Conquest of Happiness”, has a chapter focussing on values of Boredom, wherein he wrote – 

“A child develops best when, like a young plant, he is left undisturbed in the same soil. Too much travel, too much variety of impressions, are not good for the young, and cause them as they grow up to become incapable of enduring fruitful monotony.”

Can we all think, when we were small, there were no gadgets and we had plenty of time when we got bored. I developed a special fascination out of boredom to start penning something, be it my thoughts or stories, or anything that intrigued me in a day. And this developed my writing skills, which I thank today, is credited to boredom. I started exploring so many books out of boredom and got them issued from school library to read at home. I developed a special love for thrill and fictional novels, again, credit to boredom.

Now you realize the power? While succumbing to screen time or pushing ourselves again to entertain children, this time should be left for stimulating the imagination of a child. Hug your child, give him all the love and warmth he needs out of you and then with that extra dose of love, ask them to work out something what they really love. If kids are very much used to structured time, they might have problems initially, so you can just spark the idea and then leave things upto their imaginations.

When our minds are bored, the neurons are triggered, it automatically enters into the “thinking” and “dreaming” mode. And this time the dreams are all about what “you” like, which sparks the real creativity. So, its absolutely okay for a child to be bored, don’t ever have that guilt as a parent. Let that complaint turn into an essential daily life skill.

I'm bored, is that your child says too often? Boredom the best thing you as a parent should feel. Boredom os something which develops creativity and imagination #boredom #childcreativity #creative #childdevelopment #passion #downtime #unstructuredplay

How is boredom beneficial for kids ?

1. Boredom encourages Creativity :

When kids are allowed to get bored happily, they are into the trap to amuse and entertain themselves. It is then that they take the initiative, experience a calm mind, think and engage in interesting tasks of their own. I’ve seen my son, inventing a game out of every single item in my house, sometimes, I cannot even imagine. Try yourself and you’ll get to know! Boredom allows a child to discover what he/she likes without any parental or other external influence.

2. Boredom enhances a child’s self confidence and motivation :

When kids get bored and we don’t give them any ideas for few minutes, they come up with their own things. And when they manage to do something on their own successfully, it builds their confidence and motivates them. It’s a lovely feeling of accomplishment as they don’t have to lean on someone to get entertained.

3. Boredom develops Resilience :

Resilience is something, kids need to learn more in this century. When they imagine and create something new, they will experience failures, they will amend the ways and try to deal with it themselves. They will not have the fear of failure here and this feeling helps to build resilience and grit in a child.

Read more on developing Resilience in a child.

4. Boredom nurtures problem solving skills :

So, now what that they are being bored? Mama has refused to entertain. They need to scratch their heads and solve the problems themselves. With new things in the minds to act upon, there will be many failures. But again, its upto them to clear up those problems and satisfy the inner self. And, all this leads to the beautiful development of problem solving in your child. Researches have proved that “allowing the minds to wander, rather than being focussed always, is very important for mental health”.

How to handle a bored child?

If your child needs a trigger, make a “Boredom Box”, with your child. Take a pen and paper chits and ask your child to jot down the activities he would like to do apart from screen time. It can vary from playing outdoor, to chatting with a neighbour, to learning how to bake with mama, play with cars, scribble, cutting, reading a book or anything. These can start as a trigger points and then you’ll be happy to see how the boredom progressed your child into a creative one.

Don’t mind the mess, it can be cleared as a group effort, involving kids once they are done.

Boredom is the path to creativity and self interest, don’t cut that out of your child’s life! It’s beautiful to see a quiet mind turning into something innovative and full of energy to let you know what they did. It’s really beautiful. Allow that occasional boredom to set in and mama’s have more of free time for yourself too!

Let’s discuss, what have your experiences been when it comes to boredom? How have you tackled your child’s day and week? Have you left scope of unstructured play in the day’s activities? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

Till then, be happy being bored,

Love, Jhilmil

 

39 comments
  1. Everything On A Plate

    When we were kids really often once we shifted to India because we didn’t have any friends … and that boredom gave rise to a million games and forts with bedsheets !

  2. Deserted_Queen

    I don’t have a kid I am a kid myself. Lol. But I have seen my cousin’s son getting bored because both of his parents are working and whenever I am home he comes to my appartmen with his babysitter and complains to me.

  3. Elizabeth O

    I really like the idea of a boredom box that is a really good idea and very handy. This was a really interesting post indeed, I agree with the points you raised.

  4. alpanadeo

    Boredom is never comfortable especially when you don’t want it. Young kids hardly get bored even with limited options. But as they grow old, kids become dependent on external help.
    Sometimes I let my kids da get bored because that way they come up with something on their own.

  5. poornima reddy

    This is some useful tips to keep kids engaged. I have seen parents who just hand over phone or tab, so that the kids don’t end up disturbing pArents.. but they don’t reLise that they are message up with kids mind

  6. Dalene Ekirapa

    The kids of today’s era are way too knowledgeable even from a tender age so the best thing to do is let them explore with care. Anyway, I agree that boredom can really spice up one’s creativity. It’s during the boring times that I even get ideas flowing about a couple of things… including writing by the way.

  7. tenzendude

    I never really gave boredom that much thought but your points make a lot of sense. I suppose one could think or boredom simply as being uninspired at that very moment.

  8. jhilmildsaha

    Its great to get kids involved in various activities. I guess when we were young most of the time we used to play outside during vacations. Nowadays things have changed and we have to find ways to beat their boredom

  9. BeautyMommies

    I am glad I read this! My son is always “bored” which really made me worry until now! Although screen time is always the only option he chooses i try to keep my kids busy with colouring and reading! I might try the boredom box!

  10. Sarah

    Thank you for throwing light on this subject this is a whole new perspective.. never thought about it this way and definitely important kindly to creativity and some brainstorming then it is definitely good for the child

  11. cleverlychanging

    Boredom isn’t bad.I homeschool my kids and I try hard not to overbook their lives. I want them to be creative and flexible.

  12. Papri Ganguly

    Absolutely agree with you. Boredom encourages creativity and imagination which indeed helpful for child’s overall development

  13. Debby

    I love this post because many parents feel the need to fill every second of their child’s life. Boredom is the starting block for creativity where kids get to explore what they want to do.

    1. Jhilmil

      That’s true and this is what I wanted to pass as a message to all parents this summer! Thanks for your time, I’m obliged to have your comment !

  14. Seema Wadhwa

    I love the theme of this post. Boredom is indeed a way to push the creative juices to follow. I remember being bored during my summer vacations back in school and opting for DIY, writing eventually!

  15. Travel with Karla

    I don’t have a child yet, but I have a little sister who keeps on complaining when she’s bored. What I did was to give her a “summer job”. I give her a dollar for doing chores in the house. Haha!

  16. Ashh G

    My 4 year old son also says he gets bored. The boredom box us such a lovely idea. I will make that box with my son and use your tips to help him develop his imagination even more.

  17. Minakshi Bajpai

    Kids get easily bored in summer vacation. You have shared some nice idea to keep them busy, engage and creative.

  18. Mayuri Saxena

    Okay…I needed this post so badly! My daughter keeps saying, “Mumma, I am bored” and I don’t know how to tackle it. I am going to try the chit method and I am sure it will work. Thanks for sharing!

  19. Jean

    This is such an interesting post! We often see boredom as being very negative, but as you’ve shown there are so many benefits to it. It is important for children to experience.

  20. Michele Dennis

    When my children were little and they would tell me they were bored I would encourage them to use their imagination. Whether it be making up a new game or playing make believe.

  21. S Sanand

    Totally agreed!In today’s world smartphones keeps one so busy that inner voice just stops. When I had no phone/smartphones I was more productive and better thinker.
    This article is just amazing every parent should read this and share it. I believe parents should never give kids a smartphone as birthday gift as that can really kill creativity of your kid.

    1. Jhilmil

      I’m so happy that you have the same point as me. Parents today really need to understand the small things of life and not kill a child’s creativity.

  22. David Owens

    I am totally agreed with you. This article is just amazing every parent should read this and share it. I believe parents should never give kids a smartphone as birthday gift as that can really kill creativity of your kid. Thanks for the sharing such a informative also helpful article.

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