Kids and Boredom – why it’s a good thing!

“Mom, I’m bored!” Are you already hearing this?

I’ve heard several parents mention they need to keep their kids organized and occupied this summer because their kids are already complaining they are bored.

“Is it a bad thing for kids to be bored?” Doesn’t boredom give rise to some great creativity? Just because your kids are complaining of boredom doesn’t mean you have to solve this with structure.

Is it your responsibility to keep your kids busy every minute of the day?! Boredom can give silence to a very hectic life and in this silence kids can discover their passions and interests.

My kids learned a long time ago to never… ever tell me they were bored. That word would signify to me that they were looking for me to solve their problem. That’s an easy one for me, if I’m solving their boredom then I look at MY to do list and give them extra chores. They soon discovered it’s more beneficial to them if they problem solve their boredom by finding something they would like to do. It allows them to explore and pursue interests they may not have otherwise discovered.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about “no” structure for kids! I do have expectations; and of course they do not include playing video games all day long!

Our rules include reading for 15 minutes a day. I set a realistic minimum which I find always turns into longer. My kids do have chores (just a few most days) and they need to go out and play! Yes I send my teen kids outside, they eventually figure out what to do.

Being bored is a catalyst for free play! Bring back free time, free play and you will be amazed at how much happier everyone (including you) will be.

Now if this is all new for your kids, you may have to help them with a bit of direction and suggestions. Have them think about all sorts of things they can do from playing outside, gardening, art work and reading… so when they get to that boredom moment they can start on their own creative path.

What are your thoughts on boredom? Share with us, we’d love to hear about it.

For parenting information or to speak with a Public Health Nurse (every Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) simply dial 311 or 905-825-6000.

 

About Cynthia Lindsay RN

Hi everyone. My name is Cynthia Lindsay and I work as a public health nurse with the school years program. I've been a nurse for almost 20 years (wow time flies!) with the last 10 years focused on what I've discovered to be my passion... Parenting. I now have many parenting accreditations and enjoy connecting with parents in the community through Triple P, parenting groups & social media. "Je parle aussi le français" and I love working, making connections, and raising my teen son & pre-teen daughter with my hubby in Halton.
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