Monday, September 24, 2012

“Being Bored” Is The Best Gift You Can Give Your Kid


A Boring Box is now a Fairy Fantasia! 

I totally remember driving my parents nuts.

“Mooooooooooooommmmmmmm. I’m bored.”

Being Bored was part of our lifestyle when I was a kid. So was being forgotten for pick-up from Ballet/Tap-Class, which is a whole other blog for sure, though it does tie nicely into the Being Bored theme….. sitting for 45minutes to an hour or so on the front stoop of the decaying dance studio by myself as the late-afternoon, Northern Vermont sun went down when I was eight years old in the age of no Smart Phones. 

Where was Dad? I had no idea? Well would you look at those ants building that amazing thing….

You see, Boredom is the ROOT of Creativity and Discovery. What were those ants doing? Would I ever have noticed those ants and their colossal strength and will and determination if I hadn’t been completely, utterly bored out of my skull in my little leotard and tights? Would I have ever had the time to put a branch in front of those ants to create a mammoth obstacle for them to deal with? And they had to figure it out. And work together. And find a new route. An alternate path. PROBLEM SOLVE.

Did all that soak into my toe-headed noggin at that age? Somewhere it possibly did, as I now post a huge sign on my kids’ message board: “Do not come to me with a Problem. Come to me with 3 possible solutions to the problem. And we will work it out together.”

We’ve heard it before. We overschedule. We over-extra-super-enrich. We don’t ALLOW time for our kids to be bored. And if there is time, they reach for their small “i” item – Wii, iPhone, iMac-item….  And BEEP, BOOP, BIP, they’re plugged in and definitely not bored anymore.

We need to allow time for our kids to be Bored. Give them this gift. Boot ‘em into the the backyard and say: “Go get dirty and have fun!” Unplug them from their gizmos and say: “Don’t give me that look, go dig through your junk under your bed and have fun!” OR, the most popular, “Go have fun or I’ll find a way for you to have fun (sweep, wash, scrub).”

And then, ultimately, hopefully, on their college application they will reference those “bored” moments someday as the spark of something new and fresh and possibly divine in it’s creativity and powerful influence in their life calling and… and….and …..and they won’t be Bored any more.

Namaste & Three Cheers.  –A

Ps. Stay tuned for my next blog: The Cardboard Box….. a sweet story of a bored kid….

2 comments:

  1. giving our kids "whitespace" to be creative, do imaginary play, invent stuff, or...be bored, is a important!

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    1. Dr. P -- so important! but so lost in the abyss of over-scheduling. guilty guilty as charged. but working on it... (and the teachers this year have really brought it back into light.... good for them!)

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