In this fast paced world, every second of every day is filled. Some days, I feel like I fall into bed and it’s the first time that I’ve stopped or been stationary all day. Our days are packed, and your days probably are, too. We have our lessons at home and then we have classes outside the home. Add in other extra activities, play dates, field trips and more and, well, there really isn’t time to just be. And, I realized that my kid never has time to be bored. You know, in the Mom! I’m so bored! way. As a matter of fact, I’ve probably only heard my nine year old say that just a couple of times in her entire life. How can that be?!
Why Boredom Is Good For Your Child
It wasn’t until some recent research that I realized how boredom can be a positive thing and that the non-stop controlled learning isn’t such a great idea. Of course, I already knew that allowing free play for creativity was good, but allowing that feeling of boredom can actually be motivational. (Um, what?!?) According to Psychology Today, “children who experience a lack of programmed activity are given an opportunity to demonstrate creativity, problem solving, and to develop motivational skills that may help them later in life.”
Dr. Lyn Fry, an educational psychologist, reminds us that our role as a parent is to ensure that our children are happy, contributing members of society. One of the ways to do this is to allow children to learn how to occupy their time and become comfortable with who they are without having to always be directed what to do and how to act. She goes on to say, “If parents spend all their time filling up their child’s spare time, then the child’s never going to learn to do this for themselves.”
What do you do the next time your child says they are bored? Psychology Today says:
“The antidote to boredom is to provide children with an environment that lets them experience autonomy (the ability to work a little on their own), control (the right to have a say over what they do), challenge (a small push beyond their comfort zone), and intrinsic motivation (the motivation comes from inside them).”
So, stop packing that schedule full and be sure that you allow some time for boredom. It will only benefit your homeschooler in the long run!