QUICK! Complete this sentence: The last time my kid experienced boredom was . . .
Chances are, you probably couldn’t pinpoint a day or time.
That’s because we fill every second of every single day in this fast paced world.
We pack our days until they are overflowing into other days, and then we pack those days full, too.
We have our lessons at home and then we have classes outside the home. Add in other extra activities, play dates, field trips, meet-ups and more and, well, there really isn’t time to just . . . be.
Some days, I feel like I fall into bed (at around 1 a.m.-ish, sometimes later) and it’s the first time that I stopped all day.
My kid is never bored.
There’s no lounging around and complaining, “Mooooooom! I’m so bored!”
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 it be that my child almost never experiences boredom?
And, sadly, it used to be something I was kinda proud of . . .
Why Boredom Is Good For Your Child
It wasn’t until I did some reading on the topic that I realized just how much boredom can be a positive thing.
And, that thing where I have to expose my kid to a huge range of classes and experiences, like, all the time?
Yeah, that’s probably not such a great idea either.
Of course, it makes sense when you start to think about it. I mean, I already know that flexibility and allowing things like free play for creativity are good things.
But, did you know that allowing that feeling of boredom can actually be motivational?
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.”
How Boredom Can Lead to Your Most Brilliant Ideas [VIDEO]
Then, 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!
Boredom Busters for Kids
We get it, some kids will need a little more help in transitioning to a down-time schedule.
In the meantime, try out these boredom buster ideas that still foster creativity: