Why Boredom Frightens Parents and Why It's Good
"Mom, I'm bored" What is it about that sentence
that frightens us parents to death and makes us willing to live on a treadmill
that can end up running us, instead of us running it? I think the idea of
boredom nips at the core of what makes us parents. Our child only has to utter
the word 'bored' and suddenly we've failed. We're no longer the parent that
cares enough to constantly keep our child stimulated. We're neglectful and in
order to perpetrate this horrible sin we must have gulp, put someone or
something ahead of our child's needs.
Ok, that's it. Time to hand in the 'Parent of the
Year' award and take on the title of 'Parental Failure.' But wait, hang on. Is
it possible that letting our offspring be bored might actually be good for them?
Let's look at the possibilities. Is there anything that our child might gain
from being bored? Well, yes there is and this is an excellent time to talk about
it as those warm long summer days filled with potential boredom are not far off
on the horizon. Out of boredom comes something very special. It's not packaged,
it's not arranged but it's definitely there. Slowly but surely a child's brain
will start to wander and from this wandering comes something very exciting, a
fort made out of their quilt, an imaginary horse made from the back of the sofa
or other endlessly creative ideas. And for this creative thought to emerge,
boredom is not only a good to have, it's often a pre-requisite.
Keeping children constantly occupied is not good for them and it's not good for
you. People who cannot entertain themselves grow in to unfulfilled adults who
forever search for that 'outside' thing to make them whole. Learning to live
with yourself is a skill that's just as important to learn as good table manners
and it won't arrive on it's own.
Give a touch of boredom a whirl and see what happens because out of that abyss
of nothingness can come something wonderful. Yes, you have to be prepared for
the initial whining but ignore away and resist the temptation to put on the
telly, give them access to the computer or rush off to the sports center or
playground. Does that mean that there's no room for structured activities etc.?
Of course not, but there are definitely moments when a little bit of boredom is
not only good but essential.
And who knows? It might actually be good for you too. Allowing your kids to
occasionally get bored means not only will their personal creativity abound but
when you do arrange activities, they'll be appreciated as something to get
excited about. Not only that, but while they're expanding their imagination, you
might even get a moment for a quiet cool drink in the summer sun or perhaps more
realistically, at least be able to get up to date with the laundry!
By: Annie the Nanny
Annie the Nanny provides advice and techniques
via her website to empower parents and help them with any behavior issues their
child or children may be having. British trained and experienced, she helps
parents by showing them the keys to bringing up happy, confident and well
behaved children. Banish whining, bedtime battles or other challenging
behaviors. Check out her website @
http://www.anniethenanny.ca for lots of free
information, fun articles, parenting podcast plus even get your parenting
questions answered for free!
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