“I am bored,” as parents and guardians, this is the most ubiquitous statement we hear from our children. At times, the situation becomes so overwhelming that we land in self-doubt, feelings of not doing enough for our children or being unable to engage them in interesting stuff; engulf us. Nonetheless, we do not realise that boredom is actually good for our kids and it is here that it opens up the new gateways towards exploring their creative skills.
As soon as our kids come to us and tell that they are getting bored, we get into action and start navigating ways to engage them up, but the results turn out to be dissenting with either they are no more fascinated in what they are being told to do or they deny doing a particular activity. We try to figure out ways for their boredom but actually, they should be doing this themselves. A child’s brain has immense creative potential and boredom is the key to unlocking this potential. We just need to assist them in discovering their creativity and this is the preliminary step towards curbing their boredom.
When a child learns and gets this guidance to put their imagination into practice, it helps to transform their personalities onto a completely next level. A child’s mind is an unexplored sea of creative depths and imaginations. When tapped in the right ways, this boredom can turn out to be their biggest asset.
Giving kids their smart devices as a remedy to their boredom is a big mistake. This instantly kills their imaginative power. However, this sounds the most convenient. Of course, we cannot deprive them of their gadgets but never give them an instant fix to their boredom. Exposing them to the virtual world triggers their little brains in deconstructive ways which are way beyond their mental capacities to handle. Screen addiction is something that we are all well aware of and this usually develops over time when we resort to devices as a solution to boredom.
So, how do we help them handle their boredom? Firstly, accept that boredom is okay. Life is not about entertainment or amusement all the time. As parents, we need not rush to enrol them in coding classes or soccer because they have nothing to do after school. Let them sit and watch outside the window, let them do nothing for a while. Let them be observant of the world around them. Let them splash colours and come up with their little masterpieces or let them have some hands-on crafts. We need not fill all their time and minds with activities that they have no space left to dewire themselves.
This is the most essential part of their learning process, how to be self-sufficient and self-controlled in life when they are faced with non-interesting assignments later in their student life or repetitive tasks at their workplace. They should know how to come up with their solutions when life gets monotonous or unexciting at times.
Psychoanalyst Adam Phillips wrote that the “capacity to be bored can be a developmental achievement for the child.” Boredom is a chance to contemplate life, rather than rushing through it, he said in his book On Kissing, Tickling, and Being Bored: Psychoanalytic Essays on the Unexamined Life. “It is one of the most oppressive demands of adults that the child should be interested in, rather than take time to find what interests him. Boredom is integral to the process of taking one’s time,” added Phillips.
So next time when your child gets bored you know what to do!!