Do you remember as a kid flopping on the couch on a lazy summer afternoon “bored to death”? Or do you remember sitting on the front stoop drawing pictures in the dirt with your toe because you couldn’t find something exciting to do? Maybe your version of “bored” manifested itself in trying to get a rise out of a younger sibling, although I’m sure none of us have ever done such thing.
Kids today suffer boredom just as we did, and if you have kids of your own, I’m sure you’ve already heard this summer’s version of “Moommmmmm….I’m sooooooo bored!” When I uttered those words, my mom would just ship me outside or give me work to do. You can guess how often I dared to utter the “B” word.
For today’s kids it seems that the boredom strategy is a lot different . With today’s constant reliance on devices with screens combined with a culture that pushes to fill our children’s every waking moment with planned activities, I can’t help but think we are allowing those kids to skip over a very important learning process.
Remember when you were bored? How did you deal with it? I remember reading, drawing, calling friends to organize a baseball game, or scouring the neighborhood for someone to play with. Often the boredom didn’t last long and my “filler” activities sparked my imagination and fueled my creative side. Looking back, it was being bored that taught me how to look within to find and develop the hobbies and talents that make me, well – me.
So this summer, when your kids utter the “B” word, let them stew in their boredom for a while. If that doesn’t work, you can always give them a job to do. Either way, they’ll learn a valuable lesson and they’ll get to know the real kid within.
PS – If you want to “suggest” fun activities that your kids can do during those lazy summer days, this blog is loaded with dozens of ideas. Our backyard obstacle course is always popular, but if you poke around a bit, I’m sure you’ll find something that will pique their interest.