Tuesday, 27 March 2012

I'm bored......good!

It is spring break here at the moment so a certain little boy needs to be kept occupied, or does he? 
I feel like there is so much pressure on parents to keep their children busy at all times, they need after school classes and activities to do for the time they haven't got classes, computer games and TV, so many ways to keep them entertained. Of course, with the internet there is an abundance of activities and projects for you to prepare for your little ones but how much do they actually need?

Let's rewind a bit, this is what set me off thinking about this... yesterday I had quite a bit of computer work to do so I started to feel a bit guilty for leaving Ebi-kun to his own devices, but you know what, he wasn't at all bothered. He spent most of the time building a Jedi temple with his blocks and Lego and making his own Star Wars - episode 7. 

A bit later in the day the new oven arrived and Ebi-kun couldn't wait for me to get the thing out so he could claim the box. I gave him the other card packaged pieces too, so he got busy, drew up a plan of what was going to attached where and made himself a fighter-ship-1, his friend came round to play so they took the fighter-ship-1 upstairs and it kept them amused for over an hour.


I started thinking about when I was a kid, back in those days, so very, very long ago, there were only 4 channels on the TV and kids programs had a limited time slot, so there was no sitting in front of the box all day, like it is so easy to do these days. If I ever dared to claim I was bored my mom would remind me that I could tidy my room (yeah right, I was never a that bored) or find something to do. 
Being creative and imaginative play was what I had, and I think this is often lost in this modern day of child rearing. Sometimes of course, me and my brothers would get into mischief but isn't that what kids are supposed to do? Mostly I remember making tents and dens with the bedsheets, re-enacting our favourite TV show of the time whether it be the A-team or The Fall Guy or making things using whatever we could find around the house.

So, is being bored a bad thing? 
I know many parents dread those magic words but really, I don't think so. A good dose of being bored can invite all kinds of creative ideas, pushing children to explore their mind and their environment, encouraging their creative side instead of being entertained in one way or the other. As an adult, being bored can also lead us to new things, that said, I never seem to have time to get bored, there is always something else on the to-do list to do!

Yes, Ebi-kun does watch TV and sometimes plays computer games but I keep a watchful eye on the amount of screen time and yes, I do organise lots of crafty activities or projects but I also keep his art area supplied with crafty goods so he can go and get creative whenever he likes and he has a good chunk of independent play each day. 

In a age where there is more and more pressure for us to raise well rounded children is keeping them entertained the whole time actually producing a well rounded child? I fear not, so forget all those boredom busting ideas/boredom jars and instead introduce.... 



Sit back and see what happens!

What do you think? Should children be allowed to get bored, I'd like to know your thoughts on the subject. Do you feel like you need to entertain your kids the whole time? let me know.

15 comments:

  1. I agree with you, that's the way to be creative. The only problem is they don't want to through all those things they made, jaja.

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  2. I so agree with you. I have 4 boys and they only get an hour a week of computer/xBox time each with very little TV thrown in, we only have 6 channels and most of it is rubbish. If my boys complain there bored I tell them to go pick up dog poo, mow the lawns or weed the garden and suddenly they can find a hundred things to do.
    I think that because we did this now that they are older they really love going out and doing things with their friends not just playing computer games or being entertained.
    I love seeing all the little projects you do with Ebi-kun. You sound like a great Mum

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    1. I think the offer of going something horrible soon makes them find something to do, works a treat in this house too!

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  3. I feel similarly when it comes to a lot of the things available to keep kids entertained (tv, video games, etc). We were rarely allowed to watch tv and we had a whole lot of fun coming up with games and mischief (we even created a club - "the little devils club"). Once we put on a horror show for our nanny, except that the poor soul didn't know it was a game. My brother turned out the main electricity line in the house, we had chicken guts (acquired from the cook earlier) coming out of our shirts, blood everywhere... It was a mess and it terrified her! We weren't easy kids...

    So I guess, I welcome leaving room for my child to be creative, and I join her in her adventures all the time. But I do hope to guide her a bit in the kinds of adventures she goes on, haha.

    That said, her craft area is well organized and supplied at all times, so is her play kitchen and blocks, train sets. She'll often surprise me when I'm cooking and play independently for a long while. All I hear are the different voices she makes for all the different characters. It's a wonderful thing to hear.

    Gee, I went on a long tangent, all to say that I completely agree with you.

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    1. we had a club too, I had forgotten about that!
      You sounded like a right pair of trouble makers, poor nanny lol.

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  4. Absolutely! Boredom is the newest greatest gadget me thinks ;) "Nothing to do" is the perfect segue into new worlds and unexpected landings. I love watching that time suspended in a space shared with two boys 8 and 6 and their 2 yr old sister. The whine, the flailing around and then the honing of attention and dreaming toward play. Time in todays childhood is missing from the too much equation. Give the kids the gift of time.

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    1. the gift of time, put perfectly.
      I used to teach so many kids that were ushered from class to class and often went to bed late, too late for a little one, but the moms couldn't understand why their kids were the sluggish ones, poor mites.

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  5. couldn't agree more! all work and all play = stimulation overload. also, researchers say the mind needs downtime in order to process any acquired knowledge. without it the brain simply cannot retain it. kids + adults alike should always find a little bit of time each week to get completely and utterly bored. it gives us all a chance to sit back and let the mind wander. a lot of creative ideas are born out of boredom ;) xx

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    1. Yes, I think us adults need to remember to get bored too sometimes.

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  6. I very rarely entertain my children. I had them so they could entertain me. ;) I am more of the mind that a stick is a wonderful thing (TM!)

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    1. oh yes, give a boy a stick and he is made for the day (until he takes someones eye out with it!)

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  7. I'm a big believer in being bored too. The girls now don't watch tv during the week and are only allowed the DS on two week nights and we limit their time with it on the weekend. A said last night that she was bored so I gave her a list of jobs to do (tidying the dining room, the stairs, tidying her bedroom etc) - amazingly enough she got the Playmobil out and starting playing with that with her sister instead :) Children need the time to be bored otherwise how will their imaginations grow?

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  8. I definitely agree with you! Kids are so used to being entertained all the time. Sometimes a child will come to me during class and say "I'm bored", and I say the same thing you did - "good!" At first they look at me like I have 2 heads, waiting for me to tell them what to do, the I say "if you are bored, it's time to find something to do!" Often the best work of the day is done by a child who was bored!

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  9. I think it's very similar to being asked for a snack and offering a banana. Somehow, the situation seems to resolve itself.
    Most of the time my kids don't seem to be bored even though we rarely watch TV.
    If I do wind up needing to suggest something, it is immediately rejected in favor of something else that pops into their heads. No worries on my part!

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