Parenting is hard. Let me say that again, parenting is hard. There is an endless amount of information, opinions from “experts” at every turn and judgement from other parents who are doing things differently. Modern parenting is exhausting. We are continuously told by society that our kids need to get into activities, find their passions, be exposed to everything and have their days full of entertainment. Not only is this exhausting and expensive, but the “never let them be bored” philosophy is out of date. And thank goodness for that!
We (our society) have deemed boredom as a bad thing, when in reality, it’s a feeling, an emotion. Even though we don’t want our children to feel sad or angry, we don’t prevent it at all costs. It’s the same with boredom. While it’s so fun and beneficial to have family adventure days, to take vacations together and have your kids engaged in activities, it doesn’t have to be non-stop entertainment every waking minute. If you even take “kids should be bored” to Google, you’ll get pages of research that backs up boredom as a positive thing. And just so we hit this point home, here’s a few (researched) reasons why being bored is beneficial to all kids.
Boredom improves creativity. The mind is never more active than when it has nothing to do. When we experience boredom, our mind wanders (or daydreams) and the daydreaming kicks in our imagination, leading to creative thought. Everyone is more creative when they’re bored, kids included! We all know the importance of being creative and want our kids to have a great imagination. To exercise their imaginations, they need time with nothing to do! The world is fast paced and changing quickly. Being creative will help them adapt to that world.
Boredom gives life meaning. A study from the American Psychological Association shows that when people are bored, they tend to look back on their lives and think the things they’ve done and gone through are more meaningful. Which then leads to them putting more meaning into the things they see or want to do. When our kids are bored, it helps them find value in the things they’ve done and experiences they’ve had. It makes them stronger psychologically. And we all know they’ll need that!
Boredom makes kids more motivated. Self motivation is a skill your children will have to learn if they want to be successful in life. Being bored can play a big role in practicing self motivation. When they’re bored, it gives children practice in making their own decisions and finding ways to be interested in what’s going on around them. We won’t always be there to fill their days with entertainment! At some point, we have to let them go out into the world (😭). And I know to all you parents of little ones that sounds so scary or like a lifetime away, but with my baby graduating high school this year, I can promise you it’s coming faster than you could imagine.
I know boredom can be very triggering for parents. They want their children to know how much they’re loved! But letting them be bored doesn’t mean you totally neglect your children. When they’re young you could bring them into their bedroom or play room and give them a few choices to play with. When they get a little older you could tell them to walk around the house, pick out three things they could do and bring those ideas back to you. Being bored is an emotion we don’t want to avoid at all costs because teaching your children how to deal with hard emotions is one of the best things you could do as a parent. It sets them up for a lifetime of being able to deal, cope and get through hard things. And we all know life can throw some hard things our way.
And if no one has told you this yet today, you’re doing a great job raising your kiddos! ❤️