In a world where it’s very easy to feel like we have to provide entertainment to our kids 24/7, I want you to know that it’s ok for kids to be bored.
I’m the biggest enabler of my kids’ need to be entertained. I obviously have a website full of activities and ideas; and they’ve all been tried and tested on my kids.
Each morning I wake up thinking “Ok what am I going to give my kids to do today?” I look at my own website, and if I can’t find something, will trawl through Pinterest.
I can’t remember what my parents did, but obviously they didn’t have access to the internet and the millions of ideas that are out there; so often we would have been left to our own devices. I do remember spending a heck of a lot of time outside though...
So, I did a bit of research and have found the following:
Boredom actually helps to promote happier, more creative kids who are ultimately better problem solvers. When our children are allowed to use their own creativity with unstructured play, they find ways to amuse themselves — even if it means simply daydreaming.
Kids don’t necessarily need to be stimulated all the time. They need downtime, time to rest and relax. Children’s brains are growing and changing and need a rest just like their body needs a rest.
Also ― all of that creativity and brain-use means our kids get tired, and will sleep better, which is good for EVERYONE.
So here’s what I plan on doing (I’m still learning about this parenting thing too):
- No devices
- Open the doors to outside (put a jacket on if it’s raining)
- Set them free
- Tell them they can play with anything they want and see what they come up with
- Play can be inside or out
Often during the day, even though my daughter doesn’t need a nap, I’ll still send her to her bedroom for an hour or so, just to “chill out.” We all need a break from each other (especially during school holidays), and she uses this time to play with her toys, or practice reading, or do anything she wants.
So my advice is (and like I said, I need to learn too) take a step back and encourage your children to think for themselves. To not rely on us for ideas all of the time, or rely on a device to get them through the day.
Don’t always stress about providing something for your kids to do.
Boredom won’t kill them ― it will actually make them stronger.
This piece originally appeared on Happy Mum Happy Child.