Let them be bored!
When did we all forget to be bored? My challenge comes at the beginning of this post … a bit of a fun exercise to observe our general inability to be bored. Next time you find yourself waiting in a queue or in a waiting room or a in a cafe, take a moment to look around you and notice if there is anyone by themselves that is not on their smart device. Scary thought, right?
This phenomenon is stand-alone scary, but what concerns me the most is the message we’re conveying to our children. That it's not okay to be bored anymore? That the world is better viewed through technology than through our own eyes? That we should always be available to contact, to work, to socialise? That the ping of a text message is more important than our current conversation?
Think about it for a moment …
I did - and I frightened myself on how much attention I give to a pinging, buzzing, flashing piece of plastic, glass and metal.
Boredom bornes ideas, it allows space between our thoughts to inspire, to get in touch with our inner-selves, to THINK!
Of course our children need to learn how to use and respect the technology around them. It’s practically in their DNA! But I believe unstructured, non-screen activities are not just a nostalgic memory of our own childhoods, but an important part in our children's’ development.
Sure, handing your kids a pack of cards or blank notebook and pencil case full of coloured pencils could create a bit of a mess, and it’s a little heavier than an ipad - but they are using their imagination and fine motor skills! And yes, building a treehouse can create an epic mess in the backyard (speaking from two-trips-to-the-tip experience) but worth the lessons on construction, problem solving, togetherness and teamwork! And yes having the neighbourhood kids around to play involves loads of noise and even more mess - but they are developing their interpersonal and social skills - as well as negotiating and communication.
So is a little mess and noise worth getting you kids away from the screens and into the real world? I think so!
I challenge you to let your kids be bored for a while and watch what they come up with - you might be pleasantly surprised!
~ Just one small change ~