Boredom is creativity’s catalyst, the springboard for problem solving skills, drive, and ambition - a vital experience for your children to have.
Children need to sit in their own boredom for the world to become quiet enough that they can hear themselves.
It is a common misconception nowadays that a state of boredom is equivalent to a lack of brain activity, when in fact it is a lack of external stimulation - which in turn causes the brain to create ample mental stimulation for the individual. This is a misconception which arguably affects our youth the most, with multiple activities being passed in front of them, in the hopes that one will alleviate them from their dreaded state of ‘boredom’. Whilst these activities are likely to be developmentally beneficial, it is equally beneficial for you as a parent to encourage your child to sit with their boredom, and allow them to develop the drive, creativity, and problem solving skills which they will need to alleviate boredom, and also to succeed in life.
One of the best ways to create a world changer, is to first teach them how to change their own world. Allow them the opportunity to think up activities which they would personally like to do, and gift them with the self-efficacy that comes from using and discovering their unique skill sets and imaginations. In practice, allowing your child to become bored does not necessarily mean removing all stimulus, but it does mean stepping back and allowing them to get bored, feel the discomfort of it, and begin thinking or doing something out of their own initiative.
The benefits which come from boredom are particularly hard to come by in our current world, with technology and screens inviting an escape from it in every direction. The removal of screens and introduction of simple everyday items such as cardboard boxes or mum and dad’s clothes to dress up in invites your child into a new and exciting world where they can explore their sense of self and deepen their understanding of the world around them. As they become more familiar with the experience of boredom, they will become more adept with dealing with it in innovative ways - gaining the following benefits as they do:
- Self awareness and inner calm
- Ambition and drive
- Creativity and imagination
- Innovative thinking
Boredom should not be seen as a stagnation of learning, but rather as an extremely important extension of learning, specific to each individual child. Allow your children to be bored, to dream, and to explore - they will thank you for it in the long run!