Our lives are ever so busy and we have created opportunities for our children that keep them involved constantly. Breakfast Club, School, after school club, weekend activites. What opportunities are there for your little ones to be bored. I found out the importance of boredom from my youngest during a period of high extra-curricular activity season.
When planning how we create opportunities, social skills and friendships for our young ones we can look around our own personal environment and see a variety of individuals that are filled with activities every moment, have opportunities for activities a couple of times a week or have no activities other than school and home. Our personal circumstances play a part in this as well as our mindset on what we perceive as important for our kid/s.
Having researched and observed varying individuals develop over the years I have become aware of the affects on individuals in different ways and what has become highly apparent is that boredom plays a huge role in creativity and problem solving.
When we fill our young people’s time completely there leaves little space for self-thought which creates comments along the lines ‘what are we doing today?’, ‘I’m bored mum’. My youngest a couple of years ago brought this home to me one day when I said, immediately after her interest in a particular activity, “I will have a look into it, I am sure you can fit that in after dance on a Thursday” her response was “mum I do enough at the moment, I need some time for me.” A small comment with huge impact for me, I wonder who else would have heard this request? ‘Me’, our identity, values and beliefs comes out of both searching for our likes and dislikes along with searching our mind when silent and processing the activities we have done.
Reflection space is a key development state within the young mind for all the key stages from toddler up to adolescent. Provide opportunities for self/reflection space and make attempts not to fill space when “I’m bored” or “what shall I do?” can be heard. Create times away from activity and electronics and see what materialises.