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Importance Of Boredom & Letting Your Kids Be Bored | Fatherly
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At the risk of sounding like an old curmudgeon, I often referred back to my own childhood and realized that save for a few times my mom sat on the floor and played a game with my brothers and me or piled us in her green Granada to get an ice cream at Dairy Queen, my mother was most certainly not my playmate. And I was fine with that.
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My brothers and I were literally forced to find our own forms of entertainment. We played unending games of Monopoly and UNO and had arguments over who cheated. We sought out our friends when we got tired of hanging out with each other, and — gasp — once in a while, we even picked up a book and spent an afternoon in solitude. Boredom lead to creativity when I was a kid, but that is no longer the case for many of the kids of today.
Somewhere along the way, we decided that every minute of the day has to be entertaining for our children.
Why boredom is good for your child
We have cars with DVD players and restaurants with iPads on the table. We have Netflix and Hulu, ever at the ready for electronic babysitting. We have afternoon schedules jammed with sports, activities, and clubs, and we have a staggering number of sports games and birthday parties on weekends.
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Kids can play video games virtually anywhere, thanks to the aforementioned electronics, and kids get very little downtime to just sit and be bored and figure things out for themselves. So when the rare situation arises that a kid perceives that he has nothing to do, boredom can feel strange and unnerving. We have to give our kids the tools to self-motivate and feel autonomous when presented with unstructured time.
We have to challenge them to want more for themselves than just sitting on the couch, waiting for someone to present them with a new option.
And we need to help them feel in control of their situation and develop confidence in their creative skills. But how?
How do we foster creativity when we have a hard time separating ourselves from our devices and social media apps?