Thursday, April 24, 2014

Guest Post: Why Busy Moms Need to Bore Their Kids by Michelle LaRowe

Many families commit to an arduous schedule of school, activities, classes, and lessons for their children at an early age. Kids are entertained and taught with things that demand their attention from sun up to sunset. But what about boredom? If "I'm bored" isn't a term you hear around the house often, it may be time to integrate it into you and your children's daily lives. 

Boredom Feeds Creativity

You may look at boredom as time wasted but actually, boredom is an essential component of raising a creative and insightful human being. Humans weren't meant to be amused 24 hours a day. There's no time for reflection in that space. Instead, boredom forces kids (and adults) to take meaningful action and find their own ways of amusing themselves and interacting with others. 

Stop the Stimulation

Unplugging and winding down to give time for boredom is essential. While it may seem that sitting the kids in front of the television or giving in to their demands for video games is a sanity saving step for you and your children, it actually gives them constant stimulation that isn't allowing them to foster their own ideas. Unplug, unwind, and work "boring" into your daily or weekly schedule. 

Boredom Helps "Soft" Skills

We all know the importance of good test scores but what about relationship skills or tactile skills? These can't be taught in classrooms or trained in classes. They need to be developed through trial and error. Leaving room for "boredom" or free time allows children to develop these pivotal skills on their own, with freedom and independence to make mistakes, correct them, and learn from them. 

Boredom Allows Time for Reflection

Learning to be more introspective is a skill many adults spend their entire life trying to achieve. For children, this time to reflect is even more pivotal. They are expected to excel in school, play sports, and create relationships with children and adults. When kids are ferried from activity to activity without a chance to process all these connections and what they mean, they lose much of the impact of forming them. To raise a child that can assess and understand their place in the world, time for boredom is a necessity. 

Boredom Searches for Passion

The point of boredom isn't for your children to twiddle their thumbs for hours on end in silence. It's meant to open up space for their reflection and to find their passions. When you're bored, what's the first thing you pick up? Maybe it's a set of knitting needles or a favorite recipe or an exercise mat. Your kids need time to discover what activities they enjoy and find peace within their daily lives. Creating space for boredom allows them to truly assess what drives them and creates happiness.

While all moms want the best for their children and many hope to achieve this by padding their schedule with activities and classes, understanding the importance of boredom may change your mind about whether your child needs another gymnastics lesson or scouts meeting. Boredom allows young minds to assess their surroundings, understand their relationships, and find what activities interest them. So, when's the last time you heard, "Mom, I'm bored"?

With over 20 years of experience in the nanny world as an award-winning nanny, agency director, and parenting author, Michelle LaRowe is considered a leading industry expert. A mom herself, she loves to educate parents and nannies on the importance of quality in-home childcare. Find out more by visiting @eNannySource on Twitter. 

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