Give Your Kids the Gift of Boredom

Toddlers and young children that are constantly entertained by well-intentioned adults tend to become older kids and teens that are also easily bored. It has become such a routine part of everyday life for children to plug in, power up, and connect virtually, that it is harder and harder for them to actually be bored. It sometimes takes a conscious effort by an adult to clear the electronics from the calendar.

When kids unplug they can resort to hobbies normally given less time like reading, playing an instrument, listening to music on the radio (if you still have one), drawing, or just organizing their room. There are hundreds of things kids can do when they are off technology, but the key is not to offer too many options or get drawn into an argument about all the things they could be doing (On a side note, there is nothing like a good lecture about the old days to get kids to totally tune us out, so feel free to leave that part out).

Next time your kids say “I’m bored” just pause, grin (to yourself), and know you are doing a good job! Enjoy knowing that kids that don’t abuse screen time or get addicted to technology are more physically active, use more creativity in free time, and are better problems solvers.

Here are a few other tips on boredom -

  1. Plan or schedule dull times at home

    DEAR TIME - Drop Everything and Read Time on Sunday morning or before bed

  2. Place responsibility on your child to solve the boredom problem

    Don’t own that one for kids

  3. Reinforce, model, encourage low-tech activity

    Who wants to go for a walk?

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash