What Boredom Can Do For Your Child

Some time last month, I received a newsletter from the Love and Logic Institute. This newsletter talked about what boredom can do to your child and how it can lead to creativity and achievement.

After reading the newsletter, I thought about how I always try to keep Phoebie occupied or always try to think of things for her to do, and began to wonder about leaving her with some boredom instead.

Then, a few days ago, I came across this article written by a parent who is unapologetically using the phone or the laptop when kids are around. She works from home and calls herself a distracted parent. Not that she isn’t there when her children need her, but what she says is that for her, it’s okay to be preoccupied with the laptop or the phone when the kids are around.

“Perhaps it’s time we let them just get on with it on their own. A little boredom (forced resourcefulness for entertainment) is a good thing,” she said.

This got me thinking too.

Of course, agreeing with some points of the article doesn’t mean I should allow myself to be constantly on the phone when I’m around my kids. I just thought that as long as the kids are in a safe place where they won’t get hurt, leaving them be while I am “distracted” can be interesting.

So it happened. Yesterday, I had a couple of important conversations going on in my phone and I was busy texting, so Phoebie was “free” to do whatever she wanted. Of course, my eyes would dart in her direction every now and then, just to make sure she wasn’t getting into places in the house that she shouldn’t be.

The result of leaving Phoebie be in her boredom was:

20140714-221745.jpg Phoebie digging deep into one of her toy boxes and taking out toys she hasn’t played with in a long time;

20140714-221856.jpgher making up stories and narrating them with her toys;

20140714-221933.jpgbuilding all kinds of things with her Lego;

20140714-222012.jpgand her digging out books to practice writing and drawing.

So yes, boredom certainly has its value for a child. It makes the child look for things to entertain herself with and sometimes sparks creativity in her.

Of course, even in allowing boredom, safety is of utmost importance. Just be sure to check in on the child every now and then.


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