Let your child get bored… It’s good for his mental development
Summer vacations are here and parents, especially working parents, are worried that their children will be bored at home and thus frantically searching for options to keep them engaged and occupied – summer camps, dance classes, hoop, yoga, theatre, confidence building sessions, and so on. Back-to-back activity classes have become a norm these days. But do we know boredom is not bad at all? Rather, it is good, essential for the growth of children. As a parent, we should let them get bored at times. And that’s perfectly ok. When our kids come to us and say they have nothing to do and are getting bored, we should not occupy them with TV or computer or phone or any other screen time. They should be allowed to stand and simply stare and do nothing. This will let them observe the world around them and introspect the things they have done, their friends or parents have done and the lessons learnt. And, it is healthy and absolutely important too.
Why boredom is good?
- Psychologist Dr Venesse Lapointe says, children need to sit in their own boredom for the world to become quiet enough that they can hear themselves.
- Boredom motivates a child to come up with innovative ideas to fill the void.
- Boredom lets a child explore his/her creative side.
We have compiled a list of a few noted personalities who have shared their experiences with boredom:
- In her interview to BBC cultural expectations, author Meera Sanyal recounted her childhood memories which were often filled with solitude in a small mining village with a few distractions. That lack of nothingness made her write. She started keeping a diary from a young age, filling it up with observations, short stories, poems and diatribe that helped her become an author in later life.
- While writing about her husband, Dr Lapointe, in one of her articles, says that he lived in a rural setting with lots of space to roam, where he would spend his time digging, burying treasure, building forts and tinkering with inventions. She writes, “No wonder, he is a mechanical engineer?”
- Journalist and author Kat Patrick has described boredom as an “ongoing struggle to meaningfully engage with the strange, adult world.” Describing it as a portal/place which opens up when the adult world is stifling, he says in one of his articles, “For me, boredom was time distilled down to its purest form: all mine.”
We hope we have given you enough reasons not to get impatient if your child says, “I’m bored.” You simply need to respond, “It is okay to get bored. I just loved that.”
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