“Mom, I’m bored.” “Mom, there’s nothing to do.” Anyone else remember saying this growing up? My parents response: “Well, I have *insert chore* for you to do.” Quickly we were no longer bored and found something to fill our time.
My children are excellent at finding activities to fill their time. Why? Because I don’t spend all my day entertaining them. They also aren’t in several programmed activities during the same session, so they have lots of downtime at home. Don’t get me wrong, I love my children. I love spending time with them, and playing with them. I love programming, and the benefits it can bring. However, as a business owner I don’t have the time to play with them every waking hour of the day. Even if I didn’t own a business, I probably still wouldn’t play with them every minute of the day. Children need downtime to learn how to fill their time with constructive activities.
The benefits will impress you:
1) They become tinkers. Both of my children love to create and tinker. Tinkering helps build fine motor skills and problem solving skills as they figure out how to put the pieces together to create their desired outcome. I can give them a variety of loose parts, and watch as their imagination goes to work while they tinker to create.
2) They can follow their curiousity. Tinkering leads to curiousity. Why does this go together so well, but this doesn’t? What happens when I add this to that?
3) They don’t expect to be apart of every activity. They know that they can choose one activity per session, and that they must wait for the next session to try something else.
4) We as parents are less agitated. I don’t know about you, but time is not always my friend. Too many things to do in a day, and often not enough time to do it. Add in hauling kids from activity to activity, and it’s just a ticking time bomb.
5) They have opportunities to work on skills they like. Em, is an amazing artist for her age. She often disappears downstairs to work on some new art creation. If I was always scheduling her time, she wouldn’t have the opportunity to work on her art skills.
So go ahead, let them be bored!