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The blessing of boredom

The blessing of boredom

The blessing of boredom
June 20
16:28 2019

Eva Reinoso Tejada

Those who have children might have heard the dreaded words “I’m bored” or “I don’t know what to do” from our kids. I go crazy when I hear that, while I see so many possibilities to stay busy. I came across an article by Lisa Gromicko that emphasizes the “beauty of boredom”. The author insists that kids these days are “overstimulated” and really busy, packed with structured activities and commitments to the point that if they one day don’t have those activities, they won’t know what to do to stay entertained. Or even worse, they will get entertained with the wrong things.

It is great to keep our kids busy with enriching activities such as sports or music; but they must also have down time when they can “create” their own activities to stay busy, other than T.V. an video games. Our children are growing up in a culture of “immediate gratification” where the goal is to achieve the most stimulation and fun possible. In other words, this is the quest for the “pleasure” of getting what they want, when they want it. A good example of this is when we see commercials that urge us to “obey your thirst” or “just do it”. Where did the satisfaction of completing a long and hard project go? Where did the satisfaction that comes from achieving something with hard work go?

Very simple. That is something we, parents, teach our kids. Or maybe not. With the best intention of giving them everything that we didn’t have; we are robbing them from that drive that we had that fueled our dreams of a better life as immigrants far away from our land. We must give our children the opportunity to value our efforts and their own.

When a child doesn’t know how to deal with being bored because we always “give them entertainment”, his/her creativity jeopardized and they won’t be ale to build something, play outside, or ride their bike with the neighbors. All they will care about is to sit in front of some screen for an indefinite amount of time. This might lead to addictive behaviors that might grow with them into adulthood.

Sometimes we as parents are lazy, or overwhelmed, and it is easier to leave our kids with the “digital” babysitter, that could be any type of screen, so that we can finish our tasks or just take a break. We must try not to do this. Let’s integrate them into our activities, as much as it is possible. They can cook with us, help us with laundry or cleaning around the house. This can’t be seen or imposed as a punishment, but rather as a shared activity with the goal of finishing the chores faster as a team, and with the reward of a bike ride to the park, or a movie together. If we want them to do this with a good attitude, we must have a good attitude ourselves. These are the times that we will all remember as a family, and the memories they will take as they become adults and shape their own lives.


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