Going on Day 16 of school vacation, thanks to a snowstorm and some extreme cold in the Midwest, and my kids are B-O-R-E-D. But, after lots of crafty Mommy activities, a trip to the mountains and tons of family movie nights, here’s why I don’t care.“Children should be allowed to get bored so they can develop their innate ability to be creative”, education expert, Dr. Teresa Belton told the BBC. Parent coach Susan Stiffelman shared this on the Huffington Post “When a youngster says, “I’m bored,” he is simply announcing that he has forgotten that he has the capacity to entertain himself. If he insists that you do something with him because there’s no one else to play with, don’t feel obligated to give in. There’s nothing wrong with letting a child wander the house aimlessly for a while; necessity is the mother of invention.”
It’s high time we just let the kids run wild – wild with their own imaginations. Offer up a hug, a kiss, make a cup of hot cocoa and then tell them to go play. Alone. They will huff and puff as they think you are the worst Mom ever. But, trust me – then, they will find something to do.
Our kids spend too much time in front of a screen. Remember a box of crayons? An empty pad of paper and a story to tell? Those thousands of toys they just got for the Holidays? Let them fill their own time. Rediscover their own fun.
A few weeks ago my daughter made an Official Boredom List. It took over an hour. She compiled a spreadsheet of activities that would entice her to be busy for a bit and she printed it out, colored it in and then did some of them. It was an all-day activity she thought of herself. When she was bored. I then referred her to her list the other day when she said she was bored. She rolled her eyes at me, like I was the dumbest person on earth. And, then she found something to do.
We are parents. Not Entertainment Coordinators. I have given Super Mom a whirl. I was great at it just yesterday. But, today – I have a life to get back to outside these 4 walls (that I’ll still be in tomorrow, thank you Chicago Winter). So, sometimes we can step back and let the kids entertain themselves. I give you permission to let go of the guilt.