Thursday, July 25, 2013

Reality #17: A Little Boredom Can Be a Good Thing!

"Boredom is the best vehicle for creativity" 
This is one of my favorite quotes from the book "Simplicity Parenting" (for more info about this book, look here). 

I think every parent can relate to the feeling you get when you hear those dreaded words.
"I'm booooored!"

I used to think that my kids' level of boredom was a direct indication of my successes (or failures) as a mother.
I felt like it was my job to make sure my kids were constantly occupied with some sort of challenging, skill-building, educational, or physical activity.

But more recently, I've learned that boredom can actually be a good thing!
Whenever my kids are bored, their initial reaction is to whine and complain (ugh!) and ask me to entertain them.
When I politely decline to be their personal entertainer, they are left to come up with ideas for themselves.
This means they have to get creative - and use their imaginations!

I've come to realize that some of my children's best creations and ideas have evolved out of boredom.

Take this Lego masterpiece for example:

About an hour earlier, Charlie was in the kitchen complaining about being bored.
He went through the usual routine: "Can I watch TV?", "Can I play video games?", "Computer Games?"
When I had officially shut down all of his electronic requests, he whined "What am I supposed to do!?"
"Use your imagination!" I replied.
He stomped down to his room, seriously annoyed by me :)

But then, it happened!
He came back upstairs an hour later with a sketch, and the beginnings of what would soon be a Lego Seafood Restaurant.
"That's Awesome! I'm so proud of you for coming up with that yourself!" I said.
"I'm going to go work on it some more", he replied. Then promptly ran back downstairs to continue building.

Later that day, he emerged with the finished product.
See the counter that runs down the middle of the restaurant?

And here's the drive through window, where customers can place their order :)

And here's the window where they pick up their food!

Oh, and here is a sample of some of the fresh seafood offered at the restaurant :)

Not only did Charlie come up with this creation himself - he has found a new passion for developing and building his own, original Lego masterpieces!
Since that day, he has literally spent hours engaging in unstructured, imaginative play.

The next time you find yourself cringing at the sound of your child proclaiming 'I'm BORED!"
Instead of trying to come up with ideas for your child - let them figure it out themselves!
Some of the best ideas are the result of a little boredom!

Have a great day!

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