The Importance of Being Bored
We are winding down the summer weeks and it is easy, as parents, to look at our bag of tricks and realize that we've burned through most of our ideas. We've taken the family trips, we've done the crafts, taken picnics, and we've cleaned the closets. Summer camps and Vacation Bible Schools are over and our houses are starting to look like a small earthquake has happened.
I want you to think about something with me. Do you remember when you were young?
I grew up in Texas. My brother and I left the house in the morning, came back for lunch, and didn't head home until the street lamps came on. We had a blast! We built forts, rode dirt bikes, played matchbox cars, traded stickers, and built obstacle courses with all of the kids on our block.
Mom never handed us a clipboard with expected activities on it as we walked out the door. Her instructions were, "Be safe and be nice to each other." That's it!
We are in the perfect stretch of summer to tell our kids to get busy being bored.
My sweet little ones - they know that there are going to be days in the summer when I tell them to "get busy being bored". They know that means that I'm not going to intervene and I'm not going to help them decide what they should do.
Does that mean that sometimes arguments are involved? Sure. Does that mean that sometimes I go fold laundry so that they can work things out without my involvement? Absolutely.
But guess what?! They come up with the cutest and most creative games. Lots of days they ask to borrow my phone so they can video tape or take pictures of their brilliance. Usually it involves some sort of fort or obstacle course with a quest to find something or rescue someone.
They develop confidence in their own decision-making skills. They laugh and bond and work things out. Then, the next day, they tell stories about something silly that happened.
If you haven't tried it before, will you trust me on this one? They'll get the hang of it, I promise!
Crayons are pulled out, toys are rediscovered, and you just might catch them smiling and creating.
Create a safe place for them to explore and then give them the chance to be bored enough to think creatively. Let me know how it does, ok?!
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