As the holidays come to a close I am sure this is not an altogether unfamiliar phrase to be heard from the mouths of our modern youth.
What do you do in that situation? Do you run around trying to organise play dates, visits to the movies, purchase a new Wii game ? All great fun things to be sure, but rather than fill in every conceivable minute with activities, maybe it is time we let out kids embrace ‘the art of being bored’.
No, not really an art, but nonetheless a skill at least that our children are often not given the chance to perfect. So why is it important, this idea of being bored, this need to unwind and to simply chill out?
The school term brings with it a life that is structured, full of extra curricula activities, after-school sports, training sessions and around the clock appointments that leave little time for anything but the essentials. Even our toddlers and pre-schoolers are kept entertained with playgroups, kindergyms, art and music classes. There is absolutely nothing wrong with any of these commitments, in fact they can be great for skills development and emotional and social growth and awareness. But like most things, we need to ensure that our children have a balance of this structure with down time, time to relax and time to unwind. They also need to be able to entertain themselves when the structure of term finishes and they are faced with a few extra hours of “free time”. To help our children fill the void themselves, be happy with their own company and relish in the ‘downtime’, we need to start early in their childhood and ensure that we don’t always need to be the ones to entertain and provide the activities. [Read more...]