No doubt are times changing and with them so is children’s position in society. Long gone are the days when children were heard but not seen. Today, children play a center role and parents attend to their every day wants with lots of TLC. Society is moving at an increasingly faster pace, so it’s no surprise that kids seem to grow up quicker, compared to say 10 or 20 years ago when kids where just kids and there was no rush to make them grow up faster.
Children today, are treated like little adults from the minute they are born into this world. Their thoughts and wants are not only taken into consideration but sometimes even shape their parents lives to the point where simple routine things like going out or going to work are affected.
Parents, in their efforts to do what is best for their little ones, to give them even more opportunities than they had, create jam-packed schedules, filled with as many extra-curricular activities for them to do as possible i.e. tennis, piano, karate, ballet, horse riding, languages, the list is endless. This in turn leaves very little time for kids to just be kids. That means very little time to just play and enjoy some free time doing something that isn’t planned. If children don’t play now, when they have no other responsibilities, when will they play?
Who remembers playing after school for hours on end on the street with the neighbour hood kids? Who remembers sitting around being bored, forced to come up with ways of being occupied. This does not happen any more, for the fear of children being bored, or for parents thinking that they are bad parents if they do not plan and spend every minute with their children.
Being bored to death is not what we are aiming for, but boredom in general is not necessarily a bad thing. It allows time for thought, creativity and imagination to unfold. This is especially beneficial to children, who will learn to rely on themselves to stay preoccupied. Being bored allows for time to think which can improve productivity. Daydreaming can allow for innovative connections and being relaxed promotes happiness. Once a child learns to rely on internal rather than external means of being occupied, they will have succeeded in becoming self-reliant at a young age.
So parents, let your kids be bored! They will have plenty of time to do have chock-a-block schedules when they are older. Encourage them to read a book, or create a game to play. Avoid putting them in front of a screen to keep them from feeling bored. Screen time should be earned. By giving them the opportunity to have the time to be alone, to think and create ways of being occupied you will help them in the future to become responsible, creative, confident adults!
Till next time…