Social commentator and youth trends expert Michael McQueen says, “We have failed to teach today’s kids an important lesson – that boredom is actually a necessary and valuable part of life. Young people have been led to believe that boredom is a bad thing.” News alert: It’s okay to let your kids get bored!
Here’s Michael’s advice on coping with boredom in our non-switch off world…
3 important benefits to downtime and boredom:
1.Independence: Realising that you are capable of being left to your own devices is a very empowering feeling.
2. Mental Wellbeing: Fascinating research from the University of California highlighted that our brains actually need downtime in order to function properly.
3. Creativity: The old saying is true: great ideas rarely interrupt us. The reality is that deep creativity and profound thought often occur when we allow our brains to be kicked into neutral.
3 things to help your kids cope with and embrace boredom:
1. Resist the urge to recue: Necessity is truly the mother of invention and your kids may need to experience the pangs of boredom in order to move past them and grow through the experience. Stepping in to provide a solution or new distraction will rob them of the benefit and lessons they could otherwise gather.
2. Model it: Actions speak louder than words. Do your kids see you embracing downtime or always busying yourself?
3. Wean them onto it: Set boundaries around screen or device time which grow over time. Allow your kids to get used to being disconnected and un-entertained.
Michael urges parents to teach their kids these valuable lessons about why downtime is so important and how they can actually enjoy quiet time and says the whole family will benefit from the introduction of good habits on coping with boredom. It’s a real skill being able to switch off!
What do you think? Do you let your kids get bored?