I felt that the subject of boredom was a great one for a long weekend since we are usually jam-packed with plans and have trouble slowing down. In a world that is changing exponentially we must never forget what slowing down and being bored can do for our inner peace and health.
This week's mindful mantra is about excusing ourselves from busy and enjoying the fruits of boredom.
In today's fast paced world, the pressure on parents to provide and do the best for their children has never been stronger. Today's parent is now, more than ever, expected to have all the right classes, toys and playdates lined up for their children.
While good quality toys or a lap-rhymes and lullabies class can be a great activity for you and your child, it is equally important to balance those experiences with boredom. Plain old boredom.
Being bored actually encourages a child's brain. Having few options or objects to entertain them, a child's creativity can be boosted and they might even come to find they discover new interests or hobbies (age dependent of course)! When a child is left to their own devices they will figure something out for themselves. That is the magic of imagination.
If we are always there to come up with decisions for play and invent ideas for our child we prevent them from practising this creativity themselves. Rather than this being supportive or comforting for a child, this tells them that they do not need to think for themselves and that decisions and ideas are better made by someone else.
A child's imagination has no limits. If given plenty of opportunities to be one with their imagination, they can come up with a whole world of fun. Even in an empty room, with no state of the art toys or in an open field with no ball. If given the opportunity to be bored, a child can come to feel comfortable in silence, which can bring them from childhood to adulthood with the tools and ability to slow down once in a while and give themselves a much enjoyed break from busy.
For some children who tend to be high energy and not have very long attention spans, limiting their options can be a great tool for calming their busy minds, which in turn allows them to experience and explore their toys and surroundings a little deeper and with more intent.
If you prefer to ease in and out of your day, you might simply decide to put out one or two options for play in the mornings and before bed. Limiting all access to their toys to the afternoon will allow a child to have a little more focus and calmness when just waking up or before going to bed. This is a great idea for parents and children who like to wind into their busy day, rather than wake up with a bang and try to go from 0 to 10 and back again at night.
Some signs your child might need a little boredom in their life:
- your child appears uncomfortable sitting still
- your child is constantly asking for something to do
- your child is high energy, moving frequently
- your child does not focus on a game or toy for longer than a couple of seconds
If you do not feel comfortable without any devices, you might need a little boredom in your life too! Try putting down the tablets, smartphones and computers, turning off the tv and being bored! Exercise your own imagination and see where boredom might take you and your child together.
What is great about this mantra, is that it gives parents a guilt-free option to do nothing! Letting your child spend valuable time in their own surroundings, coming up with their own activities and games is a very healthy exercise for their brain and will do wonders for their temperament, attention spans and problem-solving skills.
Use this mantra to remind yourself throughout the week that boredom is healthy, and to take it easy once in a while, slowing down for this ever speeding thing called life.