I believe in boredom! It’s a great tool.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against TV or technology, well, not completely, it has its place. In fact, both my sons are in the technology field and that learning began with video games.
What I am opposed to is video babysitting. I believe all parents need a break now and then, or they’ll go nuts. However, using technology as an automatic go-to cheats a child out of crucial life skills.
Virtual interactions are in no way the same thing as real interactions. Virtual interactions can’t teach a child about the energetic nuances involved in conversation and emotional experiences. Learning to read another person’s face and become introduced to the tug of your intuitive guts, so you can empathize with others, is a life skill all kids need to learn so they can be successful in their future work and personal relationships. Video games can’t teach that skill, but conversation can. Several corporate executives I know have remarked that this generation certainly understands technology, but doesn’t know how to play well or communicate in the workplace. We need to accept the fact that the constant use of technology has, and will continue to have, a profound affect on our children.
If parents always allow video games or TV in the car instead of using it on rare occasions, a missed opportunity has occurred. If every restaurant experience means passing the time by checking texts, or sharing YouTube videos, no family interacting is happening. No memories are created. No random questions are answered. And the wonderful stories about goofy Uncle Ed weren’t shared either!
Boredom teaches kids many things. When kids space out during a car ride, or daydream because there’s nothing to do, the imagination goes into hyper-drive. Boredom motivates kids to think about the recent interactions they’ve had so they can focus and figure out what needs to be learned from those experiences. Boredom inspires kids to find hobbies that could become a life-long profession or a passion. Boredom triggers a child to consider matters of the soul and ask questions about life. Boredom is relaxing, and in this fast paced world we all could do with a bit more relaxing!
Please don’t rip your kids off this summer. Let them be boredom. Don’t interfere with the boredom process; you may be surprised by what comes of it!