As moms, I am sure we have all heard the dreaded phrase “Mom, I’m bored” echo through the walls of our homes. Typically we are in the middle of our fifth load of laundry or cleaning up spilt milk when we hear this popular kid phrase. Our first reaction as moms is usually to Stop, Drop and Roll to find something to solve our children’s boredom crisis. Well, I am here to tell you to resist that impulse and embrace the boredom.
What is boredom anyway?
Boredom really is a call to action, a time to contemplate, a time for your little one to find their true passion on their own. Our dictionary would tell us that boredom is an emotional state experienced when an individual is left without anything in particular to do and is disinterested in their current environment. As a mother of two, I can relate.
I used to panic when my children were bored. Now, I have learned to welcome boredom as a sheer opportunity for my kids to slow down and be creative. I have learned from so many mistakes that my response really is a make or break moment for my children’s development. I must stop the urge to fill the void and instead coach my child’s creativity with the stimuli around them. Boredom for our kids is like a stagnant moment where they have the urge to be involved with something but are temporarily stuck in a rut. It is a perfect opportunity for them to independently create an activity or explore the world around them on their own. It is not the state of boredom that sparks this growth but their reaction to it that does.
Independent play or Self- Directed Play is such an important skill for our kids to harness and master to succeed as adults. To help your children through this learning process, we must not completely leave them alone but instead coach their curiosity with empathetic reassurance. As parents, we are so gifted in providing solutions for our children rather than let go of some control and coach them through the solution. By investing in your child’s boredom we will inevitably equip them with transferrable life skills.
As a coach, we need to ensure that there are ebbs and flows in our child’s learning day. The flow in our child’s day is when they unfold their own ideas and become passionately involved in their own interests. The more your child feels this flow, the better their development and future academic prowess will be. To help allow flow always think about clearing out any distractions, for example turn off the television, phone etc. and instead surround your children with objects or activities that are challenging and let them explore. Heck, you may even learn a thing or two from their lively curiosity.
I am the most proud as a mother, when I am in the middle of cooking and I take a peek at my kids in the other room and they have painted the most interesting picture or have built a fantastic castle. Those are the moments that truly capture the brilliance of my kids because they have created something truly wonderful within the void. So, the next time you hear those famous three little words don`t fill the void just step back and coach your children`s curiosity.
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