We tend to panic when our children tell us they are bored, but it really is an opportunity to help foster creativity. Find out why boredom can be positive.
One of the things I loved most about summer when my children were young was the freedom it allowed all of us to be wildly creative. Oh sure, you can be creative all year long, but with the lazy crazy hazy days of summer looming before you and diminished activities cluttering your calendar, we have the privileged of allowing our children to get bored.
In our hustle bustle lives, where it seems we are constantly transporting our family members from one activity to another, I was always careful not to over structure our summer months. I loved it when 3 eager faces would ask me, “What are we doing today?” and I could respond, “I haven’t a clue”, then sit back and watch what transpired.
Sometimes we went on spontaneous “drive abouts”, where we got in the car, armed only with a sense of adventure, and headed off in any direction… preferably towards the country… and tried to “lose” ourselves on back roads. We made some awesome discoveries of dilapidated barns, llama farms, and Ma and Pa Curiosity shops where we could buy scoops of ice cream or antique marbles.
Most of their activities, however, did not include me. They’d pack a bag with lunch and head out into the woods behind our house. (It was only a 10 acre patch of undeveloped land but to them, heading out on their own, it was uncharted territory that required exploring.) Adventure abounded!
Sometimes I would give them a bit of a nudge by introducing a prop to spawn creativity. It might have been a table laden with a variety of crafting supplies or a blanket thrown over a branch of a tree, instantly creating a tableau in their creatively ripe minds.
As summer vacation looms ever closer, I hope everyone has an opportunity to bestow upon their children the gift of boredom. I relished giving my children the opportunity to be responsible for entertaining themselves. Boredom is one of the most fertile grounds where creativity can thrive!