“There’s nothing to do!”
Hearing those phrases used to make my teeth clench and my mind spin!
I felt like it was part of my job to keep our kids occupied or entertained, as though not providing a steady stream of constructive things for them to do would surely result in their demise, or at the very least, reflect badly on my parental capabilities.
As it turns out, always having something fun or educational for our kids to do when they proclaim “I’m bored!” is incredibly exhausting.
Sometimes (rarely), the laundry is caught up.
Sometimes, supper is made.
Sometimes, they have read all the library books we have in the house.
“Go find something constructive to do,” sounded like a cop-out.
I can’t think of something for you to do, so you’re going to have figure it out yourself.
The Case For Giving Bored Kids Nothing To Do
What really happens when you allow space for boredom (a negative word that describes the privilege of having no pressing demands), I’ve learned, is that you help set creativity in motion.
Boredom is fertile soil in which creativity can blossom.
If we are constantly spoon fed, we will never learn to feed ourselves.
If children are always entertained, they may grow up feeling that their happiness or fulfillment is always dependent on someone or something else.
Boredom Teaches Kids To Be Comfortable With Peace
It is a tremendous gift to be alone with your own thoughts, and appreciate stillness instead of being afraid of the silence.
“Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
Those quiet moments with nothing to do, but reflect on life and its purpose and meaning, are often those moments in which God chooses to reveal Himself. Let’s make sure we’re giving our children ample opportunities for peaceful meditation.
Boredom Gives WAy To Resourcefulness
Further, periods of time with no obligations, open the door to curiosity and wonder.
How often have I found a child with “nothing to do,” perched glumly on their haunches, idly poking the ground with a stick, when suddenly inspiration strikes, and Behold!
The stick becomes a carving.
The carving becomes a gift.
The gift becomes a day-maker for the receiver, a reward of satisfaction for the giver; the child has something to do that’s constructive and productive!
They are developing real-life skills, marveling at, and being resourceful with Creation, which brings the Creator glory!
So, let them be bored.
Boredom makes room for reflection.
It breeds curiosity and wonder, which in turn produces creativity, and resourcefulness.
Allowing children to be bored, is really teaching them how to find something constructive to do for the rest of their life.