Kids are stuck at home. And they really feel the need to find ways to socialize, do their schoolwork, and entertain themselves.
It’s not surprising parents may be hearing “I’m bored” a lot more than before. People hate being bored.
According to Dr. Mandie Shean, while boredom causes temporary uncomfortable feelings, it can be good for us in many ways—from stimulating creativity to helping train our concentration.
Boredom is a temporary emotional state. A bored person has things they can do, they just can’t (or won’t) engage with activities.
People with a high sensitivity to reward, meaning those who need constant stimulation to feel satisfied, are more at risk of being bored.
But boredom can lead to creativity. Creativity emerges because when one is bored, people actively seek something stimulating. Creativity is a challenge that meets this need.
Being bored also helps train our concentration and attention. Sitting with boredom and solving it is an effective way to train ourselves to concentrate and persevere through hard or monotonous tasks. It teaches us to go to different places in our minds when we don’t have external stimulation. In other words, our mind gets a workout.
So, if you find your child is getting bored, you don’t need to feel guilty; you’re not entertaining them.
• Check that your child isn’t just hungry or tired, as everything can feel boring then.
• When circumstances make your child feel out of control, see how you can provide him with new day-to-day choices.
• Don’t feel obligated to stop this “terrible experience.” They can develop self-regulation and creativity by having to solve the boredom problem themselves.
• Teach your child not to be afraid of the feelings that come with boredom, but be excited. Boredom is a signal that indicates a change is needed. Help them generate ideas and then pick one to engage in.
• Your child may not be bored, just not knowing where to start. Help them break a task down and get started.
• Creativity emerges in space, so don’t let mobile devices steal their attention. They will never know what they could achieve if they keep being distracted.
Parents and adults, if you are also bored, see what category fits you and take action. Boredom might be good for all of us.