The Gift of Childhood Boredom

One of the greatest gifts we can ever give our children is... Boredom

(Here’s a short but potent post for this week because, well, it’s Thanksgiving and ain’t nobody got time for all that writing now!)

In the coming weeks, many of us will decide what to give our children for Christmas. We will also be with them more often as they have lots-o free time away from school. It’s a really sweet time of tradition and togetherness, but it can be stressful to be away from our routines. To that end, I wanted to add one little item to your Christmas lists…

Give them boredom. For your sanity and their benefit, give those precious children boredom. We can feel such pressure to get gifts that will really captivate them as well as provide constant stimulation and entertainment in those days away from school. But, hear me say this in the most loving voice. That’s. Not. Your. Job.

Our job is to love them. To keep them safe, fed and clothed. And then? Let their precious little minds have space to think without input, create without direction, and feel without oversight. To help them learn now what it means to manage their experience, draw resources from their surroundings, and cope with a life that is not always exciting, or entertaining. Because it’s not.

So, when your kids get bored this holiday season, please know you aren’t neglecting them. You are loving them. You are gifting them with the opportunity for independence, self-reliance, and creativity. You are creating beautiful functional adults.

(Last thing, if they tell you they are “bored”, remember that “bored rhymes with chores.” This phrase is a great reminder that they would much rather come up with their own way to fill the time than to allow their meanie-pants parents to come up with the solution.)

Happy Ho-Humm Holidays everyone!

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