Day 94 (of 184) importance of boredom
Do you remember the last time you were bored. Mine was probably a shopping trip while visiting family in Seattle. I know that my oldest girl was ‘bored’ a couple of weekends ago and in hindsight, she really enjoyed it. Once upon a time my father told me “if you’re bored that’s a you problem’. Ironically, life sometimes gets so busy now that I sometimes schedule time for boredom – for myself and my kids.
I strongly believe that being bored is okay (not all the time of course) because it can lead to creativity. Sadly I don’t think that there is a ‘set amount of time’ that has to happen for this. It’s personal. (I recently read an article about free play that indicated 30 minutes was when ‘deep play’ starts, but not of there is a predetermined ‘end time’)
I’m also not advocating that schools promote boredom ‘as part of the lesson’ but acknowledge boredom ‘sometimes is a good thing’. In an era where entertainment is so readily available and lives are so tightly scheduled (from school to a club to qan activity to bed) where unscheduled ‘play dates’ are difficult at best and there doesn’t seem to be any down time. Ever.
Sometimes that downtime is when connections and extra (deep?) thoughts can occur. I relish those times when I can just let my brain process. Though it can be hard when that downtime is in front of a changing room….(I’m thinking of twitter sensation Dean @Shareski and some of his ‘downtimes’)
Now when my kids say “I’m bored”, unless we are trapped in a mall, I tell them how lucky they are. Then I look forward to seeing how they get themselves unbored!
As out school district embraces its “unplug & play” week to support family literacy day/week (my devices battery is starting to get low…) I am enjoying promoting a variety of ‘old school entertainments (magic show at our library tonight, curling, skating and more…) to help all of the learners I work with to add some tools to their self-regulation toolkit. That way when they are bored they will have some strategies to help them: “know what to do when they don’t know what to do” and one is those tools may be to just enjoy it!