We live in a culture that believes we should never be bored. There are so many things to entertain us, keep our minds occupied so we can avoid the dreaded boredom we seem to fear so much.
But, being bored is a key factor in developing our imagination. As an unschooling mum, I find times of doing nothing is very rare, but I know I need them to nurture my creativity.
The same is true for children. If one of our children says, “I’m bored” I panic and feel I need to find something meaningful to entertain them, but my husband always gently reminds me…”It’s not your role to be a children’s entertainer”. He’s right. My role is not to entertain our children, but to inspire them. I will offer suggestions, we will search together through our “Craft Cupboard”. I will provide materials: glue and paints, but it is also important I allow them to get bored sometimes.
In main stream schools, children are fed facts all day. Their minds kept constantly busy. They are not given the freedom to explore where their boredom might take them. With unschooled children boredom often leads to amazing things as they are allowed to follow wherever their play or exploring takes them.
Our teenage daughter is starting to find her “Schooled” friends boring. She finds their inability to be with themselves for more than one minute, and constantly being glued to their smarts phone or computer screens even when they have a friend over, well…boring!
Their imaginations seem to have been squashed by all the useless facts they are being forced to memorise and regurgitate nearly everyday.
Of course, many unschooled children (including our daughter) may also spend a number of hours in front of computer screens each day, but they are mostly using technology as a creative tool as apposed to constantly posting pouting lips “Selfies” on soical media sites, as the majority of our daughter’s “schooled” friends seem to be.
So, it is okay for our kids to get bored sometimes. In fact, it is healthy for them to do so.