“I’m bored.” Is this a phase that you hear from your children often? With the access to technology our children have these days, they are stimulated constantly, but they are still complaining about being bored. If it’s Minecraft, Fortnite, Roblox, Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, or Netflix, we may wonder how can our kids be bored. Kids have adapted because they have grown up with the internet and smartphones. Although technology may have it perks, there needs to be balance between technology usage, face to face social interactions, and physical activities.
With summer camps coming to an end and the stress of school starting in the fall, you may find yourself worrying about the next 3 weeks until September. You may find technology creeping in as a way to distract or destress from everything that needs to be accomplished. Kids are good at negotiating, so you may find yourself giving in during moments you normally would not.
Here are some tips to cultivate and embrace boredom:
Encourage your children to turn off electronics. Model this behavior and resist the temptation to constantly check your phone, snap photos, or view your e-mails. In doing so, take timeaway from TV’s, computers, video games, smartphones, and tablets every day.
Boredom should not be avoided as it allows creativity and imagination to come alive. It also helps us live in the moment of new opportunities that we may not have known existed.
Create opportunities for your children to have face to face interactions with friends and peers. Have family dinners, be present, and engage in conversations together.
Encourage your children to go outside and play. Go on a family walk, bike ride, or nature hike. Find an activity that everyone in the family enjoys, so it gives an opportunity for your family to bond.
Slow Down and Relax
Relaxation can be confused by boredom, but both can be embraced. Read, listen to music, journal or draw. Practice meditations and mindfulness by bringing your awareness to the present moment.