Summer Boredom

My kids get two hours of screen time each day during the summer: one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

Shortly after they run out of screen time, they begin following me around with a whiny chorus of “I’m bored.” My response this summer has been, “well, go be bored somewhere else.” They look at me like I’m such a cruel mom, but here’s the truth: it’s a privilege to be bored.

The ability to have a moment in the day so free that you don’t know how to fill it is an experience millions of people around the world never know. They’re too busy working, caring for others, or just trying to stay alive. The ability to be bored is a gift. Bored kids aren’t neglected, they’re fortunate.

It’s surprising how quickly they can find something to do if I dismiss their pleas instead of immediately give them an activity to fill their time. Rarely do they just sit and stew in their boredom. Often, their most creative play grows from my ignoring their boredom and leaving them to their own devices.

I’m blessed to be home with my kids in the summer and we get to spend a lot of time doing fun activities together, but there’s a benefit for all of us if they have to keep themselves occupied for a portion of the day.

They next time one of them complains they are bored, I think I’ll respond with, “wow, you’re so lucky!”

 

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