The Importance of Being Bored
A sight that really makes me sad
We spend the majority of our time trying to avoid being bored, whether it is through being absorbed in our phones, watching TV, going to the gym (not me but I heard that people do it), or any other kind of relaxing activity that keeps us engaged and allows us to ‘switch off’. As Hawkins states, “Almost every spare minute we have is filled with either tasks to satisfy the increasingly demands of the world, or with leisure activities to escape the world". Generally, what applies to being good for adults is also beneficial for children and vice versa. Everyone needs down time, children as well, but as teachers, parents and guardians, constantly trying to keep children busy might stifle their creativity and creativity is something we should cherish and that children have in abundance.
This is what technology addiction looked like circa 2011 in Seoul
In the modern world we have perhaps “learned to relate to time without an object of attention as nothing—as opposed to—nothing, yet.”. At PIPS, we try to value the potential for growth in our play-based learning by using open ended provocations that let children look at and develop using their creativity. We try our best not to use finite activities that can be simply completed and we try to foster the idea that children can make choices of how to spend their time and we value the work and play that they carry out. We especially try to value their ideas. The main issue with relying on technology such as iPads and smartphones to fill a child’s time is that it doesn’t foster their ideas, it doesn’t really even give them a chance to have any. It just absorbs their attention. Whereas boredom, and open-ended resources, can allow so much more for your child and also for you!
Boredom, contrary to its definition, can really help children develop. It can help them reflect and “find value in their own experiences and develop their own unique worldview”. Valuing their experiences and ideas will help them grow more resilient in the future and have a strong self-identity.
It can help them become motivated as it “gives children practice in making their own decisions and finding ways to be interested in what’s going on around them”. Children need to learn how to make the most of their own environment because we can’t always be there to entertain them.
Learning how to be bored also makes your child more interesting “only boring people get bored”. This is an important message and it really rings true, children need to be able to find the value in what is around them and use all that wonderful creativity to expand on it and make it interesting.