Now that Memorial Day has come and gone, many of us are feeling like summer has officially begun. School is ending and parents with kids at home are beginning to wonder how to keep their children entertained all summer. The temptation is to overschedule our kids in the summertime, keep them busy, do whatever we must to not hear those dreaded words, “I’m bored!”
Parents, I beg you, don’t fall to this temptation and don’t feel guilty when you are away at work while your child is at home or at grandma’s with “nothing to do.” Letting your kids be bored is one of the best things you can do for them. Your job as a parent is not to constantly entertain your child; it is to prepare them for adulthood. This is exactly what boredom does.
Letting your kids be bored is one of the best things you can do for them.
I believe there has never been a more crucial time to teach our kids about boredom. Recent Pew Research revealed that 95% of teens reported owning or having access to a smartphone, and 45% of teens said they are online “almost constantly.”
These teens do not know how to be bored, meaning they don’t know how to use their imagination, they’ve lost their childish sense of joy and they don’t know how to be alone with their thoughts. This is not setting them up for adulthood; this is setting them up for failure.
Your job as a parent is not to constantly entertain your child; it is to prepare them for adulthood. This is exactly what boredom does.
But it’s not too late for your kids. You can intervene. You can encourage boredom this summer and, yes, you can enforce screen time rules no matter how much your child complains or how much you want to stick your phone in front of them to get them to be quiet.
Here are a few reasons why boredom is a great thing to teach your kid this summer: