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It is OK for your kids to be bored

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Regarding your Jan. 7 cover story on page 1 of The Placer Herald, “Striking up wintertime fun for the kids,” while you have offered some ideas to keep at bay “the panic in the heart of any parent” upon hearing the two words “I’m bored,” I submit to every parent that it is OK for your kids to be bored! The perpetually busy child today, overscheduled by well-meaning parents, could be having their creativity systematically stunted by this overscheduling. Downtime that passes for boredom is really the quiet moving of the cerebral wheels inside that fuel creativity. Downtime is where we become ourselves. When my kids are bored, I internally celebrate it; for it is at that time that they have quiet space to reflect, ponder, sit on the porch or skip rocks in the creek. A wealth of research suggests that what we might call “doing nothing” is when human beings actually do their best thinking and also when creativity comes to call. I say encourage and celebrate downtime and thinking outside the box. When kids tell you they are bored, before you feel a responsibility to keep them entertained, let them know that it is OK to be bored! Lisa Nivinski, Rocklin