Value of Boredom & Self-Directed Play

Conversation Highlights: The Sunday Edition, April 14, 2019

In Appreciation: The Value of Being Bored

How to Let Your Kids Be Bored, And Why it Matters

One of our family’s yearly late-summer rituals is a road trip to Michigan, where my husband and I are originally from, and where his family still lives. Because we have small children, a big dog, and we like to visit a few of the Great Lakes while we are there, we opt to drive the 10+ hours instead of flying. Needless to say, we spend a good deal of time during these trips in the car. And for the first time this summer, we experienced a new phenomena. At some point early in the drive my six-year-old announced she was bored. My four-year-old, always eager to keep pace with her sister, announced she too was bore-ing (I assure you, she is not).

At first, we offered my daughters a few solutions for their newly discovered malaise. I had packed books and art supplies, stuffed animals and dolls, all stacked between their car seats to keep themselves entertained. But as my older daughter repeated every five minutes like the world’s most annoying metronome how she was still bored, I told her quite simply what I honestly think about her boredom. Namely, that her boredom isn’t my problem to solve for her. And that boredom has some positive attributes for those willing to tackle their road-trip ennui.  Read the rest of this entry »

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