“I’m bored”, they say while seated next to enough electronic entertainments to launch a local JB HiFi, but if they’re bored well let them be bored, it’s a good thing.
Boredom can allow children to let their thoughts and imaginations roam, explore ideas and think creatively and choose activities that match moods – for example, if your child is feeling full of energy, they might want and need to be physically engaged.
“When children are required to find something to do, they’re forced to use their problem-solving skills, creative thinking and imagination to play,” says Assoc Prof Julie Green, a raisingchildren.net.au director and Acting CEO of the Parenting Research Centre.
“It can really be worth parents holding their nerve when the kids complain about being bored. It shows children it isn’t the end of the world to be a bit bored and to work through it,” Green says.
“It’s important for parents to play with their children but they don’t have to entertain them all the time.”
The benefits of boredom are outlined in a new raisingchildren.net.au video series launched for parents containing tips and information on children and play.
“When children are bored it creates a feeling of being able to rely on themselves to be resilient; the ability to get through something that might be a little bit tough and a little bit stressful,” says Cat Sewell, play specialist.
Videos on the subject can be found at raisingchildren.net.au/playvideos
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