How many times have parents heard their children say: I'm getting bored! Parents can respond to this expression in two very different ways. On our site we tell you what these reactions can be and we tell you what is the most successful if our children complain of boredom. Because although it is not usually talked about much about it, it's good that children get bored from time to time, although we must find the balance between lack of stimulation and overstimulation.
Let's stop and think for a moment: how do we react when our son tells us that he is bored or when we see that he does not know what to do? In general, parents tend to react in one of two ways:
- Overstimulating children
The immediate response of many adults is overstimulation. That is to say, immediately look for something they can entertain themselves with. Even in vacation times we schedule leisure days for them so that they have all their time occupied. Their entertainment is fully managed in nature. Parents proceed like this with their children in these situations because 'doing nothing' is socially very badly valued.
However, by doing so, parents achieve the opposite effect to which they seek. Since children may or may not comply with these activities but do not really look at what they want.
Giving them everything done and planned does not help them, but makes children even more dependent and overprotected. In addition, adults run the risk of ending up exhausted and frustrated if what they propose is not to the liking of children.
- Ignoring how children feel
But be careful… Faced with child boredom, another response from parents may be pay no attention to them, which would mean leaving them at ease without attention, or without stimulation. This could have negative effects on children's learning and development, especially if they are young and it is a situation that is repeated often.
In addition, ignoring the emotions of our children (we cannot forget that boredom is also an emotion), we transmit the message that we do not care how they feel, which invalidates their emotions and could translate into an affective lack.
Boredom is the prelude to creativity. Children should use that time when nothing satisfies (they get bored) to create and invent. Children today are very busy and saturated with tasks and activities. This means that when there is a free moment they do not know how to manage it and demand more activities from the parents.
He development of children's creativity is essential, both for children and their future. It is very important for the little ones to have fun and make their own creations. However, it is also an increasingly demanded quality in the workplace, as creativity gives way to innovation.
But, in addition, as the study 'Creativity in Preschool Children, a challenge of contemporary education' (by Nancy Medina, Míriam E. Velázquez, Joel Alhuay-Quispe and Felipe Aguirre, published in the Iberoamerican Magazine on Quality, Efficacy and Change in Education), creative people know how to cope better (in a simpler, faster and more accurate way) in the different situations that may arise. And it is that thanks to this creativity and mental acuity, they are better able to put into practice all their skills and competencies to solve the problems they encounter, taking into account the context in which they find themselves.
On the other hand, the free time is essential as many great ideas arise in these moments of relaxation. In this freedom the child can develop many positive capacities for growth.
Thanks to boredom, children develop personal autonomy, their own thinking, open their minds to new ideas and develop their imagination.
All children have said that 'I get bored' at some point in their lives. If parents know that boredom can be positive for children (as long as we find a balance), what should we do when childhood boredom enters the house? Let's see some keys below:
- Telling children what to do can be harmful
Parents have to lose the fear that children will be bored and give them the opportunity to do things and discover how to entertain themselves to acquire skills such as being more tolerant, creative and decisive.
- Reflect on what leads our children to this situation
It is normal for parents to hear the expression 'I am bored' assume that the child refers to monotony or boredom to find something that distracts him. But sometimes this term has another meaning and we must reflect on it.
We cannot ignore, for example, that although the word 'routine' reminds us of boredom, for children it is very important that we establish habits. And it is that these provide them security and help them in emotional and physical development. Some of the most common habits that our children need are the habits of hygiene, sleep, eating, good coexistence, etc.
- When boredom is not boredom
When the child says he is bored, he does not always respond to an emotion of boredom. Many children when they are sad, upset about something or afraid, use this phrase to express their emotions. And it is that children are learning to differentiate the different emotions thanks to the emotional education that we provide them every day. Therefore, sometimes it is easy to confuse some of them: sadness, anger, frustration, boredom ... even hunger!
Therefore, it is important that parents can discover what emotion is behind the demand that the child makes in order to help him in the appropriate way. And, of course, we can take the opportunity to make them understand that what they really feel at that moment is boredom, and not another emotion.
Here we propose some educational resources with which children can learn what this emotion means, that of boredom, but also what creativity is. Enjoy them!
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