The frenetic pace to which we subject children today is leaving them without strategies and without alternatives to solve those moments when nothing arouses their interest or attention, when they do not know what to do. You are leaving them with no choice in a state of apathy or disinterest caused by the feeling of not knowing what to do or having nothing to have fun with. We call that boredom.
Paradoxically, it is the children who have the most who are most bored. We explain what its causes may be.
Today's children are not more bored than those of before but they are less prepared to face boredom, they are more vulnerable to the discomfort it generates and they tolerate not knowing what to do more when they have a little free time since they lack resources to jump-start your imagination and innate creativity.
Among the main causes of childhood boredom we highlight:
1. Excessive stimulation to children
The unbridled consumerism to which we are subjected can cause a boredom in everyone. It is very common to see a child surrounded by toys and hear him say 'I'm bored, I don't know what to do' ...The more they have, the more they become overwhelmed and the greater the feeling of boredom. they experience. Seeing so many things around you produces disinterest and inattention to something specific with which to play, experiment or create.
Overstimulation limits invention, imagination, creativity, fantasy, and fun. On this occasion, the motto 'less is more' works again.
2. Excessive planning and control of children's activities
Children's agendas are always full and full of extracurricular activities. Parents have fallen into the error that boredom is bad and before this premise we rush to fill every second of our children's lives one after another.
We go out of our way to make life fun and exciting for them, full of extracurricular activities (music, skating, judo, dance, English, theater, ...) filling and squeezing their schedules so much that we don't let them learn to manage their time or find their own interests.
We have mistakenly believed that boredom is bad and that therefore children need to be constantly active, a misconception that is hindering the development of creative thinking in our children.
We must understand again is that boredom is the prelude to creativity. Children need time to do nothing, time to imagine, create, think, absorb their experiences or simply observe the world around them. And this is not possible if what we do is fill them with toys, plan until the last second of their lives or offer them a mobile phone or a tablet at the first sign of boredom, and here we enter the third cause of boredom that we want to highlight.
3. Screen abuse in childhood
Whether due to inertia, tiredness or avoiding a conflict, parents are abusing the use that our children make of the television, consoles, tablets, smartphones or whatever device we use to avoid their boredom.
While it is true that a responsible use of all these technologies can bring great benefits, it is also true that an abuse of them produces situations of anxiety, stress, lack of interest in other things and lack of creativity. The child who sits in front of a screen and has guaranteed fun, without having to put his creative thinking into operation in the vast majority of occasions.
The ease with which parents turn on the television or give our smartphones or tablets to children at the slightest sign of boredom prevents them from finding a way to be distracted in another way.
Thus, unbridled consumerism, excessive stimulation, abuse of screens and control of all the activities of our children result in an inability for children to find their own resources to manage their free time and therefore get bored every day more.
Children need free time, without excessive stimuli and away from the screens to imagine, create, build, observe and savor their learning through unstructured play by any adult. It is by letting the children get bored that we will get them to tell us less and less that phrase that distresses us so much 'I'm bored, I don't know what to do'.
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