I’ve heard my kids tell me countless times that they are bored and that they have nothing to do. Most of the time that isn’t the case, but as a parent at times I have felt that my constant job was to keep my kids busy….all the time. I was often telling them what sport to play or what they could pretend to be, or what adventure their Barbies should go on. Or perhaps I had a block of time during the week that they weren’t in Cubbies or dance or soccer and I wondered if I should put them in music lessons as well.
As much as all of these things are good and can even be beneficial, I have learned over the years that constant busyness isn’t always a good thing. Now we add in smart phones and we, as well as our children are going non-stop… and yet many times believe it or not, I will still hear “I’m bored”.
As parents, we have the wonderful opportunity of being able to set the tone in our home and create a beautiful atmosphere. A space where we can give them opportunities to thrive, to create, to imagine, to be inspired and to dream. But in creating this space at times we are afraid that if we hear the words, “I’m bored” that we are failing them and not providing them with enough activities to keep them busy.
I remember many times as a kid being sent outside to play, and yes there were moments when I felt a bit bored, but before I knew it, we began to make up survivor games, we would chase each other with the hose or we would find some way of making a fort. Once we realized someone wouldn’t create our fun for us, we began to use our imagination and we started to solve this problem of boredom.
Parents you are doing an amazing job providing your children with so many opportunities you may have never had, but lets also provide them with something invaluable like space and solitude, and let’s not be afraid to hear the word’s “I’m bored”.
I want to challenge you to try to actually schedule in free time. Especially phone free time. Time to think, time to dream, time to be still and quiet. In the Passion Translation Isaiah 30:15 says “Come back to me! By returning and resting in me you will be saved. In quietness and trust you will be made strong.”
It’s from these places that our children will learn to dream their big dreams. They will create worlds that may end up in a book or on a stage. They will become problem solvers as they discover how to not be bored anymore, they will get in touch with their feelings, and most importantly they will meet with the one who created them and loves them in a space with no distraction, where they can speak to and listen to the voice of their heavenly Father.