Contributed by Dr. Charles Fay, Love and Logic Parenting, loveandlogic.com
Children who’ve spent their first few years of life being entertained by television, exciting toys with batteries, and well-meaning adults lack critical skills for success in school. That’s the bottom line. Children who have spent years playing in the sandbox, coloring with crayons, chasing butterflies, and stomping around in mud puddles have been given a great gift. The skills they develop through these simple yet important activities foster success from preschool through graduate school. That’s the good news.
Unfortunately, too many loving, intelligent, and well-meaning parents have fallen into the trap of believing that “good parents” keep their children entertained and stimulated each and every moment of the day. When they see their children getting “bored,” they quickly intervene with a fun activity or gadget. As a result, their youngsters spend way too much time pushing the buttons on exciting electronic toys, staring at the television and riding in the car from one activity to another. Sadly, little or no time is left over for running, playing, and being creative.
Children who’ve been constantly entertained grow into adults who are constantly bored.
Love and Logic parents give their kids an advantage in life by understanding that children need plenty of opportunities to find themselves in a rather dull or “boring” situation. Why? Because these situations encourage youngsters to develop and practice creative ways of entertaining themselves… and exploring the vast and exciting frontiers of imagination and creative problem-solving.
Where would we be today if Ben Franklin, Albert Einstein or Thomas Edison had grown up believing that it was another’s responsibility to be creative and keep them entertained?
Because they know the importance of creative play and exploration, Love and Logic parents have plenty of “Boredom Training Sessions.” As I wrote our book, Love and Logic Magic: When Kids Leave You Speechless, the “Boredom Training Session” follows these steps:
Step 1: Plan for providing dull periods in your home.
Step 2: Provide plenty of materials and toys that foster creativity.
Step 3: Pray that your child will come to you and say “I’m bored.”
Step 4: Place primary responsibility for solving this “boredom problem” on your child.
Step 5: “Notice and describe” when your child is playing independently.
“You built that by yourself?”
“That book looks really interesting.”
“You turned Teddy into a monster.”
“I noticed that you made three pictures.”
You’ll be amazed at how brightly your child’s eyes will shine when you apply this step!