Towards the end of 2018, I started trying this “new thing” with my kiddos (then, ages 10 and 15). I am a mom who limits my children’s electronics time. Some days I ignore those limits. Because, life happens and sometimes extra electronics time is an absolute LIFE savor! I also do not allow my youngest to have any social media access. Let me explain why. Actually, before I explain, let me first assure you that I do not mom shame or judge. None of us should. If you use your iPad as a babysitter because that’s what you need to do, you do that Momma! Truth- we all have those days where it just simply works out better to give in and let go. I also understand that our world is migrating to all things digital/online and I know that there is a need to be proficient in using electronic devices. Knowing how to navigate the World Wide Web is pretty vital in this day in age. But here is the thing, I also really want my children to be children. I want them to play (inside/outside), to have a vivid imagination, to understand patience and to spend time daydreaming. I want them to understand the importance of being self sufficient; to be able to pick up a book and find an answer to a question rather than just knowing how to say “Hey Siri” or opening a new Google search. I want them to appreciate the ability to single task. I wanted them to know that not everything needs to be filtered or instant.
I used to tell them to go play. Now I tell them to go get bored. Why? Because research shows that we are our MOST creative when we are bored. Now a days, even when going to the bathroom, most humans will take their phone with them. Waiting for an elevator, standing in line, or any other possible “down time” is filled with plugging into the internet in some way. Therefore, no one is giving themselves time to just be bored. If someone does get the opportunity to find their way to boredom, it’s usually found very quickly (1 minute after phone is set down) and not lived in for very long. I tell my children to go get bored, then to come back and tell me what they thought about- what they envisioned- what they dreamt about- what ideas filled their heads? Sometimes after they are all done explaining, I congratulate them and tell them to go get bored for a little while longer. I do this because I love them.
I have also challenged myself to do the same, because I love myself. And, of course, most of my BEST ideas came to me when I allowed myself to feel boredom.
Now I challenge you- go get bored, and see what comes up for you!