The Gift of Boredom — Omaha Montessori Educational CentersJuly 9, 2018
Summer break is just around the corner, causing parents everywhere to wonder, “How will I keep my child entertained and engaged all summer?” If this sounds like you and you have yet to add anything to your child’s summer calendar, don’t panic. Your planning may be more complete than you think. What we mean by this is that your child could likely benefit from a calendar with plenty of “nothing” on it. This is not to say you shouldn’t plan some key activities or vacations. Rather, we are suggesting that you consider the importance of intentionally allowing your child time to do nothing. This will give them the opportunity to experience the gift of boredom, which can be instrumental in their development.
In today’s blog, we would like to share with you this idea of the gift of boredom and how boredom can help inspire your child’s creativity, motivation, imagination, and more. If you are in the Omaha area and looking for an educational center that goes beyond the scope of a traditional daycare, preschool, or elementary school, check out our Omaha Montessori Educational Centers. We have a network of seven Educational Centers throughout the Omaha area, serving children 6 weeks through 12-years old.
Boredom Can Improve Creativity
For children, boredom typically breeds creativity. Rather than lamenting their lack of plans or staring at the wall, children often begin to engage their imagination when given nothing to do. Whether it’s inventing their own world or creating imaginary animals, children find ways to fill the void. If your child is reluctant to fully embrace their boredom, you can remind them how something interesting and exciting is just around the corner, which is true — to children, so much of the world and even their house and yard is full of new stimuli. You just have to remind them sometimes to open up their mental canvas. If they are still resisting, nudge them toward building a pillow fort or something comparable that will send their imaginations whirling.
Boredom Can Improve Psychological Well-Being
When we are bored, our brains find ways to make things interesting. While children are not the most introspective, when bored they are forced to rely on internal resources. Not only does this help to develop a strong imagination, but it also gives them time to reflect on what they’ve done, making their experiences more meaningful. This is especially helpful when processing new experiences, which for kids come quite often. Boredom can give more weight and meaning to whatever they are processing, and introducing children to this early on helps them identify value in their own lives and begin to develop their own worldview.
Boredom Can Motivate
Part of what makes boredom so great is that it can motivate children in new and important ways. Not only does a lack of programmed activity help develop creativity and problem solving, but it can also help strengthen motivational skills. Boredom gives children the chance to make their own decision and find ways to engage with the world around them. This can send them down a learning path very similar to what we strive to inspire at our Montessori Educational Centers. We have created an environment where students have the freedom and tools to get the answers to their own questions through carefully prepared materials with a built-in self-correction system. Our goal is, in part, to inspire them to trust in their curiosity and intuitively understand the benefits of learning and finding answers to their questions. Guiding them toward this type of experience helps build self-discipline, and it arms students with a perpetual curiosity about the world around them.
Boredom Can Help Parents
Another great thing about scheduling time to do nothing is that it gives you some time to relax and catch up on other parts of your life. Don’t feel guilty for scheduling times throughout the week for your children to do nothing. Boredom should not be looked at as causing discomfort. Instead, look at it as presenting an opportunity. While this gift of boredom can take a lot off the plate of parents, this, of course, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t observe what your child is drawn to and make suggestions when applicable. For example, a big part of the Montessori method is observation — watching for what children gravitate toward and finding ways to feed and stoak that curiosity. This same principle can easily be applied on these days when you embrace boredom.
We all know that being under-stimulated can be unpleasant. However, this discomfort is an important part of life and letting children experience it early on can be a great motivator. It can help cultivate curiosity, creativity, motivation, confidence, and other important traits that help them grow up to become smart, curious, and well-adjusted adults. Keep this in mind when filling up your child’s summer calendar. Boredom may be just the thing your child needs to thrive this summer.
If you are in the Omaha area and looking for a school or nursery that goes beyond a traditional daycare or elementary school, we hope that you will consider the Omaha Montessori Educational Centers. If you are unfamiliar with the Montessori method, be sure to check out our recent blog — Benefits of a Montessori Education. Learn more about us, our locations, and contact us today to schedule a tour of one of our schools.