The first time I’d heard of the concept of ‘Positive Boredom’ was at a meditation class at my local Buddhist Centre. The topic came about as it was suggested as a way of self-care and taking time for oneself, a difficult concept for a parent or anyone full stop!
As a single parent of a 3 and a half and five year old, I try and fill the days I have with the girls with activities to entertain them and keep them (and me) from turning on each other!
But, is this always the right thing to do? If I’m always providing entertainment for them, are they then utilising their own imagination and developing their independence? As a primary school teacher, I know that facilitating learning is the best way for children to develop these keys skills so why don’t I take this into my home more often?
I think there is a level of guilt that parents feel about sitting around ‘doing nothing’ however by ‘doing nothing’ you are in turn doing something, and cultivating a positive space for creativity to be born out of boredom. I know for a fact that my kids will create whole scenarios and engage in intricate role-play when we are at home ‘doing nothing’, something they wouldn’t do if they were given specific activities and having entertainment provided for them.
Now, this is not something that we have to do all the time. For sanity’s sake parents (and children) need that time out of the house, but maybe once in a while, give ‘doing nothing’ a try and see what magical things are created in your household! This is also not just for kids, looking after our own mental health is so important, so give yourselves a break sometimes and enjoy some positive boredom. We deserve to be bored too!
Author credit: Rachel Palmer