Go get bored.
This is a new thing I am trying with my Kiddos (ages 10 and 15). Yes, I am a mom who limits my children’s electronics time. I also do not allow my youngest to have any social media access. Let me explain why: actually, before I explain, let me also assure you that I do not mom shame you if you use your iPad as a babysitter because that’s what you need to do. There are many days where my children have enjoyed more ‘screen time’ than I feel a desire to publicly share *wink*. 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 day dreaming. I want them to understand the importance of being self sufficient, 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 becoming bored. If someone does get the opportunity to find their way to boredom, its usually found very quickly (1 minute after phone is set down) and not lived in for very long. I tell them to go get bored, then to come back and tell me what they thought about- what they envisioned- what they dreamt about. 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 been challenging myself to do the same, because I love myself. Now I challenge you- go get bored.