Boredom – An Essential Ingredient for Creativity
stimulation makes us uncomfortable. And, unfortunately, our children are learning to satisfy these unpleasant feelings with technology.
As Bertrand Russell, a British philosopher said: “We are less bored than our ancestors were, but we are more afraid of boredom.” However, when we try to rid ourselves of every moment of boredom, we close off our ability to think on a deeper level. Boredom breeds creativity and when children can fulfill the stimulation they are seeking by allowing themselves to “space out,” associative thinking is engaged. Sooner or later, they will create a new game, find different uses for items, or be inspired to find a new skill.
By enforcing an amount of boredom daily, children not only tap into creativity, but they also give their brains an opportunity to rest and reset. When the brain is relaxed, mental clutter diminishes, and new possibilities are abounding. A sense of curiosity presents itself and children learn problem-solving skills by a need to fulfill idle time. Their confidence is then built because they are taking chances with new experiences and goals. By allowing children the time to explore new things, parents help them learn life skills that will stick with them when things go back to normal.
To support children, even more, parents can be role models by resisting the urge to pick up a device during every moment of downtime. Parents can also take the opportunity to implement Parent SKILLZ techniques and information. By putting down devices, parents can be more attuned to their child’s curiosities and prompt them to try new things. Doing so in a way that is fun and fosters new interests can also enhance the parent and child connection.
With our current situation, the summer slump and ensuing boredom will surely hit harder this year. Creating a plan for children that allows space in their routine for “boredom” will promote curiosity. Remember, as Robert M. Pirsig said, “Boredom always proceeds a period of great creativity.” Learning to “space out” again and avoiding the constant use of technology will create a more relaxed mind and cultivate a more inquisitive approach to life.