Last Updated on March 11, 2024

“Mommy, I’m bored!” How many times a day do you hear those words? I hear them a lot.

Once a week, several of my friends try to get together over coffee and share news of the week. We have a wide range of families—our children range in age from high school down to infants, two of us have children on the autism spectrum, and one cares for her mother who has advanced Alzheimer’s Disease. As you can imagine, the conversations are often lively.

So the other day, I listened to a discussion on boredom and its necessity in childhood and I recognized that we have it all wrong when it comes to “protecting” our kids from boredom. In this era of technology and over abundance, we often forget that the simple things are the best.

One friend commented that boredom is one of the greatest tools for learning. With less stuff, kids are forced to use a greater amount of brainpower and imagination.

In her research of learning, she said imaginative play was more powerful for brain development than any computer game or TV show. And she stated that most kids don’t get a chance to try this because they are over stimulated electronically and with activities.

Her advice?

Slow down.

And if the kids say they’re bored? Tell them you have plenty of things for them to do starting with the vacuum cleaner and the mop. There is nothing like the threat of housework to spur on creative play!

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