Family Creativity Birthed in Boredom

I learned that children need down time.  They need time just to be and relax, even time to be bored because that is when creativity and ingenuity are born.Surrounded by babies and toddlers, I was not free to entertain my children nor did we have enough money to keep them in an endless round of paid activities. At first, I frantically scrambled to  run and help my  kids with a newborn in my arms and perhaps a toddler wrapped around one of my legs. I was forced to let go, supply them with raw materials, blocks and art supplies and let them entertain themselves. Living on a farm gave the plenty of room to let their imaginations fly with costumes, forts and pretend games.Of course we included the kids in everything we did from baking, fixing the car, woodworking, gardening and caring for animals.

At first I felt guilty that i could not enroll my kids in activities but slowly I saw the fruit of giving the time to play like kids have played for centuries. They are self-motivated, hard-working but most of all each one of my nine kids are creative. One is a Red Seal Chef, others  are artists, creative with clothes, make-up, dance, writing, woodworking, carpentry, car repair and they all love to read. I simply stumbled upon a secret because I had no other choice. Ingenuity and creativity are birthed in boredom.

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20 thoughts on “Family Creativity Birthed in Boredom

  1. Love it Melanie so many parents today try so hard to fill their children’s lives with a timetable of things to do. I say some days when they say those famous words which I recall saying “Im bored.” I smile and think of what my mother use to say. “I can give you a job to do I have plenty.” We soon realised it was better to be bored and go make our own fun and thankfully so do my kiddies too. Thanks for the great message.


  2. I have cousins who have children the age of my youngest(8), those kids are up at 6 and in activity after activity until after dinner. I’m then told by them my youngest is not having enough “structure” to her day. It makes me laugh everytime, my daughter is a happy, well adjusted, intelligent little person with a great imagination and a mouth that never stops asking questions. There’s look exhausted and are cranky. 😉


      1. That’s always been my opinion. My 8 year old goes to an art class once a week, sometimes twice, but she eats, sleeps, and breathes art; one or two hours a week of something a child loves, I can see that. I can’t see the acting lessons, dance classes, karate classes, tumbling classes (I mean, don’t kids tumble naturally?? I’ve never had to put my kids in a three hour class to learn to roll.), cheerleading, gymnastics. The list is endless and it’s not including the sports these 5 to 9 year olds are in.

        I do not believe my cousins have ever heard the phrase, “Less is more”.


      2. I wonder if it is pressure to make sure your kid succeed and better than their peers or if it is a status symbol or perhaps the parents do not know how to just relax and be with their children, perhaps they do not trust the gifts within their children to rise up on their art!!


      3. I think it’s a success thing, at least with my cousins, it’s what they mention the most. My child will not be able to keep up with all the other children’s success once they hit adulthood, according to them. Maybe a little pressure from peers, keeping up with the Jones’ and all, as well.

        The school system also wants me to “help” her be successful by having her “do more structured” activities after school to aid her success in life. I think they just want her exhausted so she stops correcting them when they’re wrong 😉 But, yeah, it all so very messed up. Kids need to have time to be kids, get dirty, imagine an answer, think up questions.

        I believe if any of my children were meant to be a great anything, the ability would show itself and that’s when you see, by putting them in a starter class maybe (not going nuts and signing on for two hour sessions four times a week!) if it’s just an ability or if they love it. My son is extremely artistically talented, but it’s just fun for him, it isn’t what his soul demands he do. I would never have forced him into art class when he was a child. The 8 year old, it’s what her soul calls her to do.

        It seems to get worse every year, with the pressure to have your kids doing, doing, doing. It’s silly. And dangerous in my opinion.


      4. at least there are a few voices of reason= success driven parents lack wisdom and live only on the surface, missing all the gentle nuances that make life on earth true and good . we want to nurture deep, sensitive caring, creative, intelligent people not sucess machines


  3. Hmm. I never attributed my kids’ creativity to being allowed to be bored. We also had a large family. We tried Little League one year (four boys on three teams playing on three different fields at the same time). Once was enough. After that, they were left to fend for themselves when it came to finding things to do. They’re all very creative. Cool. 😎


  4. Excellent! I try to ensure my kids get as much downtime as possible – when they were still young, I worked at a place riddled with Type A personalities – I was shocked to find that many of their kids (ages 7-13 span at the time) were often on the go from 5 or 6 each morning till 11 at night – even on the weekends – I cannot conceive of a world where kids don’t have the time to play unhindered and uninstructed, to day dream the afternoon away – –

    I often look at these things and wonder why parents are so surprised when children rebel…


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