Ingenuity And Creativity Are Birthed In Boredom

Relax, bored kids never stay bored for long

Children thrive when they are given ample unscheduled play time. Free time to explore, use their imaginations to amuse themselves and even time to be bored because boredom is the birth place of creativity and ingenuity.

Surrounded by babies and toddlers, I was not always free to run outside to solve every obstacle my kids faced as they played. At first, I scrambled to help my kids with every problem with a newborn in my arms and perhaps a toddler wrapped around one of my legs. Finally,  I realized that the best way to mother my kids was to stay peaceful, rather than frantically running around attempting to meet everyone’s needs at the same time. That meant older kids had to wait for me or try to figure out snags by themselves. Loud shrieks for mum gradually grew less frequent because while waiting for help, my kids often solved their own problems. Impatience is a wonderful motivator.

Six year old Daniel is a prime example. His grade 1 teacher recounted this story to me. It seems that she asked her grade one class this question,
“How would you open the garage door if there were no grown-ups around?”

Everybody just stared blankly at her, except for my six-year-old son. He waved his hand in the air and then excitedly blurted out,
“You just stand on a milk crate, push on the upper left-hand corner of the garage door with a hockey stick and push hard. The door comes up a bit, you jump off the crate and crawl in!!”

Then, Daniel beamed proudly.30843c1f810d2c785093b4d5f42f9714

You don’t have to solve every logistic problem for your kids or give them all the best equipment and toys. Alison was about ten and at our extended family’s cottage with a cousin. Every game my daughter suggested, her cousin would point out that they lacked some piece of equipment. After a moment to think, Alison would brightly say,
“Well, we could always use this instead!”
Her aunt and uncle laughed and remarked,
“I wonder whose daughter she is?”
Ingenuity and creativity do not spring into motion if parents give everything to their kids even before they know to ask. We could not buy expensive toys for our kids but we did make sure we always had paper, crayons, glue, paint and other craft supplies in the house. I loved watching card board boxes magically transform into cars or doll houses, especially when little people asked older siblings for help them. Then everyone became excited and involved in the project.

Today my adult children are self-starters, self-motivated and they are all creative at work, school and at home. Boredom has its place.

 

 

 

 

 

4 thoughts on “Ingenuity And Creativity Are Birthed In Boredom

  1. Love this. Yesterday, I started to try and fix my daughter’s disappointment over not having a friend to play with, when it dawned on me ~ once again ~ that it is simply God’s will that she will be doing something else. It wasn’t long before the whining stopped and she was grateful for life again.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I so agree with you Melanie! I was talking to my son this weekend about all the things they did when they were little and even some of the things my brother and I did to fill up a day. We were so incredibly creative. We need to encourage independent thinking and limit the television, internet, and video games to help our children find their passions!

    Liked by 1 person

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