Guest blog: If your children complain of boredom, try not to feel guilty but glad

(6 Posts)
HannahMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 26-Mar-13 12:30:49

In a guest blog today, Dr Teresa Belton of the University of East Anglia argues that - despite many parents going to great lengths to ensure their children are constantly stimulated - a little boredom can be good for a child.

She says that a gap in activity encourages children to entertain themselves by thinking creatively, rather than relying on the "quick-fix" of TV and handheld devices.

What do you think? Is your instinct to step in whenever your child appears bored, or are you a bit more 'laissez-faire' wink? Have a read of the blog and share your experiences with us below.

OP’s posts: |
Kirk1 Tue 26-Mar-13 15:40:35

I always say that boredom is good for a child! They need to learn to entertain themselves at some point.

ILoveDolly Tue 26-Mar-13 22:54:59

My children always begin to play the best games a few days into the holiday, once 'boredom' really sets in. I have an ideas box full of cards that I get out if they are really being pests. Each card has a suggestion on such as 'build a den' or 'get out a jigsaw'. They usually look at several before they find one they like, but it helps them to remember the range of things they could do. After all they're only 7, 3 and 1!

Alicadabra Thu 28-Mar-13 19:00:47

I agree wholeheartedly and not just because I'm too lazy to think up ideas for them and too mean to take them on outings.

I've finally found an effective way of dealing with the once-persistent wail of "I'm bored!" - I remind the children that they have plenty of toys, books etc and say that if they can't find something to do with them, I might as well give it all away. It seems to work pretty well for now.

nailak Thu 28-Mar-13 19:18:20

i find when my kids are bored they creatively trash their room in the name of imaginative play,

but at least they playing together and quiet eh?

Shitemum Sat 30-Mar-13 09:48:34

Some of my most lasting memories of being a child are of when I wasn't doing much - lying in long grass watching insects go about their business or watching the world go by on a rainy day from a window.
As an adult, pre-children of course, I would spend hours lying on the sofa just letting my thoughts wander, watching the play of light on the ceiling from the trees outside the window or thinking through practical problems. (It helped that I lived in a country where it was too hot to do anything else for several hours in the middle of the day!).
I think it's important that children and adults have opportunities to do nothing in particular, to just listen to their own thoughts for a while.

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