Today…you have permission to be bored!

Martine Bernier

Health journalist, editor-in-chief

August 2, 2021

Dance classes, sports, music, chess, weekends packed with excursions, TV shows, books, tablets, computers … many parents do everything they can to keep their offspring entertained and optimally stimulated. However, experts assume that children also need time for themselves.

Time to take a break from the constant stimulation of the outside world, time to dream, think, invent occupations and discover their talents and interests.

They assume that boredom is as beneficial as activities to promote physical, cognitive, social, and cultural development.

Why? Because they are given “empty” periods of time that they have to fill themselves – without any help at all – by using their own resources, creativity and imagination.

Many personalities with an artistic profession tell that they were bored as a child and used these moments to write diaries, bake cakes, observe their environment, draw, make up stories

… While it is physically and mentally undemanding to let your mind wander, it is anything but useless, because doing nothing is primarily where new ideas germinate.

Helping young children find pleasure in simple activities like pottery or drawing is just as valuable as helping them grow up and get used to always being efficient and busy. Many parents feel guilty when their child complains about being bored. That’s why you have to allow him to make the most of these moments, for example, by providing him with simple craft materials for which he has to use his own resources. A box of crayons, a ballpoint pen, paper, colorful balls of wool, a magnifying glass, some wooden boards, scissors, an old magazine… Enough to awaken the child’s instinct to explore, invent, observe and concentrate.

Try not to intervene if your child initially lacks ideas. Instead, tell him what you would have done in this situation at his age. This may be enough inspiration for him to come up with his own ideas and discover his own preferences!

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