Friday, March 1, 2013

Why Are We So Afraid of Boredom?

After school today, my youngest begs for a play date. I tell her that's not in the plan. She wants to watch TV. I tell her that's not in the plan.

"What am I supposed to do?" Once again, I remember those words of a great counselor who told me one of the greatest gifts to give a child is the gift of boredom.

(Boredom appears in this blog as a genuine way to begin living with flair.)

But I almost can't do it. It's too hard watching her wandering about, moping. I almost call her friends, turn on a video, or orchestrate some elaborate craft. I almost begin the grand distraction of busy, busy, busy and the frenzy of every-moment-occupied.

"What are we supposed to be doing?" she asks helplessly.

"Well, I'm reading this book. I'm not sure what you're doing."

She wanders. She begs.

Finally--it takes a full 7 minutes--she settles into her own imagination. I'm not sure what's going on in there, but it involves paints and graphing.

It was hard. I did it. I waited and gave the gift of boredom.

Did someone give you the gift of boredom when you were growing up?


Italian Mama said...

Congratulations for standing your ground!

Elaine said...

Thank you for this post! It led to hours of fun snacking through Luci Swindoll's books looking for a piece she wrote reflecting on her childhood years of boredom and sharing her mother's constant advice to make something with her hands.
My mom went back to work when I was 7 so summers were spent with much "boredom" in which to read and dream, play games with a sister, and make stuff sprinkled with house or yard work.
These days, I don't always recognize boredom for what it is, but I find that if I engage in some creative activity - cooking, crafting, even just taking the time to look about with interest, I come away content.
I'm going now to make something with my hands!

Roberta Rae said...

yes - wonderful way to make her find her own creative outlet; I grew up with no cable, no internet (before the time); rode my bike all over, played with my plastic horses, etc. Boredom is a blessing.

Roberta Rae said...

HA - just read this; be careful of boredom :)

LivewithFlair said...

So funny!!!