mental health, reflections

A timely reminder

There are moments of synchronicity in life. Emails from others with uplifting words which arrive just at the moment they are needed.

I had an email from someone I knew online years ago. Back when I wrote another blog. Funny how she mentioned one blog post that I needed to read and reflect on at this point in time.

This blog post was on the gift of boredom and weirdly I’ve been feeling bored for the last few months. A trapped sort of feeling. An itching to do something but having no idea what it is.

The Gift Of Boredom

Way back in 2012…

When I was growing up, to say “I’m bored” would of been like swearing to my dad. He’d quickly put me down by telling me, “Only boring people are bored!”
I’ve grown up to think of boredom as a negative emotion and state of being. And I’ve gone on to also parent expressing to my children that boredom is a very negative state of being.

But is boredom such a negative thing?
And should children be made to feel bad about being bored?

There are many who will tell you that kids are increasingly bored as they no longer have the concentration span to stay engaged in an activity for any length of time. I’d argue that this isnt true I’ve got kids who will spend hours on a single game on the computer! 

So what is boredom?
For me boredom is a restlessness and inability to settle to a task. A seeking of something new to do. An itch in my soul that needs to be scratched but I just can’t reach. Being bored is not a comfortable feeling, for me it comes with a lot of guilt from childhood. I can hear my dad … Only boring people get bored…. Those who lack imagination get bored…. As a result I feel sad and angry with myself when I feel bored.

But is boredom really so bad?
I’m starting to think it really isn’t the negative thing I have always thought it to be! Boredom is the thing that spurs me on to try something new. If I hadn’t been bored with my other crafts then I may not have tried spinning. I often feel bored prior to designing many of my designs here on the blog. Boredom really is the catalyst many of us need to try something new. Maybe boredom is the sign of a very creative mind, an inquisitive mind a mind that thirsts to know more. 

Parenting and boredom…
I’m rethinking the way I respond to my kids now when they tell me they are bored. If I look at boredom as being the tool of a creative mind to learn more then my attitude to the emotion of boredom changes. 
I can start asking a few questions and learning more about my children. Why are they bored? What do they need to learn? What new experiences can we engage in as a family? 

Maybe I can use their boredom as a way for us to connect and be together as a family. 
Why don’t we go the park while we think of what else you’d like to do?

Boredom is such a complicated and sophisticated emotion and being. Truly a necessary emotion that I believe is responsible for many advancements in human knowledge and understanding. Instead of putting children down when they express they are bored maybe we should encourage them to explore the feeling and embrace the new learning it brings.

3 thoughts on “A timely reminder”

  1. I always thought a bit of boredom was good for kids!!
    It means they can have the experience of deciding for themselves how to use ‘unstructured time’. It’s the beginning of creativity; how they learn to engage with themselves and the world, to imagine and invent and create.
    Definitely not a bad thing to feel guilty about!!
    Hope you are well,
    Cheers, Sonya

    Liked by 2 people

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