The Case For Being Bored
Summertime is here. I know it's not the official first day of summer, but since yesterday was Bubby's last day of school, it is in our house! This got me to thinking about when I was a kid. Nowadays, I see all over the place parents looking for ways to "entertain" their kids in the summertime. Either with camps, vacations, workshops, etc. Whatever happened to just letting kids get bored? Isn't that when the best ideas come up?
I remember when I was a kid, we would spend a lot of time at my grandparents' house, which is in the middle of nowhere in a little village named Laurens NY. Grandma's house is an old farmhouse that has been in the family since the late 30's, early 40's. The closest neighbor is about 2 miles away. No cable, no internet, they even had a party line phone until the early 80's. My cousins and I would spend weeks there with Grandma and Grandpa. And yes, we got bored. But, that was when our imaginations would kick in the best. We would explore the woods, come up with games like "war" and "tree fairies" (Don't ask), ride the tractor around the property, play in the barn, climb trees, etc. We played tons of board games and card games. Even when we weren't at Grandma's, my parents didn't feel the need to entertain us. I would spend a lot of time at the library, play in the backyard, ride my bike, bug my brothers, etc. My brothers' love recounting tales of when they would try to build rafts to float in a pond out back of one of the houses we lived in. They sank almost every time, but they had so much fun building them. The neighborhood football games and baseball games; except when you're the little sister who gets thrown over the fence to fetch the balls. Yep, literally thrown over the fence. But, this was all part of the memories. And it was fun!
I think we need to let the kids get bored and see what they can come up with to entertain themselves.
I limit my kids' electronic usage and make Bubby really mad when I kick him outside to "get the stink blown off him". But, usually, he comes back in with a story of what he found in the woods, the cool bug he found, what he did with Bolt and Kojack, what he saw in the neighborhood while riding his bike. This is when the memories are made. I believe that kids today are lacking in imagination because of the over abundance of electronics and being "entertained". I challenge all the adults out there to let your kids get bored this summer and see what they come up with!