Let Them Be Bored

Blog Home  |  January 24, 2018 by Heather Sandager  |  no comments  |  From the Office

“I’m booooo-ored!”. We’ve all heard it – MANY times! This dreaded statement can send a parent from a “green zone” to a “red zone” in the time it takes your child to utter those two words.

While the temptation in this day and age might be to offer your child an iPad or other form of screen time to quell their boredom, there is just too much sound research to show that boredom is actually GOOD for our kids!

Here are a few reasons why you should let your child be bored:

  1. It strengthens their EQ.  Building a child’s emotional intelligence helps them to identify and navigate their emotional world. When a child is bored it gives them the space to notice how they are feeling. In this Gottman Institute blog post, we learn that “…children need the experience of feeling these emotions and practice tolerating them to develop self-control and emotional intelligence.”.
  2. It sets them up for success in life. Child psychologist, Lyn Fry, explains in a Quartz Media article, “Your role as a parent is to prepare children to take their place in society. Being an adult means occupying yourself and filling up your leisure time in a way that will make you happy. If parents spend all their time filling up their child’s spare time, then the child’s never going to learn to do this for themselves.”
  3. Boredom breeds creativity!  Dr. Vanessa Lapointe offers this advice as a response when children come to you for relief of their boredom, “…offer zero options for filling in that void of nothing. And then watch. Watch as your child’s mind becomes quiet. Watch as their internal sense of self takes over. Watch as their sense of being comes bubbling out of them and spills over into this incredible energy to create and do and conquer.” You can read her full Huffington Post article here.
  4. Rest = Resilience. In their fantastic article in the Harvard Business Review, Shawn Achor and Michelle Gielan explain, “A resilient child is a well-rested one. When an exhausted student goes to school, he risks hurting everyone on the road with his impaired driving; he doesn’t have the cognitive resources to do well on his English test; he has lower self-control with his friends; and at home, he is moody with his parents. Overwork and exhaustion are the opposite of resilience. And the bad habits we learn when we’re young only magnify when we hit the workforce.”

It’s Unplug and Play week in our city!  Willowstone Academy proudly challenges our school families to join in on this fantastic initiative from Interior Savings. The aim of this week is to celebrate and encourage kids, families, schools, and communities to unplug from screens and explore ways to spend time together. Check out their website to see how you can connect and battle boredom together!

At Willowstone Academy, we understand that family life is full and complex. Our heart is always to serve and support families to thrive and connect in meaningful ways! In fact, our Chief Learning Officer, Karine Veldhoen, continues to develop our school’s philosophy, Learn Forward, to help parents and teachers create the conditions for children to thrive! In her latest blog series, she explores the many ways that we can “Design for Thriving”.


Making Learning Visible,

Heather Sandager, Admissions Advisor