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Let Your Kids be BORED!!

15th Jun 2016   By Priya Sundaram  [95 views]

let-your-kids-be-bored

Our generation is probably the only generation which has got the best of both the worlds. The world I refer here is – the Digital world. We spent our childhood playing on the road, getting dirty, rolling in mud, making new friends, having precious holiday trips with our parents and extended family, enjoying nature, learning new languages, making new games and this was before the digital evolution as we know today took over.

Slowly every house started getting connected through phones, which got upgraded to mobile phones. Each house required a desktop, which over time changed to laptops, iPad and smart phones. The newspapers, books were now read on a smartphone or a kindle. But the best part is – Our generation knows to use these gadgets in moderation, as we have spent decades without their existence. We are ready to reap the benefits of them and yet know where to draw the line.

However, we as parents, know very well and acknowledge the fact that the times are different for our kids. They are born in an era, where if they are not familiar with “you tube”, “whats app”, “smartphone”, “apps” – they would rather feel left out among their peers.

As a new mother, a couple of years ago, I felt so much pride, when my baby enjoyed and took a peaceful nap while listening to a lullaby I played on my phone. Slowly, I started showing him, in “moderation” the rhymes, songs, short stories that I could get my hands on and approved to be good for my kid. A whole new world opened for him; he loved the Humpty and the Hickory Dickory, the Jack and Jill, the colours, the cuteness of the characters. Slowly, while travelling or fussing over food, he started demanding – to be shown his favorite rhymes in order to stop the fuss. And there were times, when I needed some peace at home, to focus on my work or in the kitchen or with my second baby, I voluntarily gave the phone to him to watch his favourite songs and cartoons. Never did I think I was doing something wrong. My kid was never bored. he was the happiest UNTIL..

We went on a vacation, where there wasn’t good network connectivity. Internet and phone connection was limited. Hell broke loose, my kid was so bored and he made sure to remind us every nanosecond that he is!! He could not enjoy our company or appreciate nature’s beauty. I started panicking as to how our vacation would end up, with him being so cranky and the bigger concern in my head was – How do I make him enjoy the simple things in LIFE, rather than living in his world of cartoons and rhymes???

Meanwhile me and my husband were desperately hatching plans to keep him busy. He started looking out for sticks and called for our attention. He said it’s a pretend arrow that he is going to aim at the “Pretend Asura”, the tree next to him. We were amused at his imagination. He started playing by himself, with nature’s resources. Sometimes he would go on a treasure hunt and would return with pebbles, small rocks, fallen leaves, bright flowers, and sometimes he would do pretend play. Soon the other kids from the neighborhood joined this little brat on his treasure hunt and a small gang of curious little kids formed. They started knowing each other, exchanging their cool play ideas.

Now this was the kind of vacation I would have had in my time and I was too happy to see that my son was having a glimpse of how it is to be “Actually” playing in the road, till late evening, making new friends in a new city, letting his imagination work and find new interesting games. That night he came back with so many stories to share with us. I made a mental note that day :

  • If my kid feels bored, I have to let him be bored and not interfere
  • Being bored triggers the kid to find a way to deal with himself, his surrounding, his imagination
  • This very imagination gives birth to various innate talents eg – drawing, observing, questioning things around, connecting with other kids, story telling etc

 

Dear readers, if you are in a similar phase of life, I sincerely request you to not try to make every minute of your kids life interesting by being there, suggesting plays or handing over gadgets to kill time. Kindly pass on the legacy of knowing how to use everything in moderation and reduce their dependency on gadgets and internet. Encourage them to be bored and trust me, you will never be bored, as your kid will open a whole new world of his imagination to you.

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