Boredom is not a common condition. In the case of our own children – we are extremely reluctant to him. Boredom is associated with a lack of parental thrift and childhood passivity. Nothing good can come of it. However, it is worth taking a closer look at the boredom. It can carry many meanings and – paradoxically – mark the beginning of changes. Children get bored when it rains.
I’m bored. Can i play?
Question is not just a simple question of consent. It also acts as a mini-probe, with which the child examines what the mother thinks about the time at the computer, console, tablet or smartphone. “I’m bored. Can I play? “Is the question of whether it is a good idea for a smartphone to become man’s best friend?
For the conscious adult, the answer is obvious. The smartphone should be a very helpful tool, irreplaceable – certainly not. Technologies are and will be present; it is not worth denying this fact: today’s children, as adults, will function in a world filled with multimedia. They will also seek relaxation with their help. So it makes sense to develop important skills in children. On the one hand: efficient use of modern devices, on the other – overcoming the threats of abuse.
What actions are on the parent’s side?
Certainly, the interactivity framework should be sensibly defined. This is not an easy task – the child, on the one hand, is encouraged to take care of himself, on the other – he has to submit to the arrangements regarding time and content. The right of the child is not to accept certain decisions of the parent, to be convinced of the superiority of his own ideas. It is no longer the right, but the responsibility of the parent to organize free time within the framework that serves the child. We often expect the child to set limits for himself. In the process of developing self-control, it obviously grows up to that. But he is certainly not fully capable of self-control at school age. And it doesn’t have to. Setting boundaries is the job of adults. Therefore, it is on the parent’s side to define the time frames at the computer and to correct them in a common sense.
In the case of excessive concentration of a child on multimedia activities, it is worth recognizing why these activities enter the leisure time so intensely? What is missing that the idea of using them is so important for the child? A young person is maturing to organize a worthwhile rest, he will not be able to present this skill right away. Therefore, it is on the parent’s side to show the child a variety of activities and create space for experiencing joy in everyday life, “in real life”. It takes effort to prove that you can enjoy your free time for sports, music, any fun, reading books and many other great things. Fortunately, this effort always pays off in the future – the child learns that he can provide himself with similar attractions.
A great opportunity to develop the ability to relax is … including the offspring in the daily household chores. You cannot enjoy your free time if you do not have experience, what it is like to wait for it, earn it and earn it. In the process of upbringing, it is worth giving the child the belief that the rest time tastes best when it balances the working time.
I’m bored. I’m tired
In the children’s “I’m Bored!” there may be other meanings as well. Sometimes this sentence means “I don’t feel like it anymore, I’m tired.” And it is said at the most unexpected moment.
Kamil is a student of the sports class. He is training volleyball. He spends more time at school than his peers from parallel classes because he has more hours of physical education. In the afternoon he travels to the sports club for training three times a week. On other days he goes to extra English lessons. The family spends their time actively, and at weekends they often follow the tourist routes of the Beskids. Kamil has been bored for a month now. He talks about changing the club and coach. He says he would like to train differently, and he is thinking about changing discipline in general.
It is hard to imagine that with a full schedule, Kamil may have time to get bored. It is also difficult to blame the parents for actively spending their free time. Only after a few talks, Kamil called his expectation: he would like to slow down, have more time only for himself, he no longer wants to submit to the training regime. Kamil’s story shows that “I’m bored!” it is sometimes a call for a change, slowing down the pace or rejection of a commitment.
We will look at a factor that Kamil called “slowing down”. What is the value of the time that could flow slower on selected days? Let us recall quiet, unhurried holiday mornings, the so-called pajama breakfasts. When we think about our time as a task – such mornings are considered lost. When we free ourselves from the pressures of speed and efficiency, we see value in them. Only seemingly little happens during them. In fact, pajama breakfasts provide the necessary moments of rest, closeness and familiarity. They allow the child to see the parent in a different light. The change of perspective also affects the parents – the abusive teenager suddenly becomes ingratiating and does not feel offended when his mother speaks to him in a diminutive way. It is during pajama breakfasts that a child can tell us something important – he has the feeling that he does not have to hurry anywhere and that he will be listened to. He can laze around: rest, take care of what he did not have time for during the week. Together, ideas are born with which everyone identifies. Ordinary, unhurried everyday life can also be attractive.
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Kamil’s example shows that under the appearances of boredom there was fatigue and a feeling of overload. Kamil, after talking to his parents and the school teacher, decided to continue training handball. He does not want to interrupt what he started now, he will make any important decisions after the end of junior high school. He will go to English lessons once a week. In summer, he will go to a language camp.
Science? This is boring
Finally, “I am bored” is known to all parents who help their children adapt to school. There is no question of boredom at the stage of buying school bags and choosing crayons. So why does it appear later?
Julia gets bored very often. Actually, she starts to get bored when mom wants her to do her homework. A few minutes of work and the girl was discouraged. No, she really wants to work. Or rather, she would have been working if it had all been more interesting. And now – it’s just boring. Once Julia forces herself to act, she does all the exercises hastily. In order to finish it as soon as possible and finally stop boredom, as he says.
For children, especially in the beginning grades, it is worth considering what is really hidden under the words “I’m bored!” when you describe a day at school or do your homework. In some children, “I’m bored!” It’s true. These are students who receive tasks below their capacity. The proposed activities do not bring them satisfaction – they lack the cognitive value of the challenge. In some children, “I’m bored!” however, it relates to a specific problem. The younger the child, the less dexterous he calls his fears or worries. The sentence “I’m bored!” so it often means “I don’t believe it can work” or “I’m worried that I don’t understand much of it.”
It is worth looking for the true meaning in what the child expresses: observe what the child has trouble with and how he tries to deal with unpleasant activity. The most common strategy is to delay, such as with homework. The child may also perform tasks quickly and carelessly or wait passively for help from an adult.
What to do if the child claims that he is bored, but in fact – does not want to work in the classroom and at home?
First of all – to name the child’s difficulty directly and honestly in the internal dialogue.
Then define precisely what actions will help to overcome it. Include them in the daily routine.
Finally, show the child how to dynamise the learning process, mentally “get off the couch”. During learning, provide younger people with impressions that come from many senses – let them, for example, listen to a story read by mom (hearing) and watch pictures (eyesight) at the same time. Older – encourage learning in line with sensory preferences. Some children learn the fastest through the visual channel, they will certainly be happy to use, for example, highlighters, with which they will highlight the most important sentences in the text. Others are best recorded when they can tell us aloud what they have learned. Still others will understand the fastest when we play puns with them, so we engage in learning by movement and touch.
Returning to the principles of learning – it is worth encouraging the use of activity and independent, active search for a solution to the problem. At the end of the day, it’s good to just ask your child what they’ve learned interesting and motivate them to write their own summaries.
As you can see, it is not worth thinking schematically about boredom. When we adopt the detective’s attitude as parents, under a seemingly unattractive feeling of boredom, we will discover many other emotions and childhood expectations. Observation, conversation, and finally creativity – both ours and the child’s – will allow boredom to look better. And overcome it successfully.