It is always funny to me when people come up to me when I’m with my daughter or my girlfriends kids and they tell us just how well behaved they are. They act as if we’ve somehow found a miracle to raising kids that are well behaved and who have manners. I usually respond by saying thanks and that we put a ton of energy, love, and time into the kids and today must be a day that we’re seeing great results. The truth is being a parent is tough work. Anyone can make a kid or just feed it and plop it in front of a TV/screen to watch mindless television but very few adults I’m realizing want to really dig into being a better parent. They want to GIVE kids everything but the essential things they need. Today I’m going to talk about one of those hidden needs that people seem to have forgotten about in our new age of computers, tables, Ipads, and ever increasing ways to be entertained.
Before I get into the meat and potatoes of this post I wanted to direct you first time folks to my very first post on Parenting. In it you can read over the basics of parenting and the best method of parenting that I use with my daughter. I used to say the research suggests these are the best ways but now by experience I can affirm that they work amazingly well. Giving a child (age 2 and up) the ability to explore the world, understand their new emotions, talk about feelings and being open, giving them space and time to accomplish tasks/goals, and giving them easy to follow life guidelines will only serve them better as they continue to grow up.
So what are we talking about today? Something boring. Actually that is the subject. Being bored. Just the other day while at the gym my girlfriends 4 year old son had decided he didn’t want to do school work on the Ipad anymore. So I put the Ipad away and I went back to my workout, not thinking a thing about it. It was later on when someone asked me what he was doing and I replied with something like ‘learning how to be bored’ and got a strange look. I didn’t explain it at the time but I wanted to discuss it here where it might resonate with some folks a bit more. In the day and age that we live in it is very easy to be entertained. We have television, computer games, live streaming, social media, tablets, Ipads, and more. We’re even starting to see restaurants that have electronics for kids to use while they are waiting for food! It blows my mind that for some kids to behave they need to have their face stuffed into an electronic device. Children need to be bored from time to time. It increases problem solving skills. “Huh, I’m bored what the heck can I do now?” It increases creativity. It builds patience unlike anything else I know of, expect maybe waiting for the VA to get a new appointment. If you don’t believe me you can goggle children need to be bored and come up with not just blogs but a ton of research over how boredom is something children need to experience to grow into a well adjusted person. How do I know boredom is important? I remember this kid who is behaving like a jackass because going shopping was ‘boring’ to him and that his mother ‘needed’ to buy him some candy. I watched the mother use the candy as a bargaining chip as leverage while this little brat whined all around the shopping market I was in. If you don’t allow your children to experience a little boredom from time to time they will come to expect you and the world to fulfill that need because it is an expectation. Instead of it being one of those things about life that you have to learn to cope with in a positive way, you’ll end up with a self entitled little jackass. Good luck with that!
It reminds me of my favorite cup parenting thing but I’m going to save that for another day. Yeah. I need to write that up sometime soon too. Cups. Oh the fun lessons I have learned being a dad man. Anyways thanks for reading and feel free to post any comments down below.