Monday, June 16, 2014

On Being Bored...

We are on Day 2 of summer break from school.  On Day 1, I heard the "B" word.  You know the one.
Do they really miss school so much already that they can't entertain themselves at home?  Or do they really expect me to entertain them All.The.Time?

On Day 1, I declared on our agenda would be NOTHING.  No meeting up with friends, no outings, no housework, no crafts.  Nothing.  It started out well enough- The World Cup was on and they wanted to design their own jerseys on a printable template I had found.  They spent time in the yard recreating the soccer they had just been watching.  They played a little Lego.  But then it happened...Boredom.

I decided we would have a chat about boredom.  We talked about what summer will look like for us this year.  I don't need to entertain them every waking hour of their day.  They WILL be bored and they WILL have to figure out how to remedy this by using something amazing called "imagination." I reminded them that there are times that I would like to enjoy reading or working on a craft project myself.  Or that there will be days when I need to do laundry or we need to run errands or do housework. I also informed them that I had plenty of things for them to do for me if they were truly bored.  Those little faces showed they were not pleased.

I saw this article this morning on Facebook and it made me happy:

Someone on the same team!

As Mamas, we are constantly bombarded with 101 Things to Do in the Summer and Build a Backyard Water Park. We are told we need to plan every minute of every day and make it magical and memorable. We need to have perfectly staged lemonade stands with chevron-striped paper straws.  We need to buy 100 pool noodles to create our own foam pit.  We need to create a bored jar so they can pick an activity on a stick when they are bored.

Listen, I am a planner and I LOVE Pinterest and I do have a Summertime board.  I love planning for them and executing fun outings and activities.  But I also know that they NEED to be bored.  They NEED to use their brains for play.  They NEED to use their hands and bodies for more than electronic devices and games.
I NEED to have my own summer bucket list, which includes finishing 3 classes that I am enrolled in.

So, what happened after our talk?  They went outside, again, but for hours.  They re-discovered our chalk bucket with a neighbor girl and drew a castle, village and traced outlines of their bodies (kinda looks like a crime scene on our patio right now).  They made a propeller type thing out of found wood and screws.  They ate popsicles and got really sweaty.  It was a good day...

1 comment:

Cindy deRosier said...

I struggle with this. Since my son is an only child and we don't have neighbor kids close to his age out and about, I have to be more involved in planning playdates, scheduling structured activities, etc. It's so different for him than when I was a kid with a sibling and tons of neighborhood kids who also spent all day outside. So glad your boys rediscovered the fun of unstructured outdoor play!