Boredom = Time for Healing
Boredom in Our Kids’ Lives Is Actually Time to Heal
Our kids’ sadness can be unpleasant and hard for us
to deal with ourselves but its necessary.
I’ve written in the past about the value of boredom for our kids. When they talk about needing something to do or one of my kids even starts chanting “bored, bored, bored”, I tell them that I’m excited that they have time to pray, rest their minds and hearts and read their bible.
They don’t always respond positively right away, but they start off by realizing that we aren’t going to flinch when they claim boredom, and hopefully we have begun the process of shifting their thinking of boredom from a negative to opportunity. Here is another positive result of boredom. (I’ve written 4 total.)
Boredom = time to feel
I’m not sure if you have ever found yourself doing this but so often we avoid dealing with how we are feeling by distracting ourselves. We “self medicate” in any number of ways. Video games, ice cream, parties and other social settings, maybe even just turning on the TV. Escaping is safe, or we think it is, but it’s only temporary and can be quite harmful if we don’t ever really deal with our issues.
Our minds NEED the space to process, thinking and considering, and most importantly feeling the emotions and natural internal responses related to a situation are VITAL to our emotional health and well being. The last thing we need is to have kids that grow up avoiding their own emotions using whatever tool or source that they need to to avoid unpleasant feelings.
Feelings and emotions were given to us by God for a reason. Whether we are grieving or overjoyed with excitement, we need to allow ourselves to feel both the good and bad in order to learn what it means to be excited, deeply sad, and everything in between.
I think about all of the movies I’ve seen where someone is drowning their sorrows in a bucket of ice-cream or bag of chips. These scenes aren’t all bad, most of the time they are actually allowing themselves to feel real feelings in those moments. That is at least until they get out of the house and find a distraction of some kind, something to numb and ignore what is really being felt.
For us as parents, it’s important to walk our kids through the value and impact of feeling things. During this quiet time of “boredom”, we can prevent baggage from building up as resentment comes to the surface for us to face. If we don’t have the tools to sit quietly and process, we may even stifle our passion because any overt emotion feels wrong, or like we are out of control. This is NOT healthy emotional development and it’s our responsibility as parents to teach out children that those emotions are normal and even positive. In doing so, we also teach them how to regulate and stop emotional train wreck moments, describing for them when the appropriate time is to express some of those feelings – simply put, bottling them up is never a good thing.
May you and your children continue to embrace boredom and shift our thinking of it from dread to opportunity.