Boredom is Opportunity for Creativity - Redefining Boredom Part 3
In my pursuit to change our response to the word “boredom” in our home, I continually find more benefits of unscheduled time, particularly in our children’s lives as they work toward maturity and independence.
This is the third part in a series outlining the opportunities that boredom creates for us and our children.
I heard a quote recently in a video found at http://www.insidequest.com/ featuring Simon Sinek that said, “Boredom makes room for creativity.” It was in relation to the epidemic of technology and social media on our culture.
There is truth to that statement, there is a kid’s movie that I watched called “Robots” and a primary quote/theme in the movie was this; “see a need, fill a need” and it has really increased the amount of needs I take the time to think about and notice, while simultaneously increased my creative problem solving. Instead of seeing the need and wondering who has a solution for it, I begin to think of what solutions I could come up with for the problem.
The issue that we run into with our children starts in the first part of that statement, “see a need.” If we are constantly filling our children’s minds and lives with things to distract them and keep then entertained, will they ever see a need in the first place?
Boredom first allows us the space to notice.
But it doesn’t stop there. Once they notice, what response are they going to have?
The most common scenario for people is that they will notice, but instantly look up the solution on Google instead of exploring options that they might have for themselves. When I was younger I had to wait until I got home and look up the answer in a dictionary or encyclopaedia, which trained my brain to remember and consider the level of importance I attributed to different things. Now I look things up immediately, and promptly forget that I even had the question in the first place.
We need to help our children realize that even if there is an answer to find online, it’s entirely possible that you might be able to come up with a better one. An even more novel concept would be to not need the Internet to survive at all!
Boredom helps our minds remember, exercise and be creative. Instead of relying on the expertise and knowledge of others, we become innovators and creators of solutions.
Space for thought, reflection and creativity for our children requires space – that space is often called boredom. When my children say they are bored I get excited, I ask them how they are doing and engage with them relationally while walking them through different feelings they may have or may need to sort through. Their complaints of boredom become initiation for me to “see a need, a fill a need” with them and teach them to be creative and process, to be innovators and problem solvers.