I'm curious how many of you have heard the following phrases uttered in your home.... "What should I do now Mommy?", or "I can't find anything to play with Mommy" or "Where are we going today Mommy, there's nothing to dooooooo!"
It often feels like I'm the designated Cruise Director for tiny humans all day.
Well I admit, when I hear those comments, my instinct is to list a bunch of things they could be doing or playing with while scolding them about how blessed we are to have a playroom full of toys. I've also been known to scan Pinterest for boredom buster ideas, worried that if I leave too much idle time, I am somehow falling short as their caretaker. I have one child who has a hard time entertaining herself. And one child who is pretty mischievous if left to his own adventurous devices. So I've somehow convinced myself that they need a lot of filler stuff throughout the day and that being bored is somehow a really bad thing.
But someone told me recently that it's perfectly okay to let your children feel bored sometimes. Boredom is actually an important bridge to creativity and imagination. Such wise words. And for me, it's sort of changed the way I've been parenting lately. I've released that idea that I have to be entertaining my children at all times. I'm a pretty go-with-the-flow kinda girl. But some days, how about we not trash the kitchen table with crafts and paints and projects? How about we not sign you up for every dance class and team sport possible like all your friends? How about we head outside and I can read a book while you guys make up a game? And you don't need me to play it with you!
Because here's what I found when I stop constantly directing their play - they always come up with great ideas on their own within minutes! Undirected imaginative play is so good for them. And it also gives me an opportunity to see how their sweet little brains and hearts express themselves.
And it's kinda true what they say... the more toys a kid has, the more likely they are to feel bored. It's crazy how that works. Recently, we moved our playroom from the main floor of our house to the newly finished basement. I took that opportunity to clean out, purge, and donate almost half of their toys. And they don't even miss them! All it's done is create a more restful space for everyone and a higher chance they'll be creative with what they've got. It's been freeing to leave plenty of margin for creativity and imagination. And I've been able to let go of the instinct to fill their entire day with entertainment.
Anyone else struggled with this social norm that tells us our child has to be entertained every moment of the day?
Find more thoughts from Bri on Motherhood and Faith here.