If any of you have kids at home now, cooped up in the house, I am sure you have heard them say this a million times, “But I’m bored.” Your first thought is most likely, “How can you be bored when you have Xbox, YouTube, the Internet, and 15 thousand TV stations.” Today’s youth doesn’t know and will never know the struggle of only having three TV stations. Let’s not even mention how we felt as kids with three tv stations and the president was on. Our night was over. LOL. Anyways, the struggle with boredom is real for our kids, but why?
Why Do They Struggle With Boredom?
With so many options and access out there today, kids are easily trained that they have to be constantly stimulated to be happy. The portability of electronic devices and access to the Internet has created a generation of kids who are constantly connected. They know what their friends are up to in an instant and want the latest game as soon as it hits the market. They are looking for that next high. And when they don’t have it, they get bored. Imagine constantly being stimulated with the graphics and knowledge at our fingertips today, and then taking it away. But taking it away isn’t the problem either. The real problem comes in when they have access to it 24/7 and they are even getting bored with that. Then what’s the answer?
Being Bored Is Kind Of The Answer
Believe it or not, being bored is the answer. Well, kinda. In order to find happiness, kids need to be okay when they are not being stimulated by the games, graphics, and connectivity of the Internet. Kids need to learn how to enjoy the things around them. Running around outside, reading a good book, or simply sitting quietly for 10 minutes. I know, asking a teenager or younger child to sit still for 10 minutes can seem like torture for them. Well, like anything else, at first it will be tough, but with practice it becomes easier. But how do you get them started with just sitting there, without the Internet at their finger tips?
Challenge your kids to sit still with you. Tell them you want to do an experiment and have them sit down with you. You could read a book together, or you each read a book of your choice at the same time. I have a Power Hour with my youngest son once a week where we read for 20 minutes and then play card or board games for 40 minutes. I find this to be a great way to break him away from the pull the Internet and electronic games can have.
You could also challenge them to sit for 10 minutes with you and look around the room. Ask them to look for things they’ve never noticed before and write them down. Or maybe have them close their eyes and just listen. What can they hear that they never paid attention to before? Challenge them to sit still and just be as present as possible. Making this a habit is a sure way to kill boredom.
One of the biggest challenges our youths have today with finding happiness is that they never take the time to slow down. Being constantly drawn to games, videos, and the need to know what their friends are doing stops them from taking time to just chill. If you want to help your kids find true happiness, then teach them to slow down. Teach them how to be present and observe what is going on around them rather than being consumed by the media that is constantly at their fingertips. Teach them to be “bored…kinda” and you could be giving them one of the best gifts they could ever receive. The gift of peace and happiness that doesn’t cost us anything but our time.