Sunday, August 12, 2007

Being Bored

I am beginning to think that it’s a crime for children to be bored in this country. I feel I am always under constant pressure to keep my child busy/occupied/doing something.

I was listening to a programme on BBC Radio Four the other day where a lady was talking about a book she had just written on ingenious ways to keep your child from being bored (I guess with the summer holidays in full swing it was a good time to plug it). I mean, listening to her speak she wanted you – the parent – to forever be doing something with your child. You even have to keep them busy in the car on long journeys. I have lost count of the number of cars I have looked into on the motorway only to see the kids sitting at the back staring at a portable DVD screen attached to the headrests of the driver and passenger seat. Why??? Don’t the kids watch enough TV at home??

I remember as a child when we had to take that mandatory monthly trip down to the village – we, the kids, just sat in the back and kept ourselves busy looking out of the window (waving randomly at passing cars), making up our own games or reading a book. Our parents where not obliged to play ‘I Spy’ or Karaoke games with us. Neither did they have to sit though a CD of nursery rhymes as we journeyed along. We had no choice in the matter when it came to what we listened to in the car – we simply listened to whatever my parents dad listened to and I am proud to say that at the age of seven when we all took a road trip to Togo – then a nine hour journey, I knew all the words to Boney M and Bob Marley as this was what was on offer in my dads car on his 8 track player (remember those?).

In my case, there are eight and five years respectively between my older sisters and I so from very early on in my life I had to keep myself occupied and most of the time I just got on with it. I drew, I painted, I sewed, I wrote short stories and poems, I made jewellery from beads and wire, and I read. Boy, did I read. But you know what? I loved it and I was never bored for a minute. And this has kept me in good stead to this day. Believe me when I say I am never bored and it would be easier for me to put hot coals in my mouth than to admit that I was.

In my opinion boredom can be a good thing and it is a good thing for a child to be bored once in a while. It brings out the creative side in them. I don’t think children, or adults, devote much or any time at all to just … thinking. It is so important to be still in this our ever increasing busy world. It is so important to sit and just be lost in your thoughts, to meditate on life or even nothing at all. I do it whenever I can and it’s refreshing.

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11 Comments:

Blogger azuka said...

Sometimes it helps to keep children from being bored, but I think most of the time they'll usually find something to do. Leave a 3-year-old in a room full of different things for example -- you never can tell what he/she'll create out of that.

7:34 pm  
Blogger Favoured Girl said...

It's funny how when we were kids we always found a way to keep ourselves busy without the adults. Someone once told me "If you are bored, then you are boring" so I always find something to keep me busy. I think the adult should just give the child lots of options and leave them to see how they get on with it. How's baby doing?

3:12 am  
Blogger KemiMamaLopes said...

Bored child = Creative child. Then again, left 3 girls to their own devices and they pretended to be hairdressers and the oldest came downstairs with her whole head covered in cream!!

Portable DVD in car. Guilty as charged. Came in handy when were were enroute to Belgium last year. I guess if there were 2 children then they could entertain themselves.

10:31 am  
Blogger in my head said...

I think too much is expected of parents these days. Our parents left us alone and we turned out okay.

7:44 pm  
Blogger UndaCovaSista said...

I don't really know. My nieces and nephew are quite resourceful young people i.e they read, the girls sew and bake, make jewelery etc, but they never seem to be able to leave their Mother alone for more than one hour at a time...

9:49 pm  
Blogger uknaija said...

Good to see you back...I agree that there's too much pressure to do things with kids...

11:39 am  
Anonymous Noni Moss said...

As an only child, I was definitely forced to entertain myself. I remember practising my reading on road trips as I'd read all the billboards and adverts out loud on the way. I also became very skilled at I spy.

5:43 pm  
Blogger Uzo said...

You know i agree with you here. Its pretty difficult for kids to be bored i think. At least it was in my day. I mean, we would resort to playing with boxes or even writing on the walls...So...

7:36 pm  
Blogger My 2 cents said...

I still believe it's the most beautiful site of a mother nurishing a child. I didn't breastfeed my son for the simple reason that I found it extremely painful. He survived on his bottles, but next time, I'll be boobee for a long time.

4:05 pm  
Blogger Nigerian Woman in Norway said...

you just wrote about my childhood!

7:50 pm  
Blogger Jaycee said...

lolll...this was so refreshing to read. Thank God that u're of a different school of thought. Sometimes, some things people say may seem all educational and all, but when u seriously sit down to think about it, u have to do what's wise for ur own children. If my parents always tried to IMPUTE things in I and my siblings' brains as kids, I think that would have been the worst moments of our lives.

I enjoyed thinking up things to do myself. Playing hide and seek, making paper dolls and paper houses, and writing stories on papers and joining them into books (pretending to be authors)...maybe that's why blogging is such fun to moi...

11:50 pm  

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