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
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.