It is summer and inevitably at some point my kids will tell me they are bored. In fact I have had numerous conversations with other parents about how to keep kids busy when they are out of school. "What camps are you signing your kids up for?" "What activities are you doing this summer?"
I am reading a book on parenting, more specifically how our kids' brains are wired. The author suggests that it is a good thing for our kids to get bored. While it is true that kids can get into trouble if they are too bored, over scheduling our kids in order to keep the boredom at bay creates a whole new set of problems. Po Bronson, in the book "Nurture Shock" suggests that kids need to get bored and learn creative ways to resolve their boredom. They need to problem solve, create, initiate with people. He talks about two different types of boredom--situational and more pervasive boredom in everything. While the latter might be a problem the former is actually a good thing.
So this summer when your kids say to you "I'm bored"-celebrate. This is a chance for them to create, to problem solve, to figure out their desires and what they want to do and to try to make it happen. It isn't our responsibility to keep our kids entertained. I'm not saying camps and activities are bad (our eldest is away at his first week long camp as I write this). But I am saying that unstructured time and boredom may actually be a good thing!