Why are our children so bored?

During the festive break I heard the word 'bored' far too many times. As soon as my boys are told to put their iPads down or turn off their game they claim they are bored. When in the car they have to have something to entertain themselves, they can't just sit. Growing up I don't remember being like that. Discussing the topic with the Hubby led us to ask the question 'Why are our children so bored?'

I have no attention span. I get bored so fast.

Carrie Underwood

With so many things there to entertain our children we have taken away their ability to entertain themselves. While they have their uses games consoles, tablets, and toys have contributed to our children's inability to cope with boredom. Faced with boredom they fight and bicker until we thrust the tablet or games consoles at them just so we can hear ourselves think again. So who is at fault, the children or us?

But all is not lost. We can still teach our children about boredom simply by doing nothing. 

  • Introducing non-gaming time can be the first step towards teaching them to cope with boredom. Having time away from the games will make them think of other things to do and while their first thought may be toys or other devices they're considering their options. 

  • As well as no-game time you can restrict their use of toys and devices. Perhaps even telling them to do nothing at all. To sit and do nothing is quite difficult, even for adults, but teaching your children to do it may help you too. Doing nothing allows your mind to wander, your imagination may take you on an exciting journey, and that could inspire your children.

  • While your children are having their no-game time they ask you what they should do. DO NOT SAY ANYTHING.
They need to be bored to get their mind thinking of something to do, if you offer up a choice they won't decide for themselves.

Only those who want everything done for them are bored.

Billy Graham

When your children are bored they will realise there are so many other things they could be doing. From drawing cartoon characters, like BP's Disney character below, to finding a new enjoyment of stickers. Both my boys love stickers, I've found them stuck to the headboards of beds, on furniture, and in books. If they find a sticker it has to be put somewhere.

a 12 year old's hand drawing of Disney's Pete
BP's drawing of Pete, the Disney character

If your children discover a love of stickers, like mine have, you could always check out the Sticker subscription packs available. Of course don't forget to give them somewhere to stick them or you may find stickers on your furniture too!

a selection of stickers

I'm slowly teaching my boys about boredom. It's difficult at times, in the car for example, but it is working. LP enjoys reading in the car and will often take a book wherever we're going. BP loves his drawing and while he can't really do that in the car he likes to think about what he'll draw and plan it out.

BP is also an enthusiastic writer (wonder where he gets that from?!) and will spend time thinking about stories or coming up with new plot lines for his latest stories. 

'I'm bored' is a useless thing to say. You live in a great, big, vast world that you've seen none percent of.

Louis C. K.

It's a work in progress and while it doesn't help all the time teaching your children to cope with boredom will save your eardrums. 

stationery in the background, "why are our children so bored" in the foreground

Can your children cope when they're bored?

I was sent the sticker pack for purpose of review. All opinions are my own.