Magazine article Work & Family Life

Why Handling Boredom Is Good for Our Kids

Magazine article Work & Family Life

Why Handling Boredom Is Good for Our Kids

Article excerpt

Q A friend gave me an idea for a "Boredom Busting" jar for our kids to fill with their ideas for nonscreen things to do this summer. I thought you'd like to hear about just a few from their list: Blindfold my sister and take her on a tour of the neighborhood. String beads to make friendship bracelets. Build a fort. Draw pictures with our feet. Start a library club. Brush the dog.

I'd love to hear other ideas for ways to respond when our kids tell us, "Mom, Dad, I'm bored."

-N.D., Kansas City

A You're onto something with the Boredom Busting jar. The ability to encounter and engage with unstructured time is so important for kids' healthy development. It's tempting but counter-productive to respond to a child's cries of boredom by offering TV or other forms of electronic media.

"Our kids have become so used to screen entertainment they aren't practiced at looking inside themselves," says parenting expert Laura Markham. …

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