I’m not sure why, but one of my most vivid childhood memories is laying on our carpeted living room floor in the smack dab middle of a Rhode Island summer. I still remember the sunshine filtering in through the front window hitting my face at just the right angle so I couldn’t keep my eyes open. And of course, like most homes in our neighborhood in the early 90s, ours didn’t have central AC, so window units and standalone fans it was. The fan was such a constant in my life that I can still hear the motor running on high.
Why am I sharing such a descriptive mundane memory? Well, because when I think about my childhood, it was filled with moments like this. Where I was doing nothing and was most likely bored. And to be honest with you, I want to ensure Kaiden’s childhood also includes a little boredom…a little stillness.
Kids these days are overscheduled and overcommitted. There’s music class, dance class, sports, swimming, play dates, etc. On top of that, there’s something called school and everything that comes with it. Technology adds a whole other layer of complexity. iPhones and iPads are staples in most homes. Gone are the days of basic TV channels only (which is what we had growing up). I think our current package has over 1800 channels. WHY!?
There is literally no time for boredom. Not a good thing!
I honestly don’t know how I’m going to not only force boredom on my kid as he gets older but also show him that it’s a good thing! Especially with all the distractions that are bound to come up. But I truly believe a little quiet time should be woven into every kid’s day. Time to just be. To think. To imagine. To feel the sun shining on his/her face and hear the buzz of the central air in the background (ha!). To be bored.
I guess modeling this is probably the best way to do it. To put our commitments and gadgets aside and let our kids see us just be. To let them see how it makes us feel to be free for just a few minutes a day. Maybe this is the true test. We have to do it first.
If that doesn’t work, you better believe I’m going to tell K my ‘boring’ childhood stories until he has them committed to memory. That’ll make him crave quiet time!