Planning My Kid's Summer, Planning Boredom
Summer is right around the corner and information about summer camps are all abound, choking my mail as well as my e-mail, one flyer at a time.
But I have decided - THIS SUMMER MY CHILDREN ARE GOING TO GET BORED...
I have decided that for the two months of summer, they and more importantly us, will have to get them out of their over-engineered routines and let them empty their minds, let them imagine, let them be free.
As parents we love to be the life director of our children's lives. We make them join countless classes in our quest for the perfect well-rounded child. I am guilty of this and a lot more. When my children were a lot younger, any moment unaccounted for in their life where he/she was not engaged in an activity was my personal failure as a mother. I looked up activities on pinterest, got art kits, science kits and researched a hundred activities to make sure both my kids stay "busy".
In the process, I realized that I almost did not give them the time to understand the essence of who they were and what they love.
Boredom is a space where children experiment, understand and learn the essence of their own identify, which in many sense is still developing. When we expose them to multiple activities, we almost don't give them this chance of self-discovery. In a way, this "boredom" is their downtime or quiet time where we allow them to be with themselves without an external stimulant.
A recent study found, that to deal with stress, most teenagers either watched TV or engaged themselves in sports: play or do something active (52%); listen to music (44%); watch TV or play a video game (42%).
"Out of 10 top coping strategies listed as being chosen the most, not one of them involved going within or being contemplative."
And how would it even involve going within, when never in their lives did we give them the space to experiment with their own "self". When never in their lives did we give them the space to understand the essence of who they are.
This summer give them the gift of understanding their ownselves.
Come summer, let the shackles be off. Let them bike around, let them find a cosy spot to read their books, let them follow the butterfly in the garden, let them wonder at the world around them and connect with them. Let there be board games, let there be visits to the beach to collect shells, let there be legos.
Let them be free, let them be bored, let them discover themselves.
Childhood is way too short these days. The expectations on them are huge and their working day is longer than a parent's working day. Let's cut the crap and let them find their essence.