The Gift of Boredom

This lion will one day be your Presidentress.

When it comes to parenting, I am firmly in the category of anti-expert. As in, I don’t need to hear from an expert to give my parenting choices the stamp of approval. (Yeah! Badass! Whoo!) I approve my own choices in conjunction with my co-parent-life-mate, and I accept the consequences of those decisions, in the form of future humorous memoirs my children will write about what comically inept parents we were.

Because we certainly don’t think we’re doing it perfectly or anything—au contraire. It’s just that we have both been blessed with the gift of not giving a shitake mushroom what anybody else thinks about our parenting techniques.

However, there is something that we do agree with the parenting experts on—without hesitation—

The Power of Boredom.

Not just the power of boredom, the IMPORTANCE of boredom, when it comes to raising kids.

Because, according to experts whose expertise we now fully albeit temporarily embrace, experiencing and processing boredom is a really important and essential part of becoming the best person you can ever be.

Which is great! Because boredom is something I treat my children to on a very regular basis. Some might say, every day.

Oh yeahhhhhhhh. Sweet, inevitable boredom.

I knew there was a reason why I let my kids get bored. I’m helping them become better people. Everyone knows this to be true.

(Quick–someone fetch me a stamp pad! I need to put a big gold star in the middle of my face this instant!)

I have always been a big believer in kids learning to amuse themselves from time to time (read: every day) when I’m doing dishes (three times a day), or doing laundry (twenty-six hours a day), or extracting Polly Pocket handbags from the gears of my Roomba with a pair of tweezers,  again. (Seriously. My Roomba is on suicide watch.)

And without TV. We can’t have the TV. It distracts me too much while I’m trying to listen to all my favorite public radio funding drives.

But before, I was just being tired and useless. Now, I’m like, at the vanguard of parenting technology.

Of course, my dream scenario is that the children get very Little House on The Prairie with their downtime, and fashion dolls out of corn husks, or pick up casual fiddle playing, but the reality is quite different; things devolve. There will be shouting. Things will smash. I will hear the sickening sound of Lego pieces noisily spilling all over the floor. Fake crying will occur.

But here’s my secret: I don’t care. And guess what? Now I don’t have to care. Because in all those precious moments, when my kids are splayed across the furniture and staring into space, I now know that I have achieved what so many can only dream of. My children are bored to tears, and thanks to me, will one day dominate the world.

As my husband recently pointed out to me,  “if they were busy all the time, they’d just get bored of being busy anyway.”

Wise words from a future King-maker.


Check out previous posts by Sam:

Burbs v. Urbs: When Idiots Investigate

When Is It OK For Your Kid To Quit Things?

There Will Be Blood?


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Article Posted 4 years Ago

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