Challenging Boredom: Is it OK for Our Kids to be Bored?
Most parents have heard their kids exclaim that they are bored at one point or another! In today’s world, we tend to try to keep our children very busy and involved in sports, clubs, activities and Islamic school as a cure for boredom.
With all these organized activities, life can quickly get hectic, and we can become at risk of losing the joy these activities actually bring. But we sometimes have to ask the question.: “Is it OK for kids to be bored?”
Covid-19 has brought with it a new perspective. Many of our organized group activities were cancelled or postponed, and we spent a lot more time at home. As the winter weather moves in, we may still be spending a lot more time as a family at home.
So, do we need to fill every minute of the day with “purposeful” activities, or is it OK to be bored sometimes? Boredom can be an opportunity to reflect and practice mindfulness.
Daydreaming and Creativity
Being bored gives children - and especially younger children - the chance to find creative and dramatic play to engage in.
I remember being a little girl and spending many hours playing with sticks and pine needles at our cottage making pretend “food” and having tea parties with my imaginary guests. I enjoyed this kind of play so much and I always had something fun I could go and do using my creativity alone. For other kids, simply drawing or reading a book can be a great cure for boredom.
Having more time also allows children and teenagers to just simply day dream and process information and the world around them without pressure to perform or provide the correct answers.
More Family Time
It’s OK to be bored together, and just spend time with other family members or in your social bubble. If you are bored together, you might come up with more spontaneous ways to entertain yourselves - like deciding to cook together, or play a game, or just watch a movie together.
Often those spontaneous ideas bring unexpected joy. There is also more time to focus on our spiritual connection to Allah, and our prayers and duas.
When we have more time and fewer places to rush around to get to, it can be a blessing in disguise where we can focus more on our prayers and our spiritual practice. We may find more time to read Quran, to make dua or to think of kindnesses to pay forward to others.
Your children will enjoy using their themuslimmoon.com prayer mat or prayer rug even more, and you can invite your children to make a blessing jar. Write acts of kindness on pieces of paper and pull them out once a week.
So go ahead and feel bored, let your children feel bored, and find out all the wonderful new experiences that it may bring.