It is a happy talent to know how to play. Ralph Waldo Emerson knew a thing or two didn’t he? In the 1800s and even 1900s, kids knew how to play. They would run out the door in the morning after breakfast, run home for a quick lunch and head right back out until the fireflies signaled that it was time to head back home for bed.
Kids wore themselves running all over the neighborhood playing.
In those last few days of summer vacation, when it seemed that there’s nothing left to do kids sit there bored. But not for long. Why? Because they were creative enough to come up with a new idea to work on, a new game to try out. Boredom didn’t last for long but it taught them how to think outside the box for something else to do.
This is a lost art today in America.
TV screens, DVDs, movie theaters, video games, tablets and phones are the methods with which our nation’s children are being entertained. And now they can’t entertain themselves at all. And when we expect them too, in the absence of anything on that list, they act wild, crazy and hyper. I wonder why we are experiencing an epidemic with the number of children on medication for overactivity.
Children easily become dependent on the immediate and constant interaction and the instant gratification that comes from interacting with gaming toys, computers, and tablets. TLGH pg. 135
Children haven’t been taught the value of play.
Children haven’t been given the chance to be bored.
Sally points out that children need time to be bored so they will be motivated to create their own fun, that geniuses are born out of boredom. Instead today we’ve raised a generation that doesn’t know to grow up. Who can’t tie their shoelaces, hold down a job and who hold playing Pokemon Go of higher esteem than the presidential race.
Parents are dropping the ball. It is up to us to realize how important play time is. It’s up to us to structure our days in such a way that fosters getting outside often to run, jump, leap, hop, climb trees, swing and explore bugs hiding under rocks.
Play is how children learn. It is how the interact with the world around them. It is the way in which they learn how to be creative, develop a big imagination and pretend and act how the heroes that they want to grow up to be. When playing together they learn how to solve problems, interact with others, share and discuss new ideas and plot twists.
When it’s cold outside you’ll often hear the phrase “I’m bored”. Instead of offering to put on another movie or set them up with an iPad game why don’t you try suggesting that they find something creative to do. And just go with whatever it is that they want to do. Let them move the furniture around and build a fort, let them have a nerf war in the house or get out the paint and water cups and paint their little heart outs for the morning.
You do not have to entertain your children all day.
Teach them the lost art of entertaining themselves. They’ll thank you for it as an adult.
God desires that we learn to play again, to experience Him like little children do, open in wonder to the vastness and endless wonder of Him. LGH p. 137
- Read the June chapter.
- Don’t intervene when your children complain of being bored. Encourage them to sue their imagination.
- Enjoy a nature walk or outdoor seasonal activity.
Your turn! How do you handle things when your children complain of being bored? Do you see the value of free play? Let’s chat in the comments below!
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