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Benefits of Boredom

Making Time for Boredom

Posted by: Rhonda January 26, 2016

“Years ago, in my classroom of 4 year olds,” relates Judith Pack, “little Stephanie walked up to me amid the hustle and bustle of children engaged around the room and said, “I’m boring.” Besides the obvious misuse of the word and my temptation to laugh, I recognized that Stephanie was asking for help.

“I don’t really know if children complain more today than they used to about being bored, but we do know that childhood has changed considerably during the past 30 years, and not because young children have fundamentally changed, but because of the environment in which they find themselves and the expectations placed on them. Perhaps, today, there is a tendency for adults to believe they must alleviate a child’s boredom, compared to a time when parents did not feel it was their responsibility. A parent of 30 years ago might say,‘You’re bored? I’m sure you will figure out something to do!’”

Unstructured time gives children the opportunity to practice problem solving and to develop motivational and creative skills that they will need later in life. Adults need to resist the temptation to provide a constant barrage of stimulation and entertainment for children. It’s okay to be bored.

Is there time for constructive boredom in your classroom? Read the article.