This post was originally written about three weeks ago, but due to connectivity issues in our new rural environment, I was not able to publish it. So don’t worry, you have not stepped into a time warp when you find that other post seem to be following rapidly
I have been teaching the boy the art of boredom recently. To be fair, he brought this on himself. He is the one who, despite countless warnings to the contrary, used up almost $300 of mobile data by streaming You Tube videos about Star Wars and Minecraft. So we are all on a data diet and he is prohibited from using electronics. He will be earning them back gradually by providing weekly essays, which I will post here.
Still, he has plenty of options for entertainment. On nice days, we can bike to the pool, or take the dog for a long hike. He has plenty of books to read and toys to play with. He can practice his karate and his music and of course, work on those essays.
I came across a fun acronym (of course, all acronyms are fun!):
Do something nice for someone
He has all the tools he needs to keep himself occupied, but still I hear “There’s nothing to do,” After he moans that a couple of times, I go over with The Boy (for the thousandth time) all of his options. But is it wrong that I take pleasure in him staring at the ceiling, thinking?
I remember how my imagination raced on those days when I was bored as a child. I recall my parents not being able to provide constant entertainment. I recall coming up with diversions which grew into obsessions. One winter, my room was strewn with over 100 paper airplanes of a variety of designs.
In this family, we love technology. I know my son has more “screen time” than many of his peers, and I am okay with that. But I also like when he is pushed to find his own interests in the real world. I sometimes think that we, as parents, feel the need to provide a constant source of stimulus. But sometimes boredom is a powerful tool, and laying back, watching clouds, is the best way to spend a day.