Let your child be bored!

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 Photo: @jessicasmith27

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Like most mums I've learnt a lot about myself since becoming a parent, I've realised that I'm a cook, a cleaner, a singer, dancer and all round entertainer!

Every day I try to create new fun activities to keep my daughter entertained, we have an abundance of toys and access to all types of technology, so when she looks bored, I'm often puzzled – even guilty.

I’ve learnt to be more present and appreciate the little things.
I’ve learnt to be more present and appreciate the little things. Photo: @jessicasmith27

I've been that parent who tries to desperately fit numerous educational activities and park visits into one day, only to be completely exhausted both mentally and physically before I have time to cook dinner!

We can see that all parents do it – when Essential Kids conducted a survey of parents' boredom-busting activities, some parents were quick to find activities for the kids.

But I have come to realise that letting my daughter be bored is actually fantastic!

It's a brilliant way for her to develop her own imagination. Rather than run off a never-ending list of options of things for her to do when she begs me to watch cartoons, I've learnt to simply acknowledge her boredom, that's it.

In doing so I've found it to be incredibly freeing for both of us.

Just like adults, children need to practice simply being in the moment, which involves being bored. They need their world to become quiet enough so that they can hear themselves. It's only when we are surrounded by nothing that our creative side can come alive. This is true for adults, so of course it's also true for our kids.

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Our kids receive constant stimulation from screens and busy schedules of programs and activities making it extremely difficult for them to find a place of quiet or stillness.

It's as if being busy is the new 'cool' - the more classes we sign them up for, and the more activities they are doing the better. But the consequence of this is a child who can't sit still because they are so used to being over stimulated.

Over the past two years I have really enjoyed observing how my daughter can entertain herself in moments of quietness. It's actually quite fascinating to see her creative side come out.

Being outdoors is one of the best places for her to be bored, she can explore nature and discover things for the first time. As a parent these moments have been crucial for me too, I've learnt to be more present and appreciate the little things.

So I encourage all parents to welcome boredom, you might actually be surprised at what your child can create or what their own suggestions are.

Last week my two-year-old told me that she wanted to vacuum the floor…. Now if that's not a win-win moment, I'm not sure what is!

This article was brought to you by Yoplait Petit Miam