Should Children Be Allowed to Get Bored?
Children need time to stand and stare. They should be allowed to get bored so that they can develop their ability to be creative.
Children are expected by their parents to be reading a textbook all the time. However, research shows that it may hamper the development of their imagination, while boredom can give them opportunities to develop creativity.
Boredom is often linked with loneliness, but a writer named MeeraSyal said boredom had helped here in developing her mind. She told researchers about her childhood.
Having few things to do, Syal often talked with her neighbors. She also tried to do things like learning to bake cakes. “But importantly, I thought and wrote a lot, because I was bored,” Syal said. She kept a diary, filling her time with short stories and poems she made up.
Grayson Perry, an artist, grew up in a family with little money. He enjoyed himself by making up stories, drawing pictures for his stories and reading many books in the library.
Bored but free, he spent hours looking out of the window, watching the changing clouds and seasons. Perry filled up his free time with what he liked. He became creative, because he could think freely.
Dr. Belton is an expert on the effects of emotions on learning. “Boredom could be an uncomfortable feeling,” she said. “But some young people cannot deal with that boredom creatively. So sometimes they may break a classroom window, or drive a car out for a mad race.”
Usually, when children have nothing to do, they would turn on the TV, the computer, or the phone. Their time on these things has increased, yet they need to have time to think about their experiences through play or just watching the world around them.
It is this kind of thinking that can inspire the imagination. On the other hand, the TV or phone may cut short the thinking process. That can be harmful to the development of creativity.
“For developing the ability to be creative,” Dr. Belton advised, “perhaps we need to stand and stare, and stay off-line from time to time.”