Do Kids Need a Little Boredom?

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

As if raising a child doesn't already provide enough opportunities to second-guess yourself, changing times can do the same. That's what an article about a trend I have noticed and question reminds me of. Writing at Quartz, Olivia Goldhill questions the practice -- for which there also seems to be a lot of pressure -- of scheduling every moment of a child's life:

There are activities and summer camps galore to fill children's time and supply much needed childcare when kids are out of school. But psychologists and child development experts suggest that over-scheduling children during the summer is unnecessary and could ultimately keep kids from from discovering what truly interests them.

"Your role as a parent is to prepare children to take their place in society. Being an adult means occupying yourself and filling up your leisure time in a way that will make you happy," says Lyn Fry, a child psychologist in London with a focus on education. "If parents spend all their time filling up their child's spare time, then the child's never going to learn to do this for themselves." [links dropped]
I fondly remember my long summers at home and am already concerned about my kids not getting the same in our two-professional household. Although I can't replace that time, I will resist the urge to overschedule and will remember the list Fry suggests later in the article.

-- CAV


Anonymous said...

Hi Gus,

Whenever I or my siblings complained about being bored, our Mom would say, "I can fix that. There's plenty of housework to be done..."

So we eventually learned that it was better to find something to unbore yourself cuz Mom's fix wasn't exactly what we were looking for.

c andrew

Gus Van Horn said...


That's a gem. And, yes. I plan to use it.