“Mom I am bored!”. Sounds familiar? A comment parents hear every now and then and mostly during vacations. Free time has become a liability. Modern day parents feel obligated to keep their kids ‘engaged’. Have you noticed how activity boxes are becoming the need of the hour. We, the parents are being educated and informed about why we must subscribe to one. We talk about the peer pressure children face but have you noticed how we get affected also. Mothers are planning how the children must spend their vacations productively while planning multiple stimulating activities even at home. Toys bought nowadays have to have a purpose and an outing must be an experience that educates.
As a mother of two young boys it worries me a little when I see modern parenting gyan being forced down our throats as a must have medicine for a healthy parenting journey. Social media fueled by commercialization is taking over our lives. As kids we spent our holidays playing without any agenda. There was holiday homework to finish but we still had plenty of time to make our fun games and enjoy. Today as a mother I see a toy cupboard that is full of toys yet my kids complain about ‘getting Bored’!
Structured activities are stealing the joy from the simple free play. We are teaching kids how to be kids! They don’t need to have every new toy or activity box that promises intellectual growth. We need to shop only if required. Children need company. Cousins, friends, grandparents and us to make school holidays fun. Let them lay the dining table, water the plants, help with dusting , easy household chores ,make water bubbles in the tub, run around and talk. Most importantly let them get bored! Boredom sparks creativity. Let them decide how they want to entertain themselves. Tell them to come back to you with ideas that are fun and not include screen time or going to the mall.
The market is flooded with activities and options for children. The morning newspaper will carry pamphlets of summer camp,hobby classes and you might hear from your mommy friends about that French ballet class. Before you succumb to pressure and wonder “what about my child?’, hold that thought. Remember Holidays are meant to be holidays. See what your child enjoys doing rather than signing her name to a class blindly.
A box of crayons, a drawing book and a family drawing contest is way more fun and memorable than an hour of structured activity. Have you noticed the smile and the pride when you hang your child’s drawing on the fridge? It is priceless. This summer holiday if you see your kids roaming like zombies and complaining to you about getting bored tell them to go find a solution themselves. There will be a protest but you hold your ground. Our children need to value what they have and make the most of it. We have to teach them that not every time someone will make arrangements to keep them entertained. In life they have to tackle all big or small problems head on but you are always there to guide them.
Let’s make these holidays memorable. Take out time for your children and get to know them a bit more. These tiny bundles of energy are full of ideas. They need time and an opportunity to think freely and come up with solutions. So bring on the Movie night, home made popcorn, a pajama party with friends or a trip to the park. Let them explore themselves and find who they are. Break the routine and set them free. Happy Holidays!
Published on Kidsstopress.com on June 25th, 2019