“A child develops best when, like a young plant, he is left undisturbed in the same soil. Too much travel, too much variety of impressions, are not good for the young, and cause them as they grow up to become incapable of enduring fruitful monotony.” Written in 1930 by philosopher Bertrand Russell in his book The Conquest of Happiness.
Children today tend to be over-scheduled. The academic year is filled with school days, homework assignments, instrument lessons, and sports practices. The rubber band breaks during June when school lets out and young people wonder what to do next. During the lazy days of summer, kids look forward to less demands on their time, yet they don’t know what to do with that time. Well-meaning parents, wanting to help their children over the boredom hurdle, schedule play dates, trips to various attractions, and a myriad of summer camps (band, baseball, football, basketball, and even quilt camp, to mention only a few available to today’s children). There’s nothing wrong with camps, provided the kids don’t have an 8-week string of assorted organized activities. In fact, camps help to strengthen skills learned during the school year or sport’s season. They shouldn't take over the entire summer vacation.
So what’s a parent to do when a child complains of boredom? Absolutely nothing! Or maybe almost nothing. Instead of recommending a series of home-grown activities that will probably be met with a roll of the eyes and a request to go the expensive trampoline zone, ask a series of thought-provoking questions that encourage creativity:
Finally, here are some recommendations for parents of STEM-ulated kids:
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Author: Renee Heiss