I am writing this from the car. We are halfway to Adelaide and I’m beginning to regret my stance on not having portable DVD players for the car.
My six-year-old is literally asking every few minutes “Are we in Adelaide yet?” and it’s really getting on my nerves.
I’m feeling like I didn’t bring enough stuff to entertain them in the car and of course, on such a long car trip a DVD player would mean the girls would be quiet.
But I’m flipping this thinking around and seeing that the girls are talking to each other (irritating reach other too), looking out the window, drawing, singing and resting.
Boredom can apparently be good for children.
Writing in Psychology Today, author Nancy Darling PhD says the feelings of boredom can help children become more aware of their internal state. Dr Darling also says “boredom” is vital for children to learn what they like to do and what are positive experiences for them.
Dr Richard Ralley, a psychology lecturer at Edge Hill College in Lancashire did a study on boredom. Dr Ralley said boredom had a bad name and he wanted to explore the feeling more.
He said rest could be mistaken for boredom.
“Similar to adults, it is important for children to get enough rest, as this is the time when our brains and bodies recover energy, leaving us fresh for the daily challenges we face,” Dr Ralley said.
And Wijnand van Tilburg, from the University of Limerick said: “Bored people feel that their actions are meaningless and so they are motivated to engage in meaningful behaviour”.
Van Tilburg co-authored a study that looked at how boredom can promote pro social behaviour.
Meanwhile, my kids are taking turns singing “everybody knows that daddy picks his nose…”.
I’m going to relax more about not always having things for the kids to do.
They’ll figure it out.