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“I’m bored…”

End of the half term holidays and how often have you heard this said???

And how often do children talk about “being bored” and “this is boring”?

I read this article this week with interest https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/02/opinion/sunday/children-bored.html

A few questions that came out of this article for me…

Why do children say it?

What do they actually mean?

What do they want? What do they REALLY want?

How do we, adults, interpret it?

I suspect doing boring stuff is easy if you love what you are doing?

If fun/exciting is the opposite to boring can everything we do be fun/exciting all of the while? Surely that is not sustainable?

If it is all about fun/excitement for children does that then make parents/teachers/coaches entertainers?

Are children actually sending us a message when they say such a thing? Could this be a coded message to say “I am struggling, I do not know what to do, I need some help”

To get good at golf, or even just to improve by a little bit, it is likely that we will need to do some boring things. A little bit of repetition, a little bit of things that you do not like/enjoy doing, things that are hard, all of these things that at first may seem boring but it is possibly the boring/hard stuff that will unlock the great stuff???

As a parent, and a coach, we want children to love what they do and be engaged but maybe that doesn’t mean they (and us) have to do everything in 5th gear all the while! From the article “Every spare moment is to be optimised, maximised, driven towards a goal” Maybe cruising around in 1st gear on occasions doing the “boring” stuff will probably have many benefits. Life is not exciting 100% of the time, so maybe it would be good to also introduce to children the idea that solitude, having time on our hands, being on own, not knowing what to do with our time can be a good thing! Space and time to be bored may lead us to create and discover new things.

And as I plan and review sessions maybe hearing children say they are bored is not the negative thing that I once felt. Maybe, it’s them telling me that I need to adapt the session to their needs or give them more choice in what they are doing. But with all of the adaptations we make for children are we setting them up for a big fall at some point in their futures? I enjoyed this quote from the article “Let your mind wander and follow where it goes” Immerse ourselves in every moment!

“Boring” will be different for everyone. I enjoy running, but many people o speak to say they find it boring. Many people also say that golf is boring! And I agree, it can be boring at times, waiting for your turn when people in front of you are taking a long time!

Next time I hear a child say they are bored I will listen and consider it slightly different now!

What do you think???

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