I am a big fan of boredom. I WANT my kids to be bored. Okay, sometimes I do go all pinteresty on my kids and make them a frozen sea complete with polar bears or help them write their names with pasta and fruit loops–but I also leave room for boredom.
When we were kids, our parents would lock us outside in the summer. Literally. We could play with friends, drink from the hose, eat rhubarb, and pound on the door when we needed to go to the bathroom. And it was awesome!*
I became best friends with my brothers as we came up with all kinds of crazy imaginative games–because we were bored. We also occasionally got into trouble or had a big knock-down-drag-out fight. But those taught us stuff too.
So while my son is just certain that I am “wasting time for his future,” I’m doing it on purpose. If necessity is the mother of invention, boredom is the mother of imagination. Granted, it is physically painful to listen to the “Mom I’m bored!” whiny noise that they make. But, if you can just hold out for a few minutes, they will fix the problem on their own.
I could never direct my kids into some of the awesome games of pretend that they play. If it was my idea, I’m sure they would think it was dumb. But their minds can create really cool alternate universes.
So, no son. You can’t watch a movie. I WANT you to be bored. Now go finish fighting that giant robot that is about to DESTROY THE TOWN!