Updated: Sep 1, 2018
-By Rong Xin & Wei Xuan
On the last post, we elaborated on the value of nurturing a Creative student and shared one way you can bring this into your parenting - by letting your child take his/her own sweet time. Today, we'll build on that and share another tip on using boredom to your advantage in nurturing your child's creative mind.
Let Your Child Take Ownership of His/Her Boredom
First off, let's clear things up - boredom, if allowed in a safe environment, can encourage kids to be more creative. In fact, when left to their own devices with only the routine task at hand, boredom can drive children to create new forms of entertainment for themselves. Seemingly boring objects get turned into a fun activity in the hands of a bored child. Crushed paper becomes a soccer ball, and a stationery set becomes a complete family for role-playing.
Here's the thing: children are easily bored. While eating dinner, practising alphabets, or even showering, as long as the activity is routine and done before, they're bound to get bored within minutes. That's because the developing brain is always seeking new experiences, trying to soak in as much knowledge about the world as possible. As a parent, we're sure this is nothing new to you.
While school, social activities, enrichment programs, educational mobile apps, or even watching youtube videos are able to provide educational and entertainment value for your children (when done in the right amount), it's okay for your child to be bored at times too. They don’t have to be occupied all the time. It's okay to let him or her fiddle with whatever's lying around at the moment, as long as it's safe. You never know what children can discover or create when given the freedom. Even till now, during our classes, we constantly get surprised by kids' creative expressions or solutions to problems, after what seemed to be a boring toying of the activity materials.
If you're still sceptical, try this: the next time you notice your child being restless, instead of stressing over what activity you can do with him/her, try ignoring him/her and see what happens. Do make sure he/she's in an environment without any dangerous objects, and/or permanent colouring materials in case your child decides to go full Picasso on your wall. It's less effort on your part (we know how welcoming a break is from parenting), and the worst that could happen is that he/she spends half an hour doing nothing.
Learning to be comfortable with boredom, and using a creative and healthy way to deal with it, goes a long way in building creative confidence in a child. He/she will not turn into Picasso or Einstein in the span of a day, but you'll never know what can happen when a creative mind is given the space and time it needs to bloom. So give it a try, and let us know in the comments if you get pleasantly surprised!
We'll be going through the last tip on nurturing a Creative student in our next article, so stay tuned!