I WANT MY CHILDREN TO BE BORED

This is a guest post by Dawn, the Incidental Farmgirl.

Meet Dawn!  She is not only adorable, she is also an aspiring farm girl.  She has such a sweet story.  She went from working mama to homeschooling mama to farm mama.

When people meet me they often ask me how I do it?  The 4 kids.  The homeschooling.  The garden.  The canning.  The laundry.  The cooking.  The blog.  The cows.  The chickens, pigs, rabbits, ducks, cats & dog.  Not to mention, all the homemade natural products we crazy-crunchy people make ourselves that sane people buy from stores (like lotion and laundry detergent).

When I met Dawn, this is what I thought about here.  How does she do it all?

Now, I know why people ask me that.

I loved this post by Dawn the instant I read it.  I believe wholeheartedly in throwing kids out of the house.  Especially when the weather is beautiful and there are adventures to be lived.

Enjoy!

-Candi

 

dawn

Dawn is the Incidental Farmgirl living out her dream on a small

farm in Ohio. Becoming more self sufficient, raising her family’s own food,

and getting back to the way our grandmothers did things are all her passions.

Dawn homeschools her 5 children, loves God and her husband, and is

thankful for being able to raise her children away from city chaos. When not

blogging, ghost writing or working on her book you can find her in the garden,

playing with the rabbits, chickens, or helping her husband while he

professionally trains bird dogs. Follow the adventures on www.incidentalfarmgirl.com

 

DAWN's PHONE 2015 (summer through fall) 052

I WANT MY CHILDREN TO BE BORED

I want to shout it for all to hear, I want my children to be bored. Call me

mean, call me insensitive, but I am that mom.  I could be seen as old

fashioned, true, but I have my reasons. Summer is fast approaching, hot

days, firefly nights, garden blooming, yard mowing summer.  I want my kids

bored.  They cannot come to me and complain of boredom, that leads to work

(ie if you are bored enough to tell mom about it you must need a chore to do).

So, when the boredom comes (and I welcome it), just don’t complain to mom.

Now, let me clarify…

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I have never been a mom that feels it necessary to completely fill my

children’s schedules with activities.  Okay, maybe I did a little for the first child

but I have since learned some valuable lessons.

We only allow our children to do one sport/activity at a time.  (ie if you learn

karate you are not also playing soccer during the same season).  We want

them to experience many activities, just not all at once.  I believe in "down

time"  time to just be a kid.  I know what a full packed schedule is like and it

doesn’t leave any time for…well you know…nothing.

Many of us make the mistake of believing that we want our children to

have all of the experiences we did not have as children (I never took ballet so

my first daughter was introduced at 4 years old…she wasn’t a fan)

 

We want them INVOLVED we want them HAPPY we want them to learn an

infinite number of skills.  However, this often leads to a lack of quality time

with family, siblings and again that nothing time I mentioned.  We run to this

practice, that team function, the store for new cleats, across town for that

class, and we lose sight of one very important thing…down time.  I also want

clarification here…down time is not media time.  My children will tell you I am

vicious about avoiding media in the summer.  I don’t usually allow it before

7pm, hardly ever during the day, and no video games or computer if it is nice

outside…Go. Outside!  I have been known to tell my children to go outside and

not come back in until lunch saving for bathroom and refreshment breaks.  I

told you…I am that mom.

Why in the world would I tout downtime and boredom as a desired

experience for my precious gems?  Because…it leads to greater things.  It

leads to dragon slaying from the tops of the 30ft pine tree, it leads to prairie

living out of the back of a wagon parked in the bushes, it leads to building

miniature landscapes from pebbles and peering into the world that may exist

beneath the leaves at the base of a tree.  Boredom leads to seeking mom out

in the garden and asking about how she can tell the difference between

weeds and plants, it leads to experimenting in the kitchen and coming up with

a new recipe, writing stories in a previously abandoned notebook, creating

games that never existed, forcing one to work with a sibling to figure out how

to create something big.

Bottom line…nothing to do, and nowhere to go leads to… IMAGINATION.  I

was a child of the last times when you didn’t have the immediate access of

computers and gadgets.  I survived, my whole generation did.  We reminisce

about long hot summer days with popsicles, sprinklers, tag wars, firefly

lanterns, secret forts, rock collections, dandelion crowns, and BOREDOM.  In

that boredom imagination takes flight.  You learn to create ideas from…well

nothing.  To engage your creative processes and figure something out…kick a

can if you have to.  Ask some old timer about that game.

When I was a child summer also seemed to go on forever.  So long that

when it was time for school, it was kind of welcomed as a structured setting

once again.  You looked back on the summer and it was a vast expanse of

experiences and adventures and it seemed that it lasted forever.  But, since

our children today are growing up exponentially faster than most previous

generations did, it doesn’t last forever…but I want them to feel like it did.  I

want them to remember sticky hot summer lying around looking at cloud

shapes, imagining new games (my kids made one up with a sprinkler under

the trampoline and sports balls inside the trampoline) and dreaming new

ideas.

I believe that this imagination that comes from boredom and nothingness

will serve my children well later in life.  They have created ideas that not been

given them. When it is time to make a living, maybe they will be the quiet one

behind the scenes coming up with a new innovation for how to make this or

that work better.  Maybe they will be leading at the forefront with

groundbreaking plans for something big; maybe they will just be the mediators

who help different sides see one and other’s point of view.  But, I believe that

what is created out of boredom will serve a purpose.  At a bare minimum,

maybe I will have created a space that my grandchildren will one day relish in,

a space where you have to rely on creativity to save you because your mom

made you go outside and play.

 

 

Your Turn!

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