If you’re a mom of children old enough to go to school, it is very likely that you’ll hear the words “I’m bored” this summer. Generations upon generations of parents have been panged by their children’s constant complaint of summer boredom and it seems while an era’s pastimes may shift over the years, the state of being bored has not.
A recent CNN Money article (based on data released by American Express) argues that parents, in order to prepare for the dog days of summer, will spend an average of $600-$1200 per child on sleep-away camps, sports clinics, swim clubs, day trips and other fun-filled activities. Beyond the necessity of finding child care for some, nearly all parents must face the annual reality of engaging their children during the 2-3 month hiatus between school years.
This begs the question among parents: Do we let our kids get bored this summer (forgoing the drag on purse strings and instead allowing kids to occupy themselves like the good ol’ days) or do we consistently keep them active (ensuring they have an adequate and nurturing routine, equipping them with skills and experiences that will build what we consider modern success)? There is no shortage of information supporting each camp. If you go online right now you can read studies that have linked people who are easily bored with a risk for depression, anxiety disorders, and aggression among other issues. Or you might come across something like “Boredom is the workshop of innovation!” You’ll see “25 reasons why you should let your kids get bored this summer,” right under “101 Ways to Keep Your Kids Busy!” There’s even a Boredom Therapy Facebook page which nearly 3 million people “Like.”