The kid are back to school as of today where I live. It reminded me of the last few weeks before school when my boys would say things like... "I'm bored!" I got so tired of hearing it one summer that I banned the "B-Word!" I simply stated that anyone who used the B-Word probably needed something to do and I would gladly give them 2 hours of chores to fill their time. It only took once to solve the problem. Post Love and Logic I would also say... "Feel free to be bored as long as I don't have to hear about it!"
Wisdom from Love and Logic Magic When Kids Leave You Speechless says: "The ability to tolerate boredom and to entertain oneself are essential life skills. Like any other abilities, practice makes perfect." (p. 203) Limiting television, videos, and video games is an essential parenting skill and essential to school success. The best, most energetic teacher would find it impossible even with a Steven Spielberg budget to compete with the pace, entertainment value, and momentum of the electronic media many children spend time on. Attention spans are shortened as the willingness to tolerate boredom...lets face it, other settings, such as the school and the work place will not be so entertaining.
"There are no sensible reasons for children to spend more to one hour a day engaged in these activities. Even viewing of educational television shows does not require ACTIVE participation, frustration tolerance, or creativity." p. 204
Don't panic... or feel guilty... it really is NEVER too late to change what's happening (though you should expect some resistance.) Don't beat yourself up! Learning is about "knowing better" so we can "do better." Tomorrow, I'll do a post on Boredom Training as the last excerpt from this book.