The Value of Summer-time Boredom…

I suspect in the US the trend has been something like that here in Jordan in recent years.  Here, families spend nearly $500 to send their kids to summer camps for a month or so to stave off boredom.  I can’t count how many people I’ve heard complain that “Haraam (too bad), he shouldn’t have to sit around doing nothing.”  As will not surprise any regular readers, I’m the odd one out on this.

Don’t get me wrong, I considered summer camp.  But, when faced with paying the price of a small car for camp for three kids, I thought it through a bit more.  First, wouldn’t a bigger, fun family vacation get us more bang for the buck?  After all, we can all be together.  We get some time alone as a family.  And, we enjoy each other.  Second, boredom is good for you.  I mean this in all honesty and seriousness.

Yesterday, while waiting around on SLOOOOOOOOOW security procedures to get in to the US embassy to renew the kids’ passports (a topic for another day), I listened to the TwinBeans playing paper, rock, scissors.  As far as I know, kids world-wide play this game so I won’t be explaining it… Eavesdropping on the Bean-version, I realized they were arguing over whether swords beat scissors or not.  Swords?!  They then wandered even farther afield.  Within minutes, they had pencils and erasers (the eraser beat the pencil because it just erased what they wrote) and pencil sharpeners (because of course the rock would make the pencil inoperable).  And I was inspired.

Boredom gives us the opportunity to create… new games, new activities, new ideas.  Boredom forces us to think of new things to do.  And, it keeps us from getting too comfortable in the summer lifestyle.  A little boredom mixed in means the Beans will be seriously ready to start school again.  After all, far better to go learn new things and see our friends than sitting home arguing with he other two Beans over whether it’s my turn or yours to sing Dancing Queen on SingStar, right?  And boredom also gives us the chance to work through our latent aggression issues.  When they are forced to stay in close quarters with the same playmates, they learn that bossing others in games will make them unwilling to play with you, spitting on your siblings is likely to result in a licking (literal, not figurative), and arguing will make MommaBean cut off game privileges…

Bottom line, a little boredom not only never hurt anyone… it actually helps them.  So, here’s my summer-time call…

Happy Boredom!


6 thoughts on “The Value of Summer-time Boredom…

  1. I can’t prove it but there is some kind of strong correlation between boredom and creativity. I know because it happens with me all the time, if and when I’m bored or let us say super bored with absolutely nothing to go, my next task immediately after the completion of the boredom period usually come out the best, be that writing a blog post, repairing something around the house, painting, patching, removing a nasty old stained spot from the rug, or what have you, no matter what it is it usually come out near perfct if not actually perfct. May be somebody else can help me explain it better but yeah i do believe that there is a link between boredom and creativity.

    • Max, I’m sure there are studies, but I’m way too lazy to look them up ;). But yeah, boredom either generates creativity in “de-boring” yourself or success in the next task because you’re just so glad to have something to do! Teehee.

    • Anytime, sweetie! Give that little guy of yours a Dr. MommaBean prescribed dose of boredom. Oh, and share the link with friends and family… maybe they’ll “get” it. Teehee.

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