Let Your Kids be Bored

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Mom, I’m bored!

Sound familiar?
Recently, I dropped my son off for a playdate. Ironically, as I was preparing to leave, my friend and mother of two amazing kiddos assured me she had activities planned for our boys. I told her she didn’t have to do that, as I am ok with the kids being bored. The look she gave me was priceless…and she confessed her need to have planned activities for her kids all the time.


I have always been that parent who allows my kids experience free time. I confess that there are times I wonder if I am being selfish by not interacting directly with them or scheduling more activities. Seems like whenever I scroll through social media there is an overwhelming sense of guilt as I see all the other moms taking their kiddos on field trips and excursions.

Rather, there is a sense of fulfillment when I see my kids engaging in dramatic play or creating universes with their Legos. I love when there are dinosaurs scattered over the playroom or my boys are acting out a video game on with their action figures. I embrace their different voices, their imaginations, and the story telling. It is then I am reminded that free play is good for their artistic and creative sides. It is also good for their souls. Boredom forces children to think outside the box. It elicits free and creative thinking. Most of all, research shows that children who have unscheduled time are more apt to be able to problem solve and can more readily think outside the box.

Tap into Creativity

In today’s world, it is so easy to over schedule our kids.  As parents, we want to empower them to explore their interests in safe and structured environments. Children who have unstructured time have the opportunity to tap into their creative genius and discover their untapped imagination.

As parents, we are told that structure is good for our children. We know children thrive when they know what is expected of them. However, where do we draw the line? I remember years ago conversing with a parent. Her children were in scheduled activities every day; some held two activities per day. I asked her when her children were able to play…”Monday” was her answer. Therefore, at that moment, I vowed to myself that I would allow my kids downtime, to just be a kid.

Listen to your child

In a world of never-ending stimulation, let us come together as parents and silence the noise. Let’s allow our child’s inner voice to swim to the surface and hear what they have to say. Let’s sit back and listen to our children express how they view their world through creative play.

The world demands so much from our children. Expectations are higher and to me, it feels as though they are also held to higher standards or compliance. Let’s give them a place where they can be kids…where they can play…where they can be bored. After all, isn’t boredom the stepping stone for creativity?

One Hour

I encourage you to try this. For one day, give your child an hour of unscheduled time. They may balk. Your child may whine. They may constantly ask you to play with them. Go ahead, play with them, and let them lead the playtime. Consequently, you may find that hour has disappeared and you have lost yourself in your child’s imagination. Furthermore, boredom is good for parents, also.

Born and raised in Northern Iowa, Cindi and her husband Chad bravely relocated to Huskerland nearly two decades ago and have made Omaha their home. Prior to becoming a mom to her two boys who are 19 months apart, Cindi was a social worker, specializing in child abuse/neglect cases. Cindi enjoys writing, empowering others to take charge of their wellness via her blog, Wellness Warrior and volunteering in her children’s activities and school. She can often be found at a local coffee shop or anywhere outdoors when she isn’t working directly with her clients. She and her family also care for their three rambunctious dogs and enjoy an active lifestyle.


  1. I agree 100%. Boredom is essential for children to foster their own ideas. I know my kiddos thrive within down time. I need to create more of it!

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