The Benefit of Boredom

Dawn Michaelfriendship, Screen Time, self careLeave a Comment

My daughter asked if she could have a friend come over after camp and sleep at our house for the night.  Sure!  Having another child over would encourage hours of wondrous play for my two girls.  Memories of my childhood sleepovers came to mind-staying up late, french braiding each other’s hair, and dancing and singing into an imaginary microphone.  They were in for a fun night! After camp, we drove home.  The girls whispered and giggled while the radio drowned out their conversation.  We were almost home when I got the question, “Mom, what are we going to do tonight?”  I had already offered to take them to a movie, either in the theatre or the drive-in.  Both options were shot down as Jurasic World wasn’t something they wanted to see.  There were no other age appropriate movies that we could agree on seeing.  The idea of a drive-in didn’t appeal either as they couldn’t understand the concept of being able to see the movie screen with cars parked in front of you. One daughter suggested staying home and watching Dance Moms.  “No, that’s child abuse,” responded the friend.  Lighten up kid, my girls like to watch the dancers.  It’s reality tv- exaggerated behavior, but not to be taken too seriously.  I suggested we browse the bookstore and get Del’s … Read More

The Battle of the Screens

Kim KinzieScreen Time1 Comment

I’m in Vermont this weekend visiting family and stumbled across an article in the local paper entitled: 3,000 Miles With the Kids, on a Roadtrip to Boredom.  After just having survived a four-hour journey  with my 2 boys, this article naturally caught my attention. The author, concerned about her children’s growing addiction to screens, decided to take a long roadtrip with her kids (ages 3 and 6) with no electronics. Yes, you read that right:  no phones, ipads, DVD players, handheld gameplayers…not even an ipod.   She sought to teach them to deal with their boredom, which is an important tool in accessing creativity (I’m living proof:  my boredom being home with 2 toddlers drove me to write a book) I applauded the author and wondered if I had the guts to do the same.  My boys, ages 5 and 8 are definitely addicts.  I dont worry as much about my 8 year old.  He has many interests and seems to have a solid internal barometer that tells him when he’s had too much. My 5 year old on the other hand, is a true junkie.  Like a heroin addict, he’s always looking for his next score.  Every car ride comes with the request:  “Can I play on your phone?”  Every free minute he wants a screen:  to play a game, watch a show, … Read More