“I AM BORED” – Surprising benefits of Boredom for kids
I AM BORED (Boredom in Kids): A study was conducted, where participants were asked to be in a room for 6-15 minutes. There was a button with them, that was to give them an electrical shock on being pressed. And after that they were asked to do nothing except, entertain themselves with their own thoughts. What was the outcome?
Almost 25% of women and 67% of men experienced the shock. Above all, it was done even though they had previously told by the experimenters that they should pay money to avoid the shock.
In conclusion looks like physical pain was more appealing to them rather than being alone with their own thoughts.
- What is boredom
- What is synapse
- How to increase synapse in kids
- Why boredom is good is good for kids
- How to deal with “I am bored” tantrums
- Note to parents
What is boredom?
Boredom is a psychological and emotional state of experience. This leaves an individual with nothing to do. An individual may feel dull or tedious throughout the day.
However, psychologist points out that a clear definition for boredom cannot be given. The feeling of boredom can be unpleasant.
Importantly, feeling bored is not when you have absolutely nothing to do, it is the feeling where none of the options available are appealing to you.
Boredom can be characterized by having less concentration and being restless. And boredom is also a warning that you are not doing what you are meant to do and is also a push to switch to goals that can add value to your life.
Today many people engage themselves in activities to overcome this. Engaging oneself in social media and video games are some of the prominent ways of avoiding boredom.
(DID YOU KNOW: Studies conducted by inducing boredom in a group of individuals have shown that, participants who got more bored had a higher chance of donating to charity. Perhaps this acute sense of nothingness got people to question the purpose of their life and shift their focus on other people and what you can do to help them.)
What is a synapse?
I know you are asking “Synapse What?”. Let us get a bit more technical so that we can understand and picturize the biological process to appreciate its benefits.
A neuron, which is the structural and functional unit of the brain helps in transmission of an impulse or an electrical signal. Sound waves, light waves, and any other sensory perceptions are transmitted in the form of an impulse.
We all know that our nervous system is made of neuron. These neurons carry signals from the brain to parts of the body and back.
The neurons can transmit signals through itself, but when the signal must be transmitted to another, the neuron sends chemical across a small gap known as the synaptic cleft.
The space between two neurons is considered as the Synapse. This is how connections are formed.
The chemicals used here are known as neurotransmitters. There are many varieties of them and based upon their site of action, the results may vary.
For an example Adrenaline, which is a neurotransmitter, when secreted increases the heart rate. The synapse consists of
- Presynaptic membrane – The part of the neuron where the neurotransmitters are released
- Synaptic Cleft – The gap across which the neurotransmitters are moved
- Post synaptic membrane – The part of the neuron where the neurotransmitters act upon.
The synapse being a tiny anatomical part plays a key role in our day to day activities. In layman’s terms. Think of synapse as a bridge that connect two land masses in our case two neurons. More the connects more ease of information flow and smarter the child becomes.
How boredom increases synapse in kids?
When the embryo is 5 weeks old, the baby will be the size of an apple seed. At birth nearly 100 billion neurons are in place but weighs only 25% of its matured adult brain.
The brain from this point onward will have a burst of growth. At the age of 6 the brain is 90% of its matured adult brain. During that burst of growth 700 new neural connections form every second.
This is evident by the fact that an average child smiles around the age of 2 months, talks around the age of a Year and starts to dress around the age of 3 years.
As the child hears, takes the first steps, or understand new colors and shapes the brain gradually starts to develop. When certain neurons are used more frequently, the unused neurons are cut off, this is called pruning.
This is the scientific basis of engaging on consistent practice of a task. The more you practice the more the cell connections become strong, thus making the task easier than before.
It is also important that a child is raised to have a perfectly health brain. Here are some tips you can follow.
1. Interaction with the environment.
Brain develops through experience. So, it is important for your child to experience new things. And by Observing nature like feeling leaves and hearing birds chirping can stimulate the brain to develop healthily.
2. Let the child sleep
The importance of sleep cannot be emphasized through one or two sentences. Make sure your child has a very strict bedtime routine.
Studies have shown that children who get adequate sleep have improved brain functioning. Lack of sleep, even for just one night can also disrupt the thought process in children.
The brain needs healthy fat for its growth, the brain is composed of nearly 60% fat.
Foods containing essential fatty acids, particularly Omega 3 fatty acids are important for brain development. And many a times, in the hurry to get up, get ready and go to school on time.
Children skip their breakfast or have a minimal one. This is one of the worst things a parent can do for a child.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and should NOT be skipped at any cost. A good balanced breakfast gives the child’s brain the energy it needs to get through the day.
4. Staying Hydrated
As water is one of the most abundant compounds in the human body, it is necessary to ensure that your child gets the adequate amount of water. The following is the recommended daily intake of water for a child..
5-8 years old should have 1 liter of water in a day.
9-12 years should have 1.5 liters of water in a day.
Children above 13+ should have 2 liters of water in a day.
Why boredom is good for children?
Though boredom, when described can feel extremely unproductive, it has its own benefits.
In a state of boredom, the mind wanders. It will not focus on anything. Research have shown this mind wandering is important for creativity.
Borden is an unpleasant state. Humans instinctively would wish to come out of it. Over and above, being bored may also suggest that you need to change the environment. This can spur you into action and have some positive changes around you.
However, When kids are bored, they either come and trouble you or find some way to engage themselves.
If you can resist the temptation of giving an electronic gadget to keep them occupied and leave them to engage themselves. You will be rewarded with a pleasant surprise from your kid.
Whilewe are on the topic of electronic gadgets. We urge you to read our blog on SCREEN ADDICTION IN KIDS – All you need to know with Tips.
Your kid will start to daydream. When they dream, they start imagining? Out of these imagination exciting ideas are born. Finally, the kids use their imagination and come up with innovative ways to play.
When kids start using their brain to keep themselves engaged, they flex their brain muscles. And the more they flex it more the neural network fires and more information flows. More connections get formed between the neurons through synapse cleft.
These connections that are the windfalls of kid being bored, forms the basis of brain development for the child. This forms a firm foundation for the child as they move from childhood to adulthood.
Note: All these benefits will not be reaped if the kid kills boredom by watching TV or playing with electronic gadgets.
Borden Tantrums : How to deal with “I am bored” tantrums
Children are born to play, create and feel satisfied. They need to be involved in activities and have fun. When this element is lost, they fall into boredom.
Children have more free time than a regular adult, this can spiral into having more episodes of boredom. The boredom of a child may suggest that he/she needs your attention, or he/she may have been doing something for too long.
As a busy parent, trying to do nothing for at least 30 minutes will give you an idea of what your bored kid is going through. This is helpful in dealing with “I am bored” tantrums.
Few Tips to deal with “I am bored” tantrums
The kids need to learn to deal with their boredom however as parents below are a few things that we can do.
- Make sure your kid has enough options or things to do.
- Make sure that your kids toy at age appropriate.
- Encourage your kid to go outside and play.
- Involve your kid in what you are doing. This will not only help your child learn but also help you spend quality time with your child without affecting your work.
- Have a bottom cabinet with Lord of activities and ideas. Ask your kid to pick up any topic and play with it.
- Ask your kid some open-ended question and let them talk about it while you get on with your work .example what games you play with your best friend.
- Have patience and wait till your little one finds something to engage herself with. Keep nudging and giving ideas till they figure it out.
- When your child tells you that they are bored respond with open ended question such as “OK, what can we do now?”, How can we kill this boredom monster? Wait for their answers and cleverly probe further till they figure out what to do next
Note to parents on boredom in kids .
Being bored will be a regular occurrence in a child, as a parent it is important to schedule your time where you are able to give utmost attention and focus to your child.Because that may be all that they want.
Listen to whatever your child has to say even if it is boring for you.
Introduce new activities which will improve your kid’s creativity. Painting and puzzle solving are some of the activities where the parent and child can both engage in.
Engage in outdoor activities on regular basis. Apart from killing boredom, this can also help in brain development.
These activities may include bike riding, picnics, or any activity which can be a new experience to the child.
Video Time: Expert ideas about when your child say i am bored
It is impossible to keep the kid always busy. And it is not a fault or a failure on our part if our kids get bored. In fact, you should pat yourself on your back if you able to resist technology’s temptation to keep your kid engaged.
While it can be frustrating when they keep coming around saying they are bored. I hope with the tips given about we will be able to cross that bridge.
Boredom it is a very natural occurrence. We as parents need to acknowledge and accept it when our children say they are bored.
We need to sympathize with them with loving words such as Oh! Is it? But do not try to fix it for them. The key is to allow them to figure it out themselves please stop.
Boredom is the elixir of life. In today’s fast paced world, boredom feels like something bad, but, if dealt with conviction, the benefits will be immense.
So, the only ask to parents is to let the kid feel bored. hold strong and tide through the phase of the kid clinging and pestering you. You will see the magic happen.
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What do you do when your kids say they are Bored?. Leave your comments below..