• As the school year fades into summer, many parents find themselves hearing the familiar refrain of, “I’m bored.”  In response, parents can get caught up in suggesting activity after activity and being met with resistance to all suggestions. This negative loop leaves parents feeling frustrated and kids feeling unsatisfied. You might be surprised to learn that there can be a real upside to boredom!  Here are a few of the surprising, but life-giving benefits of boredom.

    Cultivates creativity, curiosity, and ingenuity

    Boredom allows for the development of problem solving skills and creates space for imagination.

    Increases self awareness

    The world is fast and loud and full of distractions.   When we slow down and let things get quiet, we are able to identify the things that matter to us and live more intentionally.

    Creates opportunities for conversation and person to person connection

    Down time is essential for real human connection.  Talking, laughing, or playing together is so important!  Human connection impacts our moods, stress levels, and even our immune systems.

    Supports your brain and your nervous system

    Slowing down relieves stress and allows the chronically overstimulated nervous system to relax.   The contrast may even increase your enjoyment of more stimulating activities.

    Promotes confidence to face uncomfortable situations

    Experiencing the discomfort of boredom teaches you that you can tolerate things that are uncomfortable, rather than fearing or avoiding them.


    • Set the expectation that being bored won’t result in immediate entertainment.
    • Educate kids about the benefits of boredom.
    • Return responsibility to your kids to find something to do.
    • Resist the urge to rescue kids from boredom – they can stand it!
    • Making a point of planning for times with nothing scheduled to do.
    • Work together to create a list of restful, creative activity ideas that they can draw from when they are bored (“cloud gaze,” “snuggle with dog,” “take a nap,” “make-up a story,” “play pretend”, etc.)
    • Provide a tub full of art and craft supplies for impromptu projects.
    • Take technology breaks that support the rhythms of your life. (examples: make mornings “tech free,” institute a 2-hour phone break in the afternoon, or don’t allow screens for anyone during meals)