Human children soon learn to find life tedious, says Adele Hamilton.
Being bored comes easily to most adults. We’re bored in queues, bored at work, and bored stiff of watching bad TV. In fact, we’re so prone to ennui, according to a study done by British website
triviala.com, that we spend around two years of our lives being bored. That’s almost six hours a week.
Among the things that people said they find boring are people moaning about being sick, watching golf on TV, and – at number 25 --people talking about their kids
. It seems that being bored is an unavoidable part of the human condition.
Most babies never get the chance to be bored, what with all the parental fussing, dangling mobiles and educational pram toys.
But by the time they are toddlers they have picked up the adult human habit of dragging themselves around, looking for something to do. And they’re pretty good at finding it too:
Finger in the electric socket? So last week.
Climb up and try to shave with dad’s razor? Hang on, that hurt last time.
Ooh, how about we try to flush all the paper stuff from Mom’s handbag down the toilet?
But once these adrenaline-spiking explorations become passé, boredom falls like a dark cloak over many children. Most preschoolers have perfected that whiny, listless moan that goes: ‘Moooom, I’m booored!’
Any suggestion you make will be met with a blank stare and an increase to the volume of the whine:
‘Read a book.’
‘Play with your Bakugan Battle Brawlers.’
‘I don’t wanna!’
By the time kids get to high school, they are so bored with everything in the home that they can’t spend 10 minutes without contacting someone on the outside via a variety of media.
And like toddlers, left to their own devices they soon find ways to pass the time.
Perhaps by trying to prevent our kids from getting bored we are doing them a disservice. If boredom is so much part of our lives as adults, they should learn to deal with it. Only not by sticking their fingers in the electric sockets.Do you think being bored is a healthy part of life? Or should kids be taught to stay busy?
Read more by Adele Hamilton