"For those of the current generation the normal reflex when bored is to watch a video or surf the Web. What can we do to help our young people accept the short-term pain of learning creative life skills in order to avoid the long-term pain of chronic subconscious boredom? What can we do to teach them that an addiction to electronic entertainment will shrivel their souls? Many of the short-term solutions to boredom undoubtedly give pleasure. But these are unsustainable and provide only a counterfeit of life and ultimately lead to spiritual emptiness." (p. 124)
Unfortunately,I can't remember where this quote came from. Of the nine books I've read in April, it has to be either What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty or Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler. I'm thinking it must be the Jane Austen one for it made many contrasts between the 19th century and our present time. They're both worth reading. I'll be reviewing Rigler's book here soon.
I think the solution has to be the parents. The most important thing that we can do is to not be addicted to "counterfeit life" ourselves. Our children are going to emulate us. If they see us always connected to a portable device, then that's what they'll want, too. We need to be parents and people who are interested in real life.
My parents and grandparents took me along with them when they did their shopping, visiting, and chores. I learned how to be an adult alongside them. They took an interest in the world and so did I. If I wanted to learn something new which they weren't interested in, they made sure I had lessons. I was in 4-H club where I learned all sorts of things. I read voraciously and was outside most of the day when I wasn't in school or doing chores. The great outdoors is a great teacher! And because of my upbringing, I'm never bored today. In fact, one lifetime isn't enough time to do all the things I'd like to try and accomplish.
I believe many children today have too much leisure time. If they're keep busy and engaged doing chores or being with adults as they work, then when they do have free time, they'll treasure it. Games, books, and toys should be provided for the children to use as well as large quantities of unscheduled time outside. This is when their imaginations are expanded the most and they learn to appreciate nature.
Anyone have any thoughts on how you keep your kids from being bored? Are you bored yourself? Is electronic device addiction something with which you or your children struggle?