Boredom. We’ve all felt it. Children complain of it. Boredom is a feeling we experience when the brain is unsatisfied in its search for stimulation. In a world where stimulation is constant and all around us, it’s easy to see why boredom might feel unfamiliar and uncomfortable. It tends to be something we seek to avoid. Yet without boredom, we would all be pretty boring!
It’s that time of the year again when we need to start thinking about what’s coming next for our children in school. Some children will be starting Kindergarten, starting junior high or high school, or moving to a new school or class next year. These changes can lead to a mix of excitement and worry about what will happen in the future. For most students, these feelings are expected and manageable with some thought. For others, these feelings can be debilitating in the present and jeopardize the ease of the new beginning.
Let’s take a quick trip into your memory – think about some of the most fun you ever had growing up, especially with family. Hold those images in your mind for a moment. What are you recalling? If you are like many people, you are remembering silly, fun, spontaneous moments. What you are likely not remembering is the perfectly curated birthday party when you were seven, or the well-organized games you played at the party, much less what you and your friends ate and what kind of cake was involved. You may, however, remember throwing bits of that cake at your friends, who returned fire in an in-the-moment food fight that had your parents losing their minds.
No one likes to hear that they can’t do what they want, when they want to do it. But having boundaries and setting limits is a necessary part of life. We depend on them to help us know what is expected of us, where we should be, what we should do, how we should act. They give us a sense of safety, because without limits and boundaries, things would be chaotic!
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