Mothercould’s Myriam Sandler Says It’s Okay For Kids To Be Bored

Parents today often feel under pressure to entertain their children from the moment they wake up until they lay their heads on their pillows to sleep. It might sound like excellent parenting, but it’s exhausting for parents and doesn’t give the child space to thrive.

According to Mothercould’s Myriam Sandler, children are allowed to be bored. Before smartphones and game consoles, kids could explore and get messy. While video games can be great for hand-eye coordination, there is something to be said about getting dirty.

“Kids nowadays are a bit more sheltered,” she says. “We don’t let them just go out on their own without having someone with them, even in the backyard, to get messy and muddy. Messy is seen as a challenge nowadays. When we would come home messy our parents would say oh, you had a great day, and now messy creates another problem for parents, another thing to clean up.”

Independent play is one of the most important aspects of childhood creativity – it allows kids to explore their imagination and expand their creativity. If you leave a child to play independently, they have to find something to do to entertain themselves.

According to Myriam, every child should be given the opportunity to find things that build their curiosity and embark on a journey to discover what sparks joy.

Myriam knows that some of the hesitancy towards messy play may be the cleanup after. She recognizes that parents don’t have to choose between the two.

“I’m trying to turn the tides. I show the messy play, like homemade play-dough and finger paints, and offer strategies for setting up play in a way that makes clean-up a breeze. The reality of play is it’s messy, but it doesn’t have to mean your house is,” says Myriam.

Another benefit of boredom is children build creative problem-solving skills. Studies have shown that the group asked to complete a series of dull tasks before tackling a creative activity showed more creativity. It concluded that children will never take the initiative to find an activity if they are always presented with something to do.

If children always look to their parents to solve their boredom problem, they won’t learn how to do it themselves. The modern world is full of stimulation, and boredom can be uncomfortable.

This type of play also builds resiliency and shows that kids bounce back easier when faced with adversity, allowing them to explore things without failure or judgment.

“As kids, we would get all sorts of sensory experiences by playing outdoors, riding bikes, and doing all these independent exploratory activities. We can give our children the same experiences by letting them lean into the boredom and seeing where their imagination takes them,” says Myriam Sandler.

Written in partnership with Eve Connor