Its OK For Your Child To Be Bored - In Fact, Its Recommended!
NY -- Strange as it may sound, bordom promotes happier, creative kids who are better problem solvers. When children use their own creativity with unstructured play, they find ways to amuse themselves -- even if it means simply daydreaming.
That's the advice of child development expert, Alan M. Hess who wants to see American children spend more time in unstructured play, less time in structured activities and much less time in front of mindless TV programs.Hess states, "Plain and simple, it's called creative child development.I recognize that in our society, it's a hard concept for peopke to grasp at first.
"Many American parents who work 60 to 70 hours a week impose a very structured lifestyle on their children. They're concerned about boredom, so they overschedule to keep kids busy. Believe it or not, there is a direct relationship between boredom and creative thought."
Alan Hess, president of Safari Ltd., with its line of museum quality creative toys, is a noted authority and respected expert in developing creative play for children. Hess states, "Think back to when you were a kid and you will recall valuable lessons. Left to our own devices we discovered resources we didn't know we had. I'm concerned that our busy, well-entertained children may not ever have the chance to learn them."
Hess, states, "Although most of the products that I've been involved with are designed for children four and up, especially our current Safari line of products, I constantly study toddler trends. Several pediatric physicions, who are part of our research team, have shared some disturbing trends with me regarding middle and upper class parents who push their children to the extremes in the hopes that this will provide a better foundation for the child's future.
"They've told me about situations where parents are determined to find the "perfect three year old" pre-school so that their daughter will be prepared for law school later in life. Other parents make their children compete in soccer matches and karate competiton when the child is recovering from the flu. Their misguided reasoning is that the child needs to learn what competition means, regardless of illness, or circumstances. This thinking is insane."
Hess firmly believes that children need time to be children. Creativity, social skills and fun are vital to a well-rounded child. He suggests that parents help children get the most out of unstructured play by limiting TV. Parents might also provide materials, creative toys and even gentle suggestions, if necessary. Parental guidance and parental participation is also important. Hess said, "Bored kids eventually take out the paints, build a dinosaur den, read a book ... and create things, or they come home sweaty from a game of neighborhood soccer. Our educational, nature and science toys with a special focus on scale-model animal and dinosaur replicas are big favorites with children. They love the fantasy play and the fun of creating their own world."
This concept of boredom is new territory at the beginning because children may be upset that they can't watch TV. They may also bicker with their siblings. Hess states, "Working or single parent households may have even more of a challenge, but he strongly encourages parents not to give in and flip on the TV, or let kids watch a video."
The lifelong benefits of unstructured play are so great that Hess urges parents to try to find an hour a week for it. And he offers these tips to make things easier:
Set Limits to TV and Video Play. There is something very wrong with the fact that many children watch an average of 38 hours per week. Cutting back can provide unstructured play time. Most parents and care takers passively allow the media to routinely expose kids to violence and sex when they would never let an individual, or educational institution expose their children to this type of content.
Far too many children spend hours each day at computers, playing with hand-held game devices, or watching videos. Hess suggests that parents set a firm daily limit to these activities. Hess says, "The value of a toy is simple to calculate...to what degree does the toy invite imagination and creativity? After a week, if you find that your child is more interested in playing with the toy box instead of the toy, you've wasted money and time."
Unstructured play time doesn't require a huge investment in new toys. Hess cites one focus group study where two boys were playing with toys. One girl had an electronically enhanced dinosaur and she boasted: "My dinosaur can say 500 words!" The other boy, who was holding a Safari dinosaur countered with: "My dino can say anything I want it to say and it looks like a real dino."
Hess states, "We hear so much about hyperactive children who are medicated as a result of this behavior. Is the child really hyperactive, or does the child simply need more unstructured play time? Children are free spirits and when that's denied, we see physical and mental manifstations that have a negative impact on a healthy childhood.
"Spend time watching your child play. This can show children that adults value their play," Hess says. It's not necessary to join in, although that's great fun too, as long as parents don't try to take over. In fact, one highly successful parenting strategy involves spending time each day with your child doing whatever he or she chooses to do."
During this "special time," the child makes the decisions, controls the flow of the play and assigns all roles. It's unstructured play time for your child, yet you get to participate.It's important for us to share time with children and it shows them that you value their play.
Hess encourages parents to give this bordom concept a serious try. He states, "Giving your children a break from organized activities and electronic baby-sitters could very well mean sentencing them to boredom, at least at first, but it will open up a whole new world of creativity, fun and adventure as it helps them expand their minds."
About The Author
Alan Hess, president of Safari Ltd., has an extensive marketing background with a wide array of highly successful toy and hobby products. One of the key factors in his success is his understanding of child development research and his ability to apply that knowledge to product development.
Gifted Children - Getting the Balance Right
One of the challenges for parents with a gifted child is to encourage them to develop a range of interest outside the academic sphere that not only rounds them out but stops them from being isolated from their peers Gifted children are a diverse group of kids who are talented in specific areas such as mathematics, language, sport or music. Some gifted kids are mutli-talented excelling in a variety of areas.
Public-School True Believers with a Mission
One reason public schools get away with educational failure, year after year, is because they are run by school officials who passionately believe in what they are doing. As the great English writer C.
Healthy Eating Alone Is Not The Answer
Along with eating healthier we need to be more active. The two go hand in hand.
Second Letter to My Daughter
Dear Camille,As I thumb through the photographs that I carry with me always in my briefcase, it's hard to fathom that the short haired, smiling baby holding a crawfish and wiggling its claws has turned into the beautiful goldilocks girl that demands the stage and wants so much to sing.I feel like such a cliché-all those veteran parents telling us how quickly you would grow up, how it would be over before we know it, how we had best pay attention before it all ended.
Baptisms And Alternative Ways To Hold A Naming Ceremony
Traditionally, babies have been named at a christening/baptism. Most still are, but increasingly parents are choosing an alternative, non-religious ceremony.
Back to School Success Tips
Q. With the school year just beginning, what can we do as parents to help make this a successful year for our teen-ager and our family?A.
Guide to Choosing a Computer System for Your Child
Before going further into choosing computers for children, I believe that you would like to know the answer to the following question:Why do children need computers?The easiest answer for this one is: "A child needs a computer so that he can play computer games". Everybody agrees.
How to Help Your Child be Successful in Kindergarten
Your child's first year of school should be a fun and exciting time. Children who are comfortable with and prepared for this first school experience are more likely to have rewarding and productive years, and therefore associate positive feelings with education.
Parenting Confidence - Who Needs It?
It used to strike me as odd - but really, it makes perfect sense.If you are a regular flier, or have flown recently, you'll know what I mean.
Invented Spelling --- Another Alice-in-Wonderland Public-School Theory
As part of the whole-language (or "balanced") reading-instruction philosophy, many public schools now teach what they call "invented" or "creative" spelling. Under this theory of spelling, teachers believe that forcing a child to spell a word correctly thwarts the child's "creativity.
Tracking Your Child Progress
As a parent, you can learn a lot about your child's learning and watch for signs of possible problems. Here are some things to look for and to discuss with his teacher:Starting at age 3 or 4:Does your child remember nursery rhymes, and can he play rhyming games?At about age 4: Can your child get information or directions from conversations or books that are read aloud to him? Kindergartners:Is your child beginning to name and write the letters and numbers that he sees in books, on billboards and signs, and in other places?At age 5:Can your child play and enjoy simple word games in which two or more words start with the same sound? For example: "Name all the animals you can think of that start with d.
Are You Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child?
Although many parents are concerned with our children's intelligence quotient (IQ), research shows that a child's emotional quotient (EQ) is just as important for that child's personal success. So what is Emotional Intelligence? Emotional quotient is your child's ability to feel, while intelligence quotient is your child's ability to think.
What is Hyperactivity in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?
Most of the ADHD kids that are seen in a private practice setting are hyperactive kids simply because they get into the most trouble. Their parents are usually pulling their hair out and saying, "We've got to get this child some help.
Four Tips For Alleviating Back To School Anxiety
Back to school preparations are in full-swing. Soon, the first bell of the year will ring and the sounds of summer will be replaced by the voices of school-aged children bemoaning the end of their summer and trying to sort out their new school routines: What building am I in? Who's my teacher this year? Do I really have to take calculus?For most children, going back to school signifies a move from the lazy, hazy days of summer to a regimented school routine and poses unique challenges that must be overcome.
Your Checking Account
Checking accounts are an absolute necessity these days. You can either have a checking account or run to the bank or other outlet for money orders.
CPR: Why You Should Know It
I never dreamed that I would be in a position to use CPR on someone. But I was wrong.
Send Your Child to College FREE!
College is one of the largest expenses through the course of your childâ??s life. It is also one of the main causes of debt in America.
Tips for Parents of Teenagers: Dont Just Survive - Thrive!
What makes parenting so challenging at times? One widespread research study reports that feeling "unprepared" tops the list for many parents' causes of dissatisfaction. And parents of teenagers, in particular, may feel this acutely as so many changes converge at once: adolescents are changing in every conceivable way while they often push parents away in their search for individuality.
Examining Drugs for ADHD, Particularly Strattera
In memory of 14 year old Matthew Smith; 11 year old Stephanie Hall; and 10 year old Shaina Dunkle and other children who have died from the use of psychotropic drugs for "ADHD".The Eli Lilly company has been marketing a new drug for those who are labeled as ADHD known as Strattera.
Time, Stress, and a Baby
The main thing we noticed since having a baby is that time is a more valuable good. We do not have enough time for many things or time is really tight to accomplish certain tasks before the next feeding time has come.
|Article List | Index | Site Map|
All logos, trademarks and articles on this site are property and copyright of their respective owner(s).
The comments are property of their posters, all the rest is Copyright © 2006 CanadaSEEK.com - All Rights Reserved.