Importance of Being Idle

Importance of Being Idle – Benefits, Scenarios, Self Evaluation

6:15 am Wake up
7:00 am School
3:30 pm Basketball Class
5:00 pm Painting / Music Class (every alternate day)
6:15 pm Abacus Class
7:30 pm Home
8:00 pm Dinner and TV time
8:30 pm Homework
10:00 pm Sleep

This is the daily schedule of Gena, the 10-year old daughter of my colleague, Rohit.

When I look back at my childhood days and compare, this routine looks pretty tiring to me. The after-school hours during those days majorly consisted of afternoon naps, evening plays in the park, and homework and revision time. Along with these, we happily participated in some simple household activities like watering the plants, refilling the water bottles and hand wash liquid, laying down the dining table before meals, and cleaning the refrigerator from inside every week.

I am not suggesting you to stop helping your child in finding an intelligent and interesting activity / hobby and honing their skills. If your child is passionate about a sport or an activity, do enroll him for a class as well.

But please do not underestimate the importance of being idle for some time everyday.

Importance of Being Idle

Some of the key benefits of being idle are:

  • Situation Management: What will your children do when they are left on their own? How will they respond in situations when there is no one else to guide them? These questions cross every parent’s mind, and thus it is a good idea to start their training at home.
  • Personality Development: Being idle and getting bored encourages a child to find something that interests him and pursue it independently. There is no one to guide him or prevent him from making mistakes. This ultimately leads a child to inculcate problem solving behavior, which in turn builds confidence in him.
  • Birth of a thinker: Boredom forces your child to think out of the box and explore around. Let your child’s imagination and thoughts run wild. This will intrigue him to raise questions, search for answers, meanwhile educating him those worthwhile life lessons without a class or a teacher.
  • Flow of creative juices: Boredom and creativity go hand in hand.

On a side note, would you like to share a secret that very few people know about me? This blog came into existence out of sheer boredom I came across during my son’s nap times while I was on my maternity leave!

  • Rest: Did you know that rest is the second important factor in brain development after good diet? Both exercise and proper rest are the key factors for the brain and body cells to recover and regenerate. So do allow your child to take naps when they want to.

The reasons I could think of for this ‘over-indulging the child’ behavior today are probably these:

Over-enthusiasm for a child’s future

“My child must know everything that I did not get a chance / opportunity to do myself” is the most common answer. The other one is – The competition in future is high, and it’s best to start and prepare early.

Less time availability of parents for their child

Nuclear families and both the mother and the father working professionals leads to this situation, which I myself recognize with. Though my son is too young to be concerned about it right now, but there are a few things we need to keep in mind once he grows up.

  • Instead of sending the child to multiple classes after school, he can spend the hours in a daycare as well, where he can take rest, have meals, finish his homework etc.
  • Once the parents are back home, devote complete time and attention to the child. Spend time with him sans the digital screen. Talk to him, play with him, ask him questions, listen and observe his thoughts and actions, help him with homework, share each other’s stories and ready him for the next day.
  • If a child is above 10 years old and wishes to stay at home with his elder sibling, please trust them and allow them to do so. Yes, you’ll need to make your house child-safe, and may take the help of CCTV cameras during your absence.

Inability to keep a child occupied

Parents run out of activities to engage their child in their free time. In such a case, it’s best to keep some activities ready beforehand, and offer them when needed. Afterwards, let them search for an activity on their own. A child must know ways to engage himself. This will ultimately lead him to find a hobby or a new interest.

Final Verdict: Importance of being idle

That said, it’s also extremely important for us as parents to keep a watchful eye on our child in all the above scenarios. Often a child does get into a wrong direction/company sooner or later, but this is a part of their learning and growth. Be patient and help your child find the right way as a friend. Maintaining the right balance between freedom and discipline is the key here.

The point that is important to understand here is that as a parent, our responsibility to find an activity to engage our child somewhere holds true up to a certain extent. Once you have guided your child well, give him time. If he finds it interesting, then let him try it out. Else, let him sit idle and get bored, allowing his natural human explorative instinct to kick in. Your child will either find another activity out of boredom or will come back to you again.

Do you allow your child to enjoy some idle time or are you one of those over-enthusiastic parents? It’s important to self-evaluate and improve our self as a parent.

Before bidding bye, please do take a moment and tell me your ‘Creativity out of Boredom’ story in the comments down below, and I’ll feature them on Warm Snuggles’ Instagram and Facebook account 😊

Until next time, take care!

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