Recently in The New York Times, Catherine Pearson noted how the growing cultural stigma against boredom burdens parents. Research shows that parents across cultural and economic lines believe it’s their job to fend off their kids’ boredom with activities.
Doing so implicitly teaches kids that boredom is bad for them, and entertainment a right. This plays well in an age that treats any discomfort as dangerous, and that having fun, or at least avoiding suffering, is the meaning of life.
This understanding of life robs kids of finding the joy, the meaning, and the truth of self-sacrifice, service to others, and devotion to things bigger than self. It’s also cruel to teach kids who live in a fallen world that suffering and discomfort can be avoided and that you can’t truly be happy if you fail to avoid it.
Allowing kids to be bored and uncomfortable, on the other hand, teaches them that they actually can handle tough things.
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