In the past, there were not so many bored kids. Children were able to create fun and not depend on the fun to be catered to them.
I am a child of the 70s, and for me, fun was utilizing my imagination. Although I did go through troubles and trauma, I found moments of goodness between the bad. For me, childhood was filled with things to do, fun things, and the idea of being bored just didn’t exist. Bored kids are more or less a modern thing, I believe.
Children have become dependent on other people and things to provide their entertainment. In a sense, some of them have become lazy.
The real reason there are bored kids
I’m going to be honest about a few things, and these truths may make some of you angry. These truths, however, need to be said in order to understand the plight of our children and even some of us.
Bored children are bred from many modern aspects including the advancement of technology. Maybe not all children have lost touch with how to have natural fun, but most of them have become slaves of their smartphones, laptops, and their gaming consoles.
Let’s get this straight, I play video games sometimes too, but not religiously like my children and my boyfriend. They can play from the moment they wake until bedtime during the weekends. I sometimes have a hard time understanding how they do this.
My weakness in technology would have to be television. I have to remind myself to be careful not to become a slave to technology as well. As for today’s bored kids, it’s difficult to make them see the truth that way.
Bored kids and technology’s takeover
Do you wish to see proof of this phenomenon? Well, apparently children spend at least 7 hours on some form of technological device. This is 1 hour more than they spent 5 years ago. If you have children, just pay attention to how long they spend on their phone, computer or etc. It might horrify you.
But to break down the side effects of technology and explain why we have more bored kids, you have to compare certain activities from “then” to “now”. One thing that has changed our society is whether we read and the way we read. Reading is an amazing way to build focus, and help children use their imagination.
With the advent of computers and the like, children have less need for their imagination and instead rely on the images on their devices. Yes, you can read books on Kindle, but it just isn’t the same as reading a traditional book and using this valuable possession to fuel adventures. To be honest, there is just so many images, sounds, and activities right at our fingertips.
Yes, technology has huge positive points, but, in my opinion, they just aren’t worth the destruction of our kid’s abilities to have natural fun. It is depleting, and if you were to leave a child outside with no technology, they might just cause a panic attack.
They are being wired differently from a young age, and couldn’t possibly make such a sudden transition. It sounds pretty disturbing, doesn’t it?
Here’s how we start to help
Bored kids, although they are developing differently than say, myself as a child in the 70s, will be able to reverse some of the negative effects of technology. They can learn to step away from the technological babysitter, so to speak. Here’s how you can wean your children a bit from technology. Lol You’re welcome.
1. Take advantage of power outages
Let’s take an easy one, maybe one that will take little effort on your part. Have you noticed that when a storm comes through and the power goes out that your children take a nap? When storms arrived during my childhood and electricity was off, I spent time talking to my family. We lit candles and opened canned food and had a living room picnic. Sometimes my brother and I played board games by candlelight.
Unfortunately, almost every time my power goes out, my children fall asleep. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with sleeping, but the only reason they do this is because… everything to them is useless. Maybe they eat a snack, but sooner or later, if the power stays off long enough, they will be sleeping.
So, I challenge you to get their attention. Tell them that the family is going to play a game, one without controllers and consoles. Keep them awake and stimulate the minds of these bored kids.
Children cannot have natural fun because the television or computer is always on. When it’s time for dinner, they take their phones with them. When they are trying to do homework, the television is playing in the background. It’s the equivalent of mindlessly eating when you’re really not hungry.
So, learn to unplug things or simply just turn them off whenever other “non-technology” situations arise, like eating dinner, working on school projects, spending time with loved ones, boyfriends/girlfriends and even just friends. Unplug and listen to the human voice for a change.
3. Teach them
If your children are old enough to understand, try teaching them about the pros and cons of technology. At the same time, teach them about fun things that existed before technology. Coax them to try both equally and absorb the value of being a well-rounded individual.
There are many things a child can learn from both sides of the coin. Bored kids wouldn’t exist if they partook in both aspects of life.
4. Schedule technology-free days
To help children wean themselves a bit from technology, you can try to schedule a time for activities which don’t involve laptops, phones, and other devices. Yes, it will be difficult at first because they are used to the same forms of entertainment.
However, after a while, they will develop a desire to do other things like sports and similar activities. You can plan these days for the weekend or separate them by having one day during the week and one on the weekend. As your children get used to this process, you can increase the time.
5. Step back into nature
Another way to rejuvenate your imagination is to get out into nature. Go camping, go fishing, or just take a walk in the park (without headphones). Technology has kept us inside for far too long. It robs us of vitamin D from the sun, it changes our physiology and worsens both our physical and mental health. If you’re not going outside, you are shortening your lifespan. I kid you not.
When you decide to go outside, spend time just taking in the fresh air. Find an outdoor activity if you cannot go camping. If yard work needs to be done, make a game of it.
This is what we used to do as children in the 70s. One of the most exciting things for me was just dancing in the rain. The best part was us children didn’t get a cold from dancing in the rain because our regular outdoor activities kept our immune systems strong. Yes, it will do that.
Let’s bring back real fun
I will continue to use technology because I work online. I also enjoy watching movies. The thing I won’t do, however, is abandon the beauty of the world from my childhood. I encourage you to step out of technology’s bubble and experience the fun of yesterday.
Bored kids cannot have fun like we used to do because their brains have changed. Their entire mindset has been altered to accept the way life is today. So we must keep them stimulated. This is the real challenge.
The good news is we can help them see a different way of life. It’s about choices, and sometimes choosing a different path to strengthen our imaginations and to improve much-needed focus and understanding in our world today. As technology advances even more and we are transferred into sedentary people, let’s keep going against the grain.
Let’s bring back fun for children and help them nourish their minds. Let’s free them from the slavery of technology.
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This Post Has 5 Comments
I love this post.
One issue is that parents nowadays are the ones that plonk their kids down in front of these devices in the first place. Parents breed their children into this by using screens to keep their children occupied because ‘it’s easier.’ They don’t teach their children anything they can use in life.
It’s a sad world we live in today. 🙁
You’re right, Dax, and that’s why we should try harder to set examples and spend time with them. It is really hard sometimes for me because I work online. So, what do they see? They see me sitting there in front of a screen. Then my boyfriend wants to play video games with me, so what do the kids see? They see me sitting there in front of a screen.
So, it’s up to us just as much or even more, just like you said. We have to work together. Sometimes, I think nature gets depressed missing our little feet running around bare on its face and our hands rustling through its tree limbs. I also think the wind misses washing across our bodies as we sit and contemplate life…sigh…
Unfortunately, we are missing so much, so we have to do better.
I saw photos recently which compared kids in the 1950’s to kids in the present. The difference was obvious. Kids in the past were walking home from school talking with each other, laughing and having fun. Kids in the present were walking home and all of the were looking at their Smart phones and a few were actually texting each other while walking side by side! The shows technology at its worst. I totally agree with your blog and I think change will be difficult and cause problems in the home which will be challenging to resolve..
I thank you once again for reading. I was born in 74 and I remember a drastically different childhood than the ones my children have. It was really that different. However, in order to help them, we have to use this little strategy that I call “seasoning”. I have learned through trial and error that trying to force your children to give up much of their technology will not work, especially if they see me on the computer or watching television as well. What “seasoning” does is provide a “little at a time” technique which allows you to talk with them calmly and in short instances, as most people tend to block out conversation after long lectures and discipline.
I also found that being an example and planning outings that cannot be done with technology also helps. It does really help to remind them that there are fun things to do outside. IT’s a start, and while it’s not a quick cure, it adds flavor and variety, which is good.
I don’t think that we want kids to have fun anymore. We keep pounding them in their heads that life is a struggle and having fun is a sign of being lazy, shiftless and an indication that they will not succeed in the world unless they put their nose to the grindstone.