Let them be bored
Posted: April 04, 2019
Let them be bored.
Full disclosure, this blog not necessarily martial arts related, but is born out of 2 personal pain points.
First, having too high of expectations for my own kids at times, especially when I wasn’t modeling that behavior myself. Second, is watching more parents than I care to have witnessed, burnout their kids (physically, mentally and emotionally) by overscheduling them with too many activities. Not to mention spending too much money (or worse going into debt) for equipment and activities their children aren’t going to be able to maximize their potential in or quit when it gets “too hard”. I have talked with parents who have their kids in more activities than there are days in the week.
When we keep shelling out money on gas, and devoting energy, time, our SANITY, etc. on activities that just keep our kids “busy” (especially when we know they don’t even want to go) is equal to throwing your hard-earned money in the garbage. Please. Start investing in your child and their future successes both ON and OFF the playing field instead of teaching them they must be busy all the time. Encourage them to only pursue hobbies, sports and activities that help them reach their fuller potential. Instead of doing things that burn off energy. Show (by being the example or getting help) the importance of healthy habits and active lifestyle. The students I’ve seen achieve the most in life were the students who pursued 1 physical discipline like Martial Arts and an instrument or social activity such as debate, choir, band or piano.
If you are wanting to help your child achieve excellence in their activities, put them in front of people who elevate them and visas versa, and (for goodness sake) let their teacher, mentor or coach be tough on them.
Show them how to value being an inch wide & a mile deep. Too many others are too much of the opposite. Failing and rising, putting in the effort, repetition and hours it takes to achieve excellence is a forgotten art these days. In my humble opinion, wanting them to “try lots of things” is giving permission (or worse teaching them) to quit. Every former student I talk with whose now an adult often tells me, “I wish my parents never let me quit Taekwondo.”
We (as parents) don’t need to schedule every second of their day. In fact, schedule down time for them. Their brains the break. Let them be bored! Let them kick a can down the street, get lost in a book, build a sweet fort, roll in some mud, rip their pants hopping over a fence, and interact with people of different age groups (appropriately) because they’re learning!
Most importantly, let them know they don’t have to be perfect, because you aren’t either. One of our greatest opportunities we have as parents is this; the more human they see you become, the better human they’ll want to be. It’s not who they become, it’s helping them become the best version of themselves.
Talk to you soon,