Let Our Kids Be Bored (It’s Good for Them!)


As a busy mother of a 2-year-old girl and a 4-year-old boy, I thought the truly crazy days were ahead of me. I hoped that the nutty schedule of an overworked mom was waiting in the wings until the kids were at LEAST in grade school. Well, I thought wrong. Here’s why I think it’s time to let my kids be bored.

Our Busy, Hectic Lives

My son, in particular, is quite the social butterfly. He goes to school five days a week, and occasionally attends additional school functions and camps. He swims once a week. He has regular play dates with friends. In a couple of weeks, he will begin t-ball. While it isn’t quite as rigorous as Little League, he will have to have a full uniform, practice once a week, and go to games twice a week. Oh, and did I mention his grandparents also want him to begin sailing and piano lessons? 

He is FOUR.

Then there is my daughter. While I don’t yet know what she’s going to be into, she is just as smart and just as active. So, potentially, we’re looking at a doubling up of our calendar in the next year or two.

Kids and Boredom

All of this personal anxiety over making sure my children are happy and busy but not overstimulated and stressed has coincided with a big national conversation about kids and boredom. Here are some of the headlines:

Can I Let My Child Be Bored? from Psychology Today

Why You Should Do Nothing When Your Child Says I’m Bored from the Huffington Post

Let Children Get Bored Again from the New York Times

It’s pretty clear . . . we’re asking too much, both of ourselves and of our kids. The primary impact is in their total lack of downtime. 

Now, this didn’t happen because any of us are bad parents. It happened because we’re all working so much that we want to make up for the time with our kids that we lose as a result. I know several overworked parents who are so consumed with guilt about their schedules that they co-sleep with their children just to get some time with them, even if everyone is knocked out cold.

It’s not much better for stay at home moms. They feel pressure to homeschool and do arts and crafts and stimulate young minds while attempting to clean and make delicious, appetizing food three times a day.

Does that sound impossible to you? Because it does to me.

It’s Time to Do Nothing

Your children (and mine) need some time to observe and just BE. They can do that with or without you there. And on my part, I’ll be setting aside my phone and doing the same thing—allowing my mind to wander and chat about whatever comes to mind. This is where great ideas come from. It’s where imagination starts.  And it is an important part of a child’s development that we are all currently preventing because we think they need to be constantly entertained.

What do you think? Are we doing our children a disservice by keeping them constantly busy? Comment below 🙂

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Daphne Gaghagen
I am a wife and mother of a 4-year-old boy and a 2-year-old girl, living in Chula Vista, California! My day job is working from home as a Social Business Manager for IBM. I also maintain my Instagram account, @mommyiloveyousobig. I love weightlifting, yoga, and trying out new recipes. I look forward to traveling the world and experiencing new things with my little family. I spend my free time at the gym, obsessing over Netflix shows, discovering new places and having a beer with the hubby or friends. I love making new mommy friends!


  1. I think you’re on to something! Having to entertain themselves without the benefit of electronics and parents would spark conversations and creativity and collaboration which is beneficial in developing and sustaining relationships. Good thinking!


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