Paul, age 8, says this roughly every 30 seconds. It’s not that he’s spoiled or overly entertained or more addicted to the internet than his parents. It’s that he’s 8 and 8 year olds bug their parents by saying they are bored even when they aren’t. (Paul said he was bored during the previews for The Avengers. I thought about the $40 I just spent to take him and rolled my eyes.)
I’ve turned the I’m bored syndrome into a bit of a game between us. When Paul says, “I’m bored” I look at him and say “Good. And do you know why it’s good?”
Here’s what I’m teaching Paul. It’s the upside of boredom.
Boredom leads you to creativity. And creativity leads to figuring out things that no one else can figure out. And when you figure out stuff that no one else can figure out that will lead you to world domination. Therefore your boredom will lead you to the world domination you desire. Therefore boredom is a very good thing, right?
It’s a not-so-subtle thing I’m trying to plant in my son’s head. I’m combatting my nature to roll my eyes or scold him by teaching values:
- Creativity happens when we create space for it.
- There’s a difference between staying occupied and doing something amazing.
- I actually think he can create something which might dominate the world.
What are other upsides to boredom?