Chicago mom: Boredom fuels imagination and creativity

I heard a woman on the “The Today Show” emphasizing the importance of being bored. She went on to explain that creativity comes from boredom and most successful CEOs excel in creativity.

At lunch with a group of school moms last week we talked about all the activities our kids were a part of. We talked about the different gymnastics studios in Chicago and the pros and cons of each.

We tried gymnastics and ended up quitting after three lessons.

In reality my daughter does gymnastics at home using the couch as a trampoline and a chair as her bar. This gymnastics class is free and I love listening to her talk to her pretend students in an adorable make-believe way.

Do our kids need to go to karate, ballet, jazz, tap, soccer, swimming, art, drums, French, piano, flag football and/or drama after school?

Why can’t our kids come home from school and have free time to unwind from the structure of the day and use their imagination to play?

Electronics are another distraction from being bored. One woman said she turns off her families’ wireless for two hours every day so computers, tablets or phones cannot distract the whole family.

I tried this experiment (I actually just told the kids no screens for two hours – I don’t dare mess with the wireless as the last thing I want to do is be on the phone with Comcast.) and after protesting for a little too long they began to play.

My kindergartener suckered her big brother into a game of school. He started out pouting, but soon was offering to take his little sister to the “nurses office” explaining “this way you get to miss class.”

Somehow school turned into some sort of pirate ship on the bed where the water (that I stepped in) was poisonous.

There was screaming, laughing and a few disagreements, but most importantly they were having fun and using their creativity.

As I observed them I thought how strange it would be for adults to “play” house without being on a stage. We live the real thing and know about the highs and lows. Our lives our undeniably structured, but I don’t believe our children need to be scheduled down to the minute just yet.

This is the time of their life that they should be playing.

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