As we continue with our second series How To Be Proactive, based on the book 7 Habits of Happy Kids, we will discuss that children need to explore their inner and outer worlds through unstructured time. Giving them the opportunity to occupy themselves, will help spark their imagination and creativeness. Allowing your child unstructured time will help them learn to be proactive. Let them learn to fill this time wisely and get the experience of deciding for themselves how to use unstructured time, or they may never learn to manage time later in life.
Why Unstructured Time Is Important For Your Child’s Development
Benefits of Unstructured Time
So, why do children need unstructured time? What benefit does it have? Unstructured time allows your child to show his qualities of curiosity, interests, playfulness and the confidence to explore new things. The qualities not only help them to learn but to be discouraged if something doesn’t play out right.
They have the capabilities to explore new ways to approach things. We all want our children to be self-reliant, who can take the lead and think for themselves. If we fill their time full of activity upon activity this teaches nothing but dependence. Giving our children trust will engage their minds and they are likely to become confident, independent, competent children. It would make sense to assume if we want this for our children, why not try it ourselves?
Boredom – It’s An Opportunity
Boredom should not be seen as a threat but as an opportunity! Rather than thinking of boredom as a trouble to be avoided, consider it an area to learn what they like and enjoy doing. Before long, your child will learn that boredom is more like freedom! Children that have the chance to experience unstructured time and be proactive in decision making will develop such a profound skill that children need.
Boredom Jar – Creative Idea For “I’m Bored” Kids
When kids are left to on their own, they usually find something interesting to do. But there are times when they may need a hand figuring out something to do. Especially if they have limited TV or electronic device time, or if they have more time because of holiday or summer break. I heard about this wonderful idea while researching tips on boredom and kids. It’s called the “Boredom Jar”. You take a jar (i.e. mason jar) and fill it with strips of paper that have boredom busters on it. When you child says he is bored, have him pick out three pieces of paper and choose one of the activities. I find this idea genius! This is a great project you can work on with your child too. Decorate the jar however you’d like and make a list of boredom busters together. If you need more ideas, see the FREE printable of Boredom Busters.
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