Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Parenting expert Randy Rolfe, together with her husband Jay Rolfe, has raised a son and daughter to adulthood and helped thousands of families with their parenting through her counseling, workshops, and talks. One of the most frequent questions is how to keep kids occupied when they aren't in school. Her answer is that one of the biggest drawbacks to school and all the associated extracurricular activities is that today's kids have very little chance to learn to entertain themselves. They seem to demand that the video screen entertain them or their phones, or their friends, or their parents. In fact, let them get bored. If a child is bored, it is either because they are exhausted by too much activity or exhausted from too little sleep. Their creative faculties have been dulled. Many of us adults are in the same mood, using noise or food or caffeine to keep us functioning. In the summer, insist your kids vegge a bit. Tell them to go take a nap until they can think of something to do with themselves. Inevitably, they will actually begin to think creatively. Something that doesn't come easily during the school year.
Take Home Tip. It is not your job to entertain your kids. Your job is to keep them safe, to be a model of how humans live in this world, and to be a resource for ideas for their work and play when they ask. Let them do the work of living their life. Resourcefulness is a childhood gift we hope they will hang on to. Check out Randy's books You Can Postpone Anything But Love and more at her website www.randyrolfe.com.