While I was on vacation in Hawaii, I had the following conversation with a 7-year-old, while we both were on what was arguably the most stunningly gorgeous beach I’d ever seen.
7-year-old: “I am SO BORED.”
Me: “Um, we’re on one of the most amazing beaches in Hawaii.”
7-year-old: “I know. And there’s NOTHING TO DO. I am SO BORED.”
Me: “You do realize what that means, right? If you’re saying that you’re “bored”, you’re saying you’re sitting there, endlessly waiting for someone to TELL YOU something you can do, instead of just looking around you & finding something fun & doing it.”
7-year old: [rolls eyes] “Well, fine – you tell me what I can do, then.”
Me: “Oh, dear. That’s my point exactly.”
Unfortunately, I knew this particular child watched TONS of TV, and when not watching TV was playing a handheld Nintendo. In other words, the child was used to having all of their entertainment spoon-fed to while they waited, as opposed to looking around & creating it. So, some intervention was required. I proceeded to point out to the child that if one dug a hole in the beach close to the ocean, it would fill in with water seeping from the ground.
Instant astonishment and outrage. “MOM DID YOU KNOW YOU CAN DIG STRAIGHT TO THE WATER!!!???” All of the sudden, this 7-year-old was appropriately engaged in activity, and when it came time to leave the beach, hours later, all the parents heard was endless pleading to stay a little while longer.
In the article I compiled a while ago on why I don’t have a TV in my house, I tried to say a few different ways why it was that I didn’t want my kids hooked to a TV. This little interchange above was a demonstration of that.
I do not want my kids to turn into blobs that sit and wait for life to come to them in a vain effort to “interest them”. I want them to be interested in life, and to never have any trouble in any location finding something interesting to do with their time. Never mind one of the most strikingly amazing beaches in Hawaii. 🙂
“Spectatorism is very great in our modern society. Because some people cannot conceive of causing[italicized] anything, they just watch it. They don’t do[italicized] anything. They are not PARTICIPANTS. They are spectators. You see this in magazines. Hee hee hee articles about how odd this is or that is. No understanding of it. It’s just odd and one watches it in a detached sort of way. Below this is somebody who doesn’t even notice. Such a person has to come up scale just to be a spectator.” — LRH (1969)
Here’s to making active participants in life. And hopefully, as such, I won’t ever hear my kids complaining about “being bored.” Hopefully, they’ll instead realize it’s in their hands to find something interesting to do.