Dealing with boredom

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Dealing with boredom

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Boredom is a very interesting construct. To bore in English literally means to put a hole, and it ends up that it is a hole that is the most significant issue. Why would a child feel a hole in themselves? Well, it turns out that they can feel a hole for one of two reasons. Either there's nobody whole, there's no emergent energy, they have no thoughts coming from inside out, no meanings, and so when they say, "I'm bored," they're saying, "There's nothing that I can think of, I'm not filled with my own ideas, my own imaginings, my own creativity." And that is one kind of boredom. The other kind of boredom comes from our attachment hunger. This is huge in us. If we felt it vulnerably, we would say, "I miss, I'm lonely, I feel needy, I miss grandma today,"and many children are so defendant against this place because that's a very vulnerable place that instead of saying that, they say, "I'm bored," and so here it's attachment hunger that's not felt vulnerably. The problem is the boredom is escalating among our children, and that's a concern. It suggests that this problem of a lack of venturing forth energy is epidemic, as well as children's attachment needs are not being met. The number one issue to remember is stimulation, entertainment, social interaction is never the answer to boredom; it only camoflauges it. What is the answer is fulfilling a child's attachment hunger, and that is the only thing. If we take, if we're proactive about this, we take efforts to fill their attachment needs with a warm invitation to exist in our presence and a loving interaction, that is the best solution.

Watch Gordon Neufeld, PhD's video on Dealing with boredom...

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Gordon Neufeld, PhD

Psychologist & Author

Dr. Gordon Neufeld is a Vancouver-based developmental psychologist with over 40 years of experience with children and youth and those responsible for them. A foremost authority on child development, Dr. Neufeld is an international speaker, a bestselling author, Hold On to Your Kids and a leading interpreter of the developmental paradigm. Dr. Neufeld has a widespread reputation for making sense of complex problems and for opening doors for change. While formerly involved in university teaching and private practice, he now devotes his time to teaching and training others, including educators and helping professionals. His Neufeld Institute is now a worldwide organization devoted to applying developmental science to the task of raising children. Dr. Neufeld appears regularly on radio and television. He is a father of five and a grandfather of three.

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