It's good for kids to be bored!

Local parents, approaching October half term hols, are encouraged to give children fewer distractions

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 26 September, 2018, 17:24
Children's boredom can be "brilliant"

Impatient kids complain about being bored an average 122 times every month – almost 1,500 times a year - according to new research.

The study of 1,000 adults with children between the ages of 5-11 makes unhappy reading for 69 per cent of parents, who admit they dread hearing those words “I’m bored”.

However, experts claim mums and dads should do more to encourage boredom amongst their children!

Renowned consultant on child education and development, Dr Martin Stephen, explains: “When a parent hears the words ‘I’m bored’ it’s very tempting to view that as a problem.

"In reality, boredom is often a brilliant platform from which children learn to use their imaginations. In today’s world it can be very difficult for children to have moments alone to do this.”

Kids spend just three hours a day away from their screens

Despite this, only 31% of parents admit to giving a bored child a digital device to keep them occupied

65% of parents feel guilty about the amount of screen-time their kids get

With just 14% of claiming that screen-time is natural for kids

Kids complain about being bored 122 times a month – that’s 1,500 times a year

69% of parents dread the words “I’m bored”

Education expert Dr Martin Stephen suggests that boredom is good for creativity in children

Research conducted as part of the BIC® KIDS Young Artist Award

With summer drawing to a close, the study found youngsters have just three hours each day away from their screens.

But, surprisingly, only 31 per cent of parents admit they would give a bored kid a digital device to keep them occupied.

The stats emerged in a study by BIC® KIDS as part of its Young Artist Award, celebrating creativity of children across the country.

The scheme takes children’s artwork beyond the fridge door and onto public billboards.

Parents, meanwhile, are keen to see kids move away from digital distractions, some 65 per cent feeling guilty about amount of screen time their children have.

Just 14 per cent of parents claim it’s natural for modern kids to spend so much time staring at screens.

When it comes to boredom-busting, parents and children clearly again have a difference of opinion.

While go-to entertainment for children includes watching TV (68%), playing with tablet/iPad (61%) and watching YouTube (60%), parents favour more traditional pastimes.

Parents banish their children’s boredom by playing board games with them (42%), putting on the TV (40%), providing pen and paper for drawing and writing (39%), handing them a book to read (34%) or providing a tablet/iPad (31%).

Mums and dads also suggest cooking together (26%), going to the zoo or park (24%), playing a games console (20%), taking them to a friend’s house (17%), playing imaginary games (17%) and going to the cinema or theatre.

Dr Stephen continues: “It’s all about getting a good balance. Creativity can be encouraged via digital games but it’s important that we continue to develop core skills such as drawing and writing as it’s been proven these skills aid creativity and imagination.

“What a child sees and does on a screen can encourage creativity but, all too often, it’s the creativity and imagination of the designer, not the child.

"Drawing and writing with a pen isn’t old-fashioned and out-dated but proven state-of-the-art and affordable boosters to the child’s body and brain - the ultimate fertiliser for the imagination.”

Rebecca Huda, BIC® UK and Ireland’s Product Manager – Stationery, comments: “It’s challenging to consider boredom as a positive thing, but I think we’re all aware that taking a bit of time away from constant noise and activity, has a positive effect.

"It’s good to be able to let the mind wander. Through our competition, we’ve seen that kids have amazing imaginations”.

After receiving hundreds of entries from creative 5 to 11-year old kids from across the UK and Republic of Ireland for the BIC® KIDS 2018 Young Artist Award, regional finalists have had artwork displayed on billboards and have been put forward to a public vote that will crown the 2018 champion.