My response today is different than it was years ago to my bored children.
Today I say, "you brought that with you. I can not make you love life. I am just here to make you learn about art."
Generally, they look blankly at me. I smile and move on. But they never repeat that to me again. Or if they do they get the same response as the one before, I smile then move on.
BUT I see their boredom.
They move their hands to shape a lump of clay,
Or sketch a crude drawing to satisfy the "cartoon" assignment but it lacks any humor or it is just crude humor,
Or they sleep through the ONE MINUTE video "today in history" because they can not connect it to themselves or even find any interest in knowing what has happened beyond today.
They draw but only on demand.
They follow the directions and see the development but get no satisfaction from a job well done nor interest in how to make it better.
What is the problem with this sort of child?
Often this is the child whose mother will call and scream at the teacher because we are bringing down her darlin's GPA.
"He received a 93! He should have a 100!"
"WHY? " we ask.
"Because he IS there!"
"But he comes in late, and does not work. He would rather talk and flirt! He takes up space I will agree. But he does not work to his ability. He is there, I will agree. He can do it I have seen but it takes too much time from his visiting."?????
Still Mom screams, "He deserves a 100! Not based on his work! He should get it just for showing up!"
The moral of my blog today:
Well meaning mothers do everything they can for their children but deprive their children of the ability to experience anything themselves. Let them fall on their face and pick themselves up. Otherwise they will always need a crutch. They drive them here, then to there. It is ballet, and baseball and art and soccer, too but the problem is that it is overloading the child and they have NO time to BE a child. They rush from one organized thing to another and give them classes galore. Every day is taken up and no time is left for family. And family is what they NEED.
You want them to be happy. Stop being there for their EVERY desire. Be there for their every NEED (food, clothing, shelter and love, love, love but not things, things, things!) Take care of them but give them time to enjoy the outdoors. You say they hate going outside? That is because it is uncharted territory to them. They are stuck in their chair in front of tv or the computer. Give them paper, and pencil and scissors and glue. Help them create and discover their imagination. Our children today are experiencing overload and they are young. Too much stuff, not enough of imaginative time.
I look at the toys offered to our children in the stores. They are commercially based, no imagination. Choose the old fashioned things that help them create. The ability to create is the beginning to problem solving. Children who can not create or imagine are the ones who struggle with problem solving. I worry that we have intelligent people who will never come up with that new invention because they simply don't want to put themselves out. They don't need for anything.
Read to them. Find fun things to read and show them. Poems by Shel Silverstein or Norman Rockwell's drawings.
Let them dig in the garden. Give them their space to grow anything they want.
Plant seeds in clear plastic containers so they can watch the roots growing daily and see life germinate.
Take them to visit family and friends and grandparents who love them. They need to bond with them, too. The extended family is a valuable asset and gives them a place to run when they need someone else besides you.
Just in case anyone thinks I am writing this due to something with my own grandchildren, that would not be the case. As I say the things to do I think of the plants on the window ledge at Ryan and Jenny's house, and the blackboard in the dining room and I think of the craft cart at Leann and Randy's house and the books on the shelf.
Thanks, Dana for giving me permission to vent. I hope someone sees this and recognizes themselves in what they do and can change early on before their child is bored with life.