Ever thought of teaching your kid how to be bored??
I have learned a great deal from watching my own kid and reading books and seeing counselors, psychologist and we are now on our way to see a psychiatrist and obviously, I’m far from an expert on the subject. But just a warning to you, the following may be a controversial subject to some.
My child doesn’t want to blow soap bubbles on her own, because it’s boring.
My child can’t blow soap bubbles with someone else, without turning it into some kind of competition.
This in itself may not appear to be a bad thing, but competition releases adrenalin into the blood. Too much adrenalin on a frequent basis is known as stress. Boring – or being bored is defined in the “Wiktionary” as “uninterested and without attention”. I may understand why it would be difficult to marvel over a soap bubble, when you can speed race a multiple-lives racecar-driver down winding mountains on your iPad… and it’s about the adrenalin again.
An adrenalin-kick can become addictive and most often without anyone realizing it, until it’s called anxiety.
My kid live in a world where everything is fast pace, high pressure, peer pressure, fierce competition with so many stimulating things kids “should” do and learn earlier than ever before. Here in Japan there are 2 year old kids who are learning to “read” kanji signs and hearing english sounds. Of course we want our kids to be the best they can be, but here is what I have learned about stress in kids during the past months while dealing with my daughters anxiety issues:
– Depression can stem from anxiety (most of the time though not always).
– Anxiety can be brought on by stress.
– Stress is – in short – what we feel when adrenalin and other hormones are released into our blood.
– Adrenalin is released when we are stimulated by anything that makes our “blood pump”. Have you ever watched a toddler going to some daycare place and the tears streaming when the kid has to be parted from its mom? yes, that’s separation anxiety and perfectly normal… but it’s also an adrenalin release stemming from fear and witnessed in full view (and even gently laughed at or found to be cute). Other examples may be watching or playing sports, videogames, tv, school test “I have to ace that test for school!”, “can’t live up to parents expectations”, halloween pranks, traumatic memories, saying goodbye to a loved one, watching someone in pain etc…
These are only examples. The list I’m sure could continue, but I’m not writing a thesis.
Adrenalin can help us get away from danger and it puts us on high alert and thus, our bodies in alarm mode. So adrenalin is designed to help us overcome and it will naturally wear off. But if adrenalin is released too frequent it becomes “just too much!”. People who suffer from PTS(D) have a very frequent dose of adrenalin released, due to whatever will trigger the memories of their trauma.
Every waking moment is filled with something in a child’s life today to the extend that kids aren’t bored and for some reason, kids “shouldn’t be bored” in today’s world. E.g. being bored means they aren’t doing anything educational, physical, academical or emotional. In essence kids may be on a constant “high” alert mode which isn’t healthy and just actually might explain the dramatic rise of kids who suffers from anxiety.
Have you ever wondered why watching tv makes you tired?
And have you ever wondered why being in God’s creation marveling at it doesn’t?
Sure, if you hike in the mountains you will get tired from the exercise, but just looking at the vast array of green colors the Lord gave a forest, will not put your brain in alert mode. We were not designed to constantly compete, learn, keep up and stay on top. Actually, Jesus took His disciples and withdrew from the crowds and often alone as well (Luke 5:16). He withdrew to pray and when we pray, we get so-called “down-time”. It’s a time when we pour out our hearts and stop our thinking. If you want to live a fearless life – a life without fear or a life without having a mind in constant alert mode – “withdrawing to solitary places to pray” might just be what you need.
For kids, or for my kid anyway, learning to be bored and enjoy those things that does not give her any adrenalin that will put her body into alert mode, is essential. This is where the soap bubble comes in…
Have you ever marveled at a soap bubble?
Have you ever been surrounded by plenty of small bubbles?
Have you ever stopped by a water stream, closed your eyes and just listened to the soothing sound of water flowing?
I’m sorry this post got to be so long. I hope you made it all the way down here.
I have lots to learn yet about stress and my child, but I’m beginning to understand it.