We had just sat down in the car, buckled our seatbelts and began to drive. We had been in the car for no less than two minutes when from the backseat I hear “I’m bored.” Not wanting to engage in this conversation I kept my focus on driving, but no less than two minutes later, from the same seat I heard a loud and very deliberate gasp and the words,
“Now I am really bored.”
How often do we hear this from our children? How often do they sit down at the dinner table, sit down in the car, or finish something they are doing and immediately tell you they are bored.
Victoria Prooday, an occupational therapist from Toronto, argues that the reason we hear this so often is in part a result of the modern lifestyle we live, and the conveniences we crave. She posits that even though our brains are malleable and that we have the ability make them stronger through our everyday interactions, we are in fact making them weaker. She argues that technology, the consistent need for immediate gratification, our mission to constantly entertain our children with one activity or the other, and our own challenging schedules, are fostering a generation of children who do not know how process normal levels of stimulation.
If we are honest with ourselves, how many times have you handed your child a device and used it as “Free Babysitting”. When you think about it, compared to virtual reality and the speed at which anything can be accessed, real life can be boring. Classrooms, car trips, meal times and more, do not and cannot move at the same pace or level of stimulation that a cell phone, Ipad, video game, or the Internet can provide. Our children are becoming wired to get what they want when they want it, and are becoming fraught with an inability to delay gratification. Victoria argues, that this inability to delay gratification is hindering our child’s ability to grow up with the necessary social skills to find balance and meaning in life, to stop and see the wonder of the world around us through the car window, the dining room table and just by being with friends and family.
Ilan Ramon Day School strongly believes in the importance of teaching these social and emotional skills through the learning that takes place. Embedded into our teaching is also the skills of cooperating, working in groups, learning to pay attention, appreciating others, and showing kindness and consideration of all your classmates. As we begin a new school year I encourage us all to find new and meaningful ways to help our families slow down, appreciate the wonders of the world around us and disconnect, just a bit, from the temptations of technology.
ps. The following link will take you to the full article by Victoria Prooday
Posted on Mon, September 11, 2017
by Yuri Hronsky