Sometimes developing the children in our lives means not doing more but doing less, not buying another camp or class, but encouraging a bit of boredom and seeing what happens.

I was raised in a two-parent household and my mother worked as a nurse.


In the summers when she worked the 3-11pm shift, she was home with my sister and me until 2:30. She made it part of our daily routine to come in from playing at noon. She made it a “lunch hour” in which we ate and spent the remainder of the hour in “quiet time” in our bedroom.

We were to stay on our bed but we could have anything we wanted. For me it was mostly library books and workbooks. She went to the school supply store at the beginning of summer and got math and language arts workbooks. I devoured language arts. It was so much fun to work with words. I grew accustomed to loving the written word in my everyday life and outside of class assignments.

The unluckiest kids in the neighborhood


I also put items onto my bed that I was going to play with during the hour, sometimes reorganize my jewelry box, open my piggy bank and count the money. The first week of the first summer of quiet time my sister and I thought we were the unluckiest kids in the neighborhood, deprived of a whole hour of play. I learned to like that quiet hour, although I would never admit it to my friends.

Adjust your thinking to view boredom as an opportunity for creativity and development for the children in your life. You never know what it might spark.

Tweetable: One mom found an idea that works for summer vacation–Lunch Hour. Find out more here. Click to Tweet