Saturday 25th May 2019

    I Started Letting My Children Get Bored. Then, Something Amazing Happened.


    As a proud dad to two young children, I love my kids.

    Most of the time.

    But there's a specific set of circumstances that proves especially challenging for my wife and I: going out to eat with friends--who don't have kids.

    Whenever we'd head out to a restaurant, it was almost impossible to have a conversation. Basically because after a few minutes, we were always faced with the same complaint: "I'm bored."

    So, like many other parents I know, we'd resort to what we knew would keep them occupied and give us the best opportunity at salvaging the evening: We handed over the iPhone.

    I always felt a little guilty doing it, like I was cheating. I'd even defend my actions to my friends, saying something like: "It's the only way we'll get to talk."

    Of course, it only started with these dinner outings. Once my children realized that there was the potential for instant entertainment, they started asking for the phone (or tablet) more and more.

    At the doctor's office:

    "I'm bored. Can I watch a cartoon?"

    Long car trips:

    "I'm bored. Can I play a video game?"

    Waiting in line, anywhere:

    "I'm bored. Can you give me something to do?"

    Many times I gave in...but deep down, I knew it couldn't be good.

    Then, about a month ago, I read this great New York Times article by Pamela Paul: Let Children Get Bored Again.

    Continued here