Boredom Sparks Creativity

Being a mom to a homeschooler means my child is pretty much tethered to me most of the day. Bridgette accompanies me on grocery runs, target runs, and as of recently, salon appointments.

I get my haircut probably once every 6-8 months, so I usually try to schedule it on a day that Bridgette is with Alan, or on a playdate. The other day, I had a spontaneous urge to color my hair. I haven’t colored it for 8 months, and the ombre color from black to light brown was really beginning to bug me. Since it was such a spontaneous decision, I had no choice but to bring Bridgette with me.

One of the reasons I don’t color my hair often is because I really despise being stuck in a chair for hours. It’s boring and uncomfortable, and I’m not one to chat incessantly with my hairdresser about my deepest secrets. In fact, I avoid small talk at the salon by pretending to be engrossed in magazine after magazine. So, I knew Bridgette was in for the same boredom by accompanying me, and warned her to bring books and other things to keep herself preoccupied.

Despite my warning, Bridgette only brought one book with her, and it was a book where she was on the last chapter of. She finished it by the first 15 minutes and quickly proceeded into the world of BOREDOM. Because the salon was small, she had to be glued to her seat for pretty much the next 2 hours. She’s old enough where she won’t whine or fuss about the boredom, but I could feel her restlessness from across the room and felt a teeny bit guilty about dragging her there with me.

Fast forward into that same evening when we got home, Bridgette suddenly spotted some cardboard boxes in our recycle bin and asked if she could rescue them for a special project. Next thing I knew, she spent the next few days completely absorbed in this “special project” which turned out to be her own custom design salon.

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She found different materials all over the house, from clay to aluminum foil to fabric swatches and used them to create a salon that she felt would be fun and inspiring for patrons. She had a kids’ coloring table to keep kids entertained while waiting for their parents to get their hair done (whatever gave her that idea? haha), posters of modern hair styles to inspire people, fabric to separate the hair washing area from the main salon, and many small details like colorful hair dye bottles, an ipod to play fun music in the salon, and a reception table with 2 laptops.

I was really blown away by this special project of hers, mainly because I had no idea she actually took note of so many details at the salon. She basically was observing the entire time she was glued to her chair in boredom, taking in every last detail of the salon, and then imagining ways to improve them. I felt so proud of her creativity, and also realized how pure boredom can really spark a child’s imagination.

Here’s a terrific article that talks about why boredom is actually good for children:

Okay, now let’s get bored! 🙂


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