People say parents need to entertain their children. Why are you a parent otherwise? That's a good question.
I answered a question on Quora. It was about how you prevent children from getting bored.
In the first place, I was a little bit shocked by this question. I asked myself: ‘Why should we - the parents - entertain our children?’. Yes, we created them. Yes, we have to take care of them. Yes, we need to take care of ourselves as well. Yes, we need to take time as parents to be with ourselves and have me-times. Then we should say to our children to entertain themselves. Yes, they can, only we have to teach them how! Most of the time, they do already entertain themselves.
I tried - when my kids were small - to entertain them. Do you know? It was exhausted! I play with them when it’s time to play with my children. But they also need to find out things on their own.
This was the question:
How do you prevent your children from getting bored?
This was my answer:
First of all, boring isn’t that bad. It is really good for children's brain to get bored. They become more creative when they have to think of themselves what they could do. They will get more assertive in any form.
You can help them by asking them the right question: what have you done one hour ago? Do you have homework to do? What kind of games do you like?
I don’t tell my kids what to do. You take everything from their own hands. I mean, you do everything for them and they will know. Thinking by themselves is good!
Stimulate them in what you have in your power, but let them think about what they can do. Once I gave them an exercise with old materials. They became very creative in making the highest building they could make.
Boring is good for your children. When they get bored, you don’t have to tell them what they have to do. You don’t have to entertain them as parents. Most of the time, they will know exactly what to do. But children are unsure about things. Let them think by themselves and you should ask the right questions.
I want to zoom into this topic. For me it is important. Because around me, I see lots of parents entertaining their children and doing everything for their children. This kind of parenting is called overindulgence.
For example, it starts when your 3-year-old child is playing with her toy and she gives it to you. You take it, but you’re not in the mood, or you have no time. You take it because you don’t want to disappoint your child. Then she knows this for the next time, the next time and the next time. When you don’t want to disappoint your child, you’ll always give in and what happens when your child gets older? When you do this until they’re eighteen, then she used to that people do things for her. She gets spoiled. Can she find out on her own at what time the bus goes to school? Does she get through her finances when she becomes Eighteen? I don’t think so. She gets anxiety because she isn’t able to do things on her own.
What means overindulgence?
This means you give your child all they want. But not their needs. If she asks to bring her to her piano lesson, you’ll do it. When she asks to look at what time she has her football match on Saturday, you’ll look through the information for her.
Parents do this out of unconditional love for their child. They don’t set any boundaries toward their child. They’re overprotective towards their children and willing to do everything for their child to make them happy. Is this true? Well, I don’t know. I think they’re being spoiled.
What effects does this have on her?
This behaviour of you have lots of consequences of your child:
they are spoiled children
they always want to be in the middle of the centre of everyone
they don’t know how to do things when they’re older
they are likely to become narcists
they don’t have a healthy balance between praise and discipline
they have a lack of responsibilities - at home and somewhere else
they have difficulties when ‘no’ is ‘no’
they have difficulties with tolerance for back-tack, verbal challenges, and disrespectful behaviour with building assertiveness and independence.
Here is a video that explains everything:
Why not entertain your children
This sounds that you don’t have to entertain your children. In a certain you shouldn’t and in a certain way you should. Both you have to do, but you have to know when. I think children - especially at a certain age - know how to entertain themselves. They need it too. You also need to give your child the attention they need and deserve.
I think the boredom of your children doesn’t matter and why on earth should you always tell your children what to do or even worse do it for them? Certain things must be done by you as a parent, but the child can do it themselves too.
We’re at a time when children have difficulties with entertaining themselves without a device. When you ask them to switch the device off, but they don’t do it after asking them a few times and you give in, they know it for the next time.
Why do you always have to entertain your children? Some people think they’re will be bad parent if they don’t. I am a firm believer your children can entertain themselves. You don’t have to let them do that all the time. You also have to make time to play with them and talk to them, but they also have to think and do things on their own. Teach them to think for themselves, not only about what they can do but also about world issues and so on.