Mom, I’m Bored

“Mom, I’m bored,”  said one kid from the backseat after we told them NO MORE DEVICES on a road trip to kick off the summer. 

You see, devices for them create the stimulation that makes them, well, crazy. 

So after allowing them on the first leg of the trip without any constraints, we put a cease and desist order out on all devices and prayed we wouldn’t all kill each other over the course of the next hundreds of miles. 

Our trip began with a desire for our kids to see all 50 states before our oldest leaves for college in six years. With this in mind, I had the grand idea to create books where they could write and draw about what they wanted to see, what they did see, and what they liked and didn’t like about each place we visited throughout the years. 

With devices in hand, these books sat empty.  

After the electronics were taken away and after a few “I’m bored” whines came from the backseat, the books came out. 

And what was inside them was nothing short of creativity on full display. 

Our oldest is into shoes now and he started drawing them. 

Our middle created fun facts and drawings about each state we visited, and then created drawings where she narrated the story line she had also created about the images.  Apparently, limes can be our friends. 











Our youngest drew what only he knew them to be, but then told us, “This one is a flower, this one is a roller coaster. Mommy, can you draw me an alligator?” 

And so I got in on the creative process and drew just that.

As we’ve focused on creating space all year at Horizon Point, the point that space is absolutely needed to innovate and create has been a key theme.  

But first, before we can have the space to create and innovate, we probably need to create some space to be bored. 

In fact, research supports just this. Boredom is the spark that creates the flame. 

To facilitate some boredom that leads to your mind seeking something that leads it to create and innovate perhaps we all should: 

  1. Don’t Look Down. Put a cease and desist order on your devices.  All of them. 
  2. Get away. Get somewhere you aren’t normally. See the novel. Take a road trip. 
  3. Look Up. Pay attention to your surroundings.  
  4. Capture. Have something that can capture your creativity once you get bored, like our kids “diaries” as the little one calls his. 
  5. Collaborate. Maybe you might be drawn to draw a little something out of the norm like my alligator. 

Turns out boredom also may help get the crazies out.  It’s good for our mental health too.  Our kids were much less on edge once we swapped the devices for the space to create. 

How comfortable are you with being bored? 

More on this topic: 

The Creative Benefits of Boredom from HBR

Mary Ila Ward