This has become a motto for a lot of our children in the 21st Century – for others it has become their war-cry!
This attitude damages people’s ability to learn because they attempt to avoid any activities that are not perceived as fun – living a life only responding to immediate gratification will mean they will have a very boring life in the long term.
- It is not fun learning the basics of playing a musical instrument – but it can be rewarding playing for other people when you are good at it.
- It is not fun learning the road rules – but it is liberating being able to drive yourself around.
- It is boring having to clean up after meals – but it is disgusting and damaging to your health if you eat off dirty plates.
- It is boring learning the 200 reading and spelling rules of the English language – but good literacy skills are your keys to unlocking your potential.
In short, one of the most important skills we can learn is to NOT treat things as boring – we need to learn to focus on the purpose of the work we do in this life, not on our emotions about the work.
What ‘Boring’ Actually Means
Saying that something is boring is code for “I want to avoid this task.”
It is a clever ploy used by children because it throws the pressure back onto the parents – and parents feel that they need to justify why it is important. Actually, the child is just trying to tie the parents into verbal knots to avoid doing the work.
This whole problem has arisen because our education system has changed its philosophy to ‘engaging’ the students – bribery might be a more accurate word. The teachers see their job as entertaining the students. And the textbook makers fill their books with irrelevant pictures in an attempt to make the content more palatable.
The Real Reason Children Say “Bor-ring!!”
I bet you will find the answer I give is the opposite of what you expect.
“Bor-ring!!” is a cry for help.
The child is really saying,
- “I can’t handle all the stress in my life so I feel totally unable to make any medium or long term decisions.”
- “ Please take the responsibilities of life away from me so I can hide in sport, TV, computer games, mobile phones, social networking sites, the internet, . . . ”
Yes, it is stress overload that causes people to try to escape from their responsibilities in life. I’m sure you can think of things in your life that you procrastinate about – when you think about doing them your stress levels rise and you find it difficult to get started – you probably say to yourself that you are too busy to attend to the task at the moment.
- Get exasperated
- Get emotional
- Be empathetic – understand what it is like to be your child.
- Make a list of the causes of stress in the life of the person.
- Talk to your child about issues that are concerning him/her but don’t assume that your child is consciously aware of everything that is causing stress.
- Spend some time working out ways to lower the stress in the person’s life.
- Use stress management techniques to minimise the physical impact of the stress – reflexology, go for a walk, have a bath, have a massage, . . .
- Meditate to learn to stop reacting automatically and start taking time to think before responding.
Then . . . the next time your child says, “Bor-ring!!” you will have the space in your mind to remind yourself that your child is stressed out and you will be able to respond in a constructive manner rather than just getting emotional yourself.
High Performance Learning
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