Boredom and Loneliness

 This week had me thinking in terms of boredom and loneliness. How many times has a parent heard their child say I’m bored, I have nothing to do; or a student wander around the classroom unable to find an activity or unable to engage a friend in play. We adults quickly intervene trying to make life easier, more pleasant. We become the “fixers” as we inadvertently rob children of their ability to cope with discomfort and develop problem solving skills. As an adult, boredom can also haunt us. But what is it in boredom that agitates us, makes us restless and drives intelligent responses out the window?  As teachers we need to help children learn how to find answers for themselves, make “it” all right, stretch their thinking and feel okay about moments of discomfort. We need to help them build resilience to face the many challenges they may encounter as they go along their roads. I have found two articles about boredom that I want to share here
and here
And then we come to loneliness. What is it in loneliness that agitates us, makes us restless and drives intelligent responses out the window?  I have started to see a connection between the two. Our responses are similar, as we wait  for someone to take care of us. Hopefully as adults we recognize feelings of being bored or lonely and have acquired the coping skills to manage them; life lessons along our journey.
One of the many jobs we have as educators is to help children build their “life lessons toolkit.”
My poem is a glimpse of one of my life lessons.
Lonely waits in the wayside.
It stays still, till it creeps in.
Lonely takes over.
When did that happen, you wonder.
Lonely, powerful octopus tentacles strangle,
No air, you flail about.
Lonely, can’t win,
You don’t let it.
Lonely, I’ll make you my friend.
We’ll work together.
Lonely, you give me time
To think, to reflect, to share.
Lonely, you are my partner
On this road we travel.
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