Devotionals by Dr. James Dobson

The Gift of Boredom

This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

“Mom, I’m bored!”

Many a frustrated mother has heard those three whiny words. You may be one of them. But before you rush to fill those empty moments with a long list of suggested activities, you might stop to consider if boredom is such a bad thing.

When today’s children aren’t in school or occupied by after-school activities, homework, chores, and jobs, they too often turn to passive entertainment—television and video games—to fill the rest of their days. The fact is that many kids in the twenty-first century just don’t know what to do with time to themselves.

Yet children need “unproductive” time to rest and recharge their batteries. It is the impetus for them to develop their inner lives, imagination, creativity, and sense of individuality. It is a time for play—not structured sports and games, but role-playing fun with stuffed animals or games where the kids make up the rules as they go. This allows children to practice negotiation and creative problem solving. Unstructured time also provides an opportunity to encourage a love for reading in your kids—a habit that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.

Of course, too much free time can also lead to trouble. The un-ambitious or irresponsible teenager who avoids all structure is at greater risk for involvement with drinking, drugs, and other perils of adolescence. You’ll want to channel him or her into constructive activities through church or school, or perhaps a part-time job.

Other than these exceptions, though, I believe you’re wiser to allow your children a few idle moments now and then. God makes so many things for us to enjoy each day—rainbows, sunsets, birds, music, hot chocolate by a toasty fire. As you and your children begin to appreciate them, you may start to see boredom not as a curse, but as a precious gift. - Shirley M Dobson

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This devotional is taken from Night Light for Parents. Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reservedUsed with permission.

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About My Family Talk

Packed with the same wisdom Dr. Dobson has provided audiences for more than 30 years, Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk is designed to help families and influence the culture — all flowing out of a heart for spiritual transformation thru trust in Christ for every life. It's the voice you trust...for the family you love!

About Dr. James Dobson

About the Host:
Dr. James Dobson:

James Dobson is the host of Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk. He is also the founder of Focus on the Family, where he served for more than 30 years.

A licensed psychologist and marriage, family, and child counselor, he was an associate clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Southern California for 14 years. He invested 17 years on the attending staff of Children's Hospital Los Angeles in the Division of Child Development and Medical Genetics.

Earning a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California, he's authored more than 30 books, including his most recent bestseller, Bringing Up Girls. Dr. Dobson has also been heavily involved in governmental activities related to the family. He was elected in 2008 to the National Radio Hall of Fame.

Dr. Dobson is married to Shirley, the father of two grown children, Danae and Ryan, and the grandfather of Lincoln and Luci.

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