The lost art of being idle

So there’s this post going around on Facebook* about getting your kids to do various things before watching TV or using a screen during the holidays.  Activities like get dressed, brush your teeth, make your bed, clean one room, do something creative, get some exercise, help somebody out, read a book etc.  All good things I’m sure but… IT’S THE HOLIDAYS!!  That flippin’ list would take all day, require some thought, need to be managed (by me) and basically just seems like too much hard work for all of us.

Here’s my holiday list:

  1. Relax and have fun
  2. Do things that help other people relax and have fun**

The end.

I’m not a lazy so-and-so, honest!  I love being busy and organised and planning stuff and making memories and doing things that help my kids develop and grow in their talents, passions and dreams – but the joyous art of being idle seems to have been lost, and holiday times are the best opportunity to practice it.

Cloud watching

Lying in the garden watching clouds, going for a walk to nowhere, playing the harmonica, colouring, doodling, watching TV, listening to music… oh dear, there’s a list again!  But you get my drift.  If we structure everything our kids do, or pack their day with lists of rules, they don’t get the chance to truly wind down from the craziness of term time, rest their minds to make space for meandering thoughts, and rest their bodies from the demands of living in a forced timetable of activity.

I’m not a fan of screens, and encourage the kids to be outdoors or creative as much as possible, but sometimes a bit of loafing (even in front of a screen) is just what you need.

* Yes, I know I said I’d avoid it!  (Love/hate relationship alert!)
**Yeah, there’s some hidden chores in that one! 😉




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