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THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING BORED
As a parent, I have a problem I could never have imagined — how to make a space in the week for
my children to be properly bored. It sounds rather cruel, this desire to inflict boredom on my own
flesh and blood, but in my A22 it is as essential to their development as teaching them
to ride a bike or to swim. A bored child is a horrible thing, whether slumped miserably at the
kitchen table or moaning around the house. It’s no wonder we like to A23 them
entertained, and what a wealth of entertainment we now have at our fingertips. Modem children
are so thoroughly amused that a generation may be maturing that has never been bored and, A24 a consequence, has no imagination.
This may seem a strange claim. Surely the Internet A25 is the source of so much
inspiration for young minds that our kids must be the most creatively stimulated in history. Don’t
recent advances in film special A26 mean they can experience the most fantastic scenes,
and haven’t museums become serious fun?
A27, there is an obvious difference between consuming other people’s imaginative
ideas and creating your own. The former is easy, but for the latter you need to develop an
active mind, and that means switching off all the stimuli, which in turn means, unfortunately
for parents, A28 with boredom. Developing an imagination is like learning the
violin: you suffer through it and everyone around you suffers too. An active mind, though, is
a marvellous thing.