You’ll often hear experts saying that boredom is the key to creativity, but I disagree!
Our children’s sense of boredom can often stem from a nervous system state of mild Freeze (the underlying tension of sympathetic activation, with an overlay of immobilization from the dorsal vagal complex).
The lethargy, collapsed posture, blank stares, and monotonous tone of voice that accompany their complaints of, “I’m boooored”, are good indications of our child’s disconnected state.
They are feeling stuck, like nothing is possible.
They will often say, “There’s nothing to do”, but they will also turn down any of our suggestions!
That’s because, in this state, kids are not needing ideas. When they are bored, nothing feels good, nothing feels right.
And sometimes they need our help to turn this around, to tune into a sense of goodness and pleasure again.
We can help them to become open, curious and to get into a state of flow, by supporting them to return to a felt sense of safety in their nervous system (via an engaged ventral vagal compex)!
Connecting with our kids, or offering co-regulation, can help with this, giving our kids’ nervous system the unconscious messages, “Everything is okay in the world” and “I am safe”.
This allows them to come out of their disconnected stress response, and back towards a felt sense of safety, and self-connection, which is what is really needed for creativity.
So by responding to their reports of boredom with presence and playfulness, we can help to transform their boredom into creativity!
So no, I don’t feel that boredom is the key to creativity.
Connection to self is the key to creativity, and this comes from a felt sense of safety.
Safety and self-connection give us access to the energy, inspiration and focus that creativity requires.
And sometimes kids will need a dose of connection with a well-regulated other (co-regulation) in order to return to this sense of connection with themselves.