I is for Idle

| May 19, 2014

It is troubling how little time children are given to be idle these days. Kids are so over scheduled and turned into competitors for top colleges at age 4. Their after school and weekend time is filled with structured activity– sports, music lessons, art classes. Even play dates with other kids are structured. It seems we are denying children the free time to choose what they are passionate about. As a child I had a lot of idle time– perhaps what parents these says would consider too much. I spent time playing stoop ball on the street and playing with my dollhouse. As a result, I am comfortable being alone and never get bored. (Of course more structure would have been helpful too because I am not very good at managing my time– an important skill especially for someone who’s creative.) I still have my old dollhouse at my parents’ house. It is wallpapered with electric lights, and a drawerful of clothes and wallhangings and furniture that I made myself. It was a place where I created and produced on stage my own stories– likely what spurred my interest as a writer. I am grateful for those countless unstructured hours.