I am considering taking my son (almost 5-years-old) out of preschool, because he always asks in the morning if he has to go. He prefers staying at home. This week he and his little brother (2.5 years-old) stayed at home. But I find him somehow bored every morning, not really playing. I wonder if he needs input, guidance, or ideas from me about what to do the whole day? He has only one friend who is also in preschool. Does he need more children to play with? Or do I need to provide more interesting things to do? Thank you very much!
Your son is fortunate to have parents who listen to him and follow his lead. The transition from preschool to independent life takes a bit of time for a five-year-old. When spending time in a preschool environment, the child gradually loses his ability to generate his own interests; he becomes dependent on external motivation and planning of his time. He needs time and freedom to regain his ability to regulate himself.
Meanwhile, know that day dreaming and doing “nothing” is when the greatest learning takes place. What you call “bored” comes from believing the idea that he should play and be busy externally. Yet, just because we are trained to expect play and activities does not mean that it is best for the child. It is not. Keep in mind Einstein’s famous words, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” When free to be themselves, and without parental expectations hovering over their heads, children spend much time daydreaming, imagining things and stories, listening and gazing at nature. This is an amazing learning tool that you don’t want to interrupt.
Instead of expecting your son to play, expect him to be himself and trust him. Indeed, his mind is very busy with or without doing anything. Expose him to life opportunities, and let him take what he is drawn to in his own time and his own way. And, cherish his hours of pondering and inner work.
Warmly, Naomi Alodrt www.AuthenticParent.com