Have a Frustrating and Boring Summer!

scrapbook graphic with three pictures: one of Marilee looking frustrated, one with Amy Julia and Marilee with their arms around each other and smiling, and one with Marilee smiling at the camera“So you want me to be frustrated, and Dad wants me to be bored?!? That sounds fun.” Yes, a boring summer!

These were Marilee’s words last night when I was talking with her about finding something to do this summer that didn’t involve screens. I told her I wanted her to pick something to create or think about or learn to do. Something like drawing a human figure or building something out of wood or playing a song on the piano. Something that would take time and effort. Something that would be hard. “I want you to choose something that will make you feel frustrated,” I said.

A few nights earlier, Peter had introduced this topic at the dinner table. I listed all the exciting things I could think of that they could work on. “I also want you to be bored,” he said.

Both of us want them to experience the discomfort of things not working out and having to struggle through that discomfort. As I told Marilee last night, the other side of the frustration and boredom is wonder and creativity and joy. 

She’s not convinced I’m right. I’m not convinced I’ll hold to it and keep them off their devices for the vast majority of every day this summer. 

But I am convinced that discomfort, frustration, and boredom are crucial for our kids—and for me—if we want to become who we have been created to be.


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Hi, I’m Amy Julia.

I write about faith, family, disability, and privilege.

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