December 13, 2010

From our CEO: Let them be bored!

Darell Hammond, CEO of KaBOOM!Our children are spending too much time racing around and not enough time playing around. In his latest Huffington Post piece, our CEO Darell Hammond reacts to the premise of the recently released documentary Race to Nowhere -- namely, that the premature pressures and rigorous schedules we're imposing on children's lives are interfering with their health and happiness, not to mention their social, emotional, and cognitive development. 

The solution doesn't just lie in reevaluating our approach to education, but also our approach to parenting. We need to give our children time to be bored -- away from screens, away from classrooms, away from soccer drills. Only then will their creativity flourish. As Darell puts it:

"According to the Institute for Social Research, between 1981 and 1997 kids lost 12 hours of weekly free time while time spent in structured sports doubled. Time spent on homework increased by 50 percent. And young people's daily screen time now hovers around 7.5 hours per day.

Adults are cramming as much as they can into their children's days under the misguided notion that boredom is a bad thing. Then, in the precious hours of free time they have, kids turn to TV, computers, and video games to keep themselves entertained. The result? A generation of kids who are adept at following rules--whether in a classroom, on the soccer field, or on their PlayStation--but who are at a complete loss when it comes to innovating, designing, tinkering, or doing anything that requires drawing from their own imaginations.

No wonder research indicates that we're in the midst of a 'creativity crisis.'"

Read the full article and watch a trailer for Race to Nowhere on the Huffington Post.

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