The Science of Keeping Busy

Boredom contributes to children worrying and may increase disruptive behaviors. Children cope better when they are busy and helping others. Parents can provide safe options for activities such as music, arts and crafts, and books, as well as encourage children to stay connected with friends.

What is the science behind it?
  • Busy children are often more well-adjusted and happier than non-busy children.
  • Staying busy decreases the risk of disruptive behaviours such as inattention, hyperactivity, defiance, aggression and substance use.
  • Connecting to culture is key to children’s brain development.
  • Neuroscience shows that music instruction boosts the areas of the brain responsible for processing sound, language development, and reading skills in young children.
  • The ability to make and keep even one close friend is vital to children’s well-being, strong friendships help calm stress and even boost resilience to viruses.
  • Positive constructive daydreaming plays a role in children’s social-emotional development and creativity. Time on their own allows them the ability to imagine other worlds and process their life events, which is key to future decision-making skills.
  • Sedentary behaviour is associated with childhood obesity, and later on cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
  • Early childhood social skills such as cooperating, helping, sharing, and consoling have a positive impact on academic performance and friendships in adolescence.
Science Sheet

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