Today’s kids are busy like spoiled sprats…they need to stop whining and realize that boredom is good for you, says Ulrika Jonsson

Trying to keep our little guys busy for six weeks over the summer holidays is no easy feat.

Hearing that actress Eva Mendes is determined to bring “boredom” back to her children is not only music to my ears, but reinforces the mantra I’ve raised my children with for the past 27 years: “Kids need boredom.”

Children must be bored to appreciate the time they are entertained


Children must be bored to appreciate the time they are entertainedPhoto credit: Getty

Admittedly, when my Ungratefuls were younger (my game-obsessed youngest is 14 now), I was forced to hire a nanny because I often managed to do it on my own.

My work schedule rarely fit into the 9-to-5 hours that standard childcare offers.

But when I look at the young kids of today, I see a range of spoiled, overfed ankle biters, sprats, and underage.

Yes, I am very aware that there are many children who are not privileged, not eligible, and whose parents do not have the means to afford day trips—exciting trips to places and daily adventures—to satisfy their children’s thirst for learning play.

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But at the risk of sounding like my parents, who constantly complain that the kids of today are “too good” because they, the oldies, had nothing and practically grew up in a box without any side dishes, I am very inclined to agree.

I disagree with parenting today, which seems to be based on some kind of misjudged notion that their offspring should invariably be stimulated at all times.

I don’t know if it stems from a competitive “keep up with the Joneses” streak that drives these parents to give their kids everything any other kid could have.

Or maybe it’s fear based.

Fear that if they are not stimulated and entertained every moment of the day, they will grow up disadvantaged, disadvantaged, or even just plain stupid.

Maybe it’s just a middle class thing. I see acquaintances with offspring who are constantly being smothered and offered to do.

So much so that they can’t even go to the bathroom without throwing a tantrum because they’re not being entertained.

My point is that boredom is good for kids.

In fact, it is crucial. If children are not allowed to experience monotony and boredom, they are unlikely to appreciate the time they are entertained.

Boredom helps develop their independence and lowers their expectations – so they don’t get too spoiled.

Since we live in an over-stimulating world where kids grow up with an all-you-can-eat buffet of technological gadgets, screens and electronic games, it’s really important that they take a break from it and let their imagination run wild.

Eva Mendes has said she is determined to bring


Eva Mendes has said she is determined to bring “boredom” back to her childrenPhoto credit: Rex

I totally agree with Mendes when she says ideas come when you’re bored. That’s so true.

Unless you are artificially and externally stimulated, you are forced to draw on your inner resources – your brain, your imagination, your creativity.

“Think and imagine”

Nobody entertained me during the three-month Swedish summer vacation.

I would just play with or without friends on the housing development playground and spend hours in my father’s tiny apartment thinking and imagining a world beyond those four thin walls.

So when it came time for me to become a parent, I raised the flag of boredom.

I wore the Bore Your Kids badge with pride.

I made it clear to them that excursions and activities would be the exception rather than the rule.

So, for all the bitching, snotty, spoiled kids out there who are stamping their feet and digging in their heels in protest at not being brought into the Harry Potter world every day, I hope your parents will give you give whatever you have to do and teach you to enjoy apathy and dullness.

Or better yet, they give you a box.

Preferably one without sides.


THE #metoo movement has given us a lot to be thankful for.

It raised the voices of those who had remained silent for too long in the face of inappropriate behavior and unwanted contact.

Sean Bean (pictured with Joely Richardson in Lady Chatterley) believes intimacy coaches need to ruin sex scenes in Hollywood


Sean Bean (pictured with Joely Richardson in Lady Chatterley) believes intimacy coaches need to ruin sex scenes in HollywoodPhoto credit: ITV

One change that the movement has spawned is the use of “intimacy coaches” on film, television, and theater sets.

These professionals specialize in staging scenes that may involve nudity, sexuality, sexual violence or tension.

It sounds ideal for making people feel safe in their performances. But actor Sean Bean doesn’t judge them.

Bean has done his fair share of sex scenes and if I could just objectify him for a moment he wouldn’t have to ask me twice.

But the point is, Sean Bean thinks these intimacy coaches must be ruining sex scenes in Hollywood because it “slows the flow of things.”

His terminology is a bit unfortunate, but I agree.

I’ve only kissed on stage in one musical before – about 20 years ago.

But sex is so subjective. It will inevitably reveal an actor’s personal preferences.

Surely that’s exactly what they resort to when playing their character.

And if you want things to look and feel real, there has to be an element of improvisation and a lot of spontaneity.

So having someone clinically draw body movements, hand positions and even eye lines surely needs to take some of the dynamics out of the sexy time and end up looking and feeling staged.

Basically, intimacy coaches are a great idea.

But those scenes between Sean Bean and Joely Richardson in Lady Chatterley wouldn’t have benefited because there was an undeniable naturalness, subtlety and chemistry between the actors.

At least that’s what Bean says.

And they were some of the hottest scenes to watch.

Anyway, I’m pretty thrilled that no one slowed their jab.

The vegan protest is so idiotic

Words ALMOST fail me to describe the silly actions of the vegan activists who marched in Harrods and poured several pints of milk on the floor of the London store’s food hall.

It was supposedly an attempt to convince us all to give up dairy and anything else that could have come from a living thing.

Vegan activists marched into Harrods and spilled liters of milk on the floor


Vegan activists marched into Harrods and spilled liters of milk on the floor

It seemed a largely pointless protest given that only a tiny fraction of the population gets their milk from Harrods (perhaps just Rishi Sunak and his wife).

I’m so bored with these totally pointless demonstrations – like pouring milk or destroying meat in supermarkets.

They’re only turning us against the protesters.

I think of the poor folks left to clean up the mess – the cleaners who are probably some of the lowest paid.

And I wanted to cry when I saw all the milk wasted.

People struggle to find money to eat or heat, and millions of families would have been grateful for that milk.

But I also think of the cows that produced it.

Harrods must now place a new milk order for the posh folks who wouldn’t be seen dead in Tesco.

Which rather defeats the goal of the vegans’ idiotic exercise.


THANK GOD for supporting Premier League players with full-time ‘carers’ to manage every aspect of their lives.

Things like paying their bills, providing food and entertainment, and cleaning their cars.

Premier League players like Ronaldo are supported by full-time caretakers who manage every aspect of their lives


Premier League players like Ronaldo are supported by full-time caretakers who manage every aspect of their livesPhoto credit: Reuters

Basically offering a concierge service.

I can sleep better at night now knowing that these spoiled “stars” can focus on their skills on the pitch with minimal distraction from practical issues that we mere mortals deal with.

As if the world of football doesn’t already produce some (not all) of the most misogynistic men whose egos trump anything or anyone else in the world because they’re hailed as heroes and superstars.

Now clubs are going to give them a little extra to make sure they become completely non-contact people.

It’s bad enough that these young men are spoiled by their clubs and encouraged to settle down young lest their talent be “disturbed” by the presence of the female form later in life, which hampers their development and understanding of relationships.

Now they are spoiled even more.

A lot of the Premier League players I’ve come into contact with over the years had very little idea how the real world works because they’ve spent their lives believing that it revolves around them.

When they retired in their mid-thirties, they got a real shock.

For what it’s worth, the clubs are doing these young men a great disservice.

You should do just the opposite and give them practical lessons based on the reality of life.

Not hiring assistants to wipe their privileged asses.

I can’t imagine any of the lionesses needing a handler.

Because we women do everything ourselves. Today’s kids are busy like spoiled sprats…they need to stop whining and realize that boredom is good for you, says Ulrika Jonsson


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