Redirect, replace and distract

redirect replace distract

Redirection, replace and distraction. Strategies I remember from when Poss was a toddler. “No, don’t poke your fingers in there, look at this shiny thing instead. Here, have the shiny thing!” were frequent phrases in our house. We had a lot of shiny things.

As she got older, the endless questions started and the mission to redirect got distracted, so to speak, and it was replaced with a simple ‘no’ instead.

We say that a lot. In fact some days I seem to say it more than every other word. And variations of it. No, no, NO, no, not now, No, no, no, nah, not at the moment, no, give me that, no, stop that, no and NO.

Don’t get me wrong, I try to say yes whenever I can. I am fully aware that she hears no a lot. But at the moment, with risk taking behaviour high and her ability to judge situations correctly low, the safest answer is often no.

Recently we were on one of our frequent visits with her psychologist and she asked if we were replacing the no with anything else. Do we redirect? Do we replace?

If she uses a word, or a phrase we don’t like and we respond with ‘no, don’t say that’, she will often still say it. Again and again. I guess I thought it was about pushing boundaries and being cheeky (or trying to be annoying).

But the psych wisely suggested she simply doesn’t have another word for that situation. “Give her another word. Take away one thing, replace it with something else” she suggested.

It was like a lightening bolt. One of those aha moments. I get it.

Risky behaviour needs to be replaced with other things that give a similar sensation, but without the risk. Words that are inappropriate or cruel need to be given replacements. Behaviours that may be damaging need to have substitutes found.

I guess I always assume she has an array of strategies for any situation, like we all do. But she doesn’t. Of course she doesn’t. And it’s probably pretty silly of me to assume that.

Simply saying no is actually not a good solution at all, especially if she doesn’t have an alternative to replace it with.

So, we’ll be welcoming back some old friends; redirection, replacement and distraction. Wish us luck.

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  1. Good luck. We are allowing crap. So he doesn’t say sh.. And correct f*king to freaking. Because, after all, he hears it somewhere, probably kids in school.. Only they’ll know not to use it when teachers are around… Risky behaviour.. We don’t have too much of it, but running on tiles is a common problem. Even falling does not deter him. I fear for his new teeth..
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  2. Good luck.
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  3. Thinking of you all and wishing OODLES and OODLES of luck !!!
    Love, hugs and positive energy !
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