Make Redirection One Of Your Parenting Superpowers – StrapsAway™

Make Redirection One Of Your Parenting Superpowers

I just read a parenting article saying that redirecting kids is a harmful tactic because it “wastes opportunities to learn from conflict”.

It’s some of the worst parenting advice I’ve heard.

This morning, my kids were downstairs playing. I knew that calling them to get ready for school could be an emotional transition, today in particular. So, I grabbed the ketchup and mustard from the fridge and called down, “hurry, hurry! I’m ruining breakfast!”

Within seconds, 6 feet pounded the stairs and flew in to see what was happening. They found me aggressively shaking the ketchup and mustard upside down over a mound of waffles, lids closed. The youngest started laughing, the middle smiled and said, “come on mom”, and the oldest rolled his eyes for dayz.

But, they went from immersive play to happily sitting for breakfast in 30 seconds.

After, they were playing in the living room. I called from the kitchen where I was quickly gathering lunches, “time to get shoes on!” They continued playing. I tried again. Nothing. I was losing my cool.

So my husband called, “okay diabetes! Shoes on!”

Why he chose the word diabetes, I’ll never know, but it was weird and distracted them from their play. They looked at each other confused, and got up to get ready.

Did these tactics prevent opportunities to learn from conflict? Heck, yes they did! Thank goodness, too.

Redirection is drawing someone’s attention to something else. In parenting, it’s typically to avoid a negative experience. Do we always avoid conflict? Of course not. I have 3 sons!

The writer failed to acknowledge that kids’ brains get taxed and another learning opportunity isn’t always best. When I’m getting my kids to school, where their abilities to transition quickly, resolve conflict, regulate emotions, and listen will be tested all day, sending them charged with positive experiences will be much more beneficial.

True, using only redirection isn’t helpful. Boundaries do need to be set and expected to be followed without making it fun or using distraction. But just as important is acknowledging timing and their capacity.

Pick your battles, and if it’s not a good time, redirecting well is a superpower.

Leave a comment