The Power of Redirection
As I embark on this journey to review the first of the 120 parent strategies that we might recommend as your child completes a course with SOAR, I am reminded of the power of the simple choices we make as parents and the impact those choices have on our children. When I returned from the National CHADD Conference (Children and Adults with AD/HD), my children were particularly bickersome and driving their mother crazy. Moreover, they were frustrating each other. I employed one of the strategies we recommend – “When you sense anger starting to escalate with your child, use redirection and/or humor to diffuse frustration and aggressive behavior before it has a chance to start.”
I had a remarkable SOAR instructor once tell me “If you can’t convince them, confuse them.” Humor and a strange new quest turned out to be just the thing to diffuse my children and turn angry chaos into laughs and giggles. As they began to fuss and get angry with each other, I put on my Shrek hat (yes, I have a Shrek hat) and called a meeting of all the woodland creatures. I refused to hear the issues that were causing the frustration, but wanted their input on how to fix the kingdom and whether anyone had seen the golden eggs our chicken Snowflake had lain. Out the door they ran on their quest to see if Snowflake had laid an egg and forgotten were the issues that had led them to anger just 10 minutes ago. Oh, the power of redirection.
It has been my experience that when children become angry, the sooner you can diffuse the situation the easier that task becomes. The old saying “nip it in the bud” applies so beautifully to the anger / arousal continuum. Think of a weed – as it grows the stalk begins to thicken, becoming more difficult to pull and get rid of. However, if plucked when first noticed, it requires so much less effort. It is the same with anger and frustration. If handled with humor or redirection early, it is much easier to deal with and a major conflict can be avoided. Good luck, and enjoy the journey of discovering your own version of a Shrek hat.
– John Willson M.S. LRT/CTRS