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How to Share Strategies for Redirecting Child BehaviorSkip

“Redirecting” is a positive discipline technique in which you change gears when your child acts out rather than punish him for his behavior. It can be an effective technique if you remember to do it, rather than flying off the handle yourself. Different techniques work for different children and you have to experiment to find the right method for both of you.

Changing Location

When your little guy starts behaving badly, sometimes he needs a change of location. If he’s throwing food at the table, it might mean that dinner time is over and he should play with some toys in his room. Going outside or getting in the car and driving some place else can offer a breath of fresh air, but if your child starts acting up when he’s already outside, it may be time to come in for a rest.

To use this technique, ask yourself: “Where else can we go?”Giving Choices

Many children don’t like being told what to do. If you try to redirect your child into one specific activity, you may meet a lot of resistance, making the problem worse. Instead, offer two activities that your child can choose from. In many cases, this miraculously flips off the “disobedient” switch in his brain as he focuses on whether he’d like to do a puzzle or ride his bike outside.

Appropriate Alternatives

Your child isn’t acting out because he wants to ruin your day. Children frequently act out because they feel frustrated and don’t know how to appropriately express these feelings. When a tantrum occurs due to lack of ability, try to find something comparable that your child can do. For example, if he is upset because he wants to make the salad and you don’t want him to use your (sharp) knife, supervise him while he cuts up soft fruits with a butter knife.

Preventing Problems

Getting plenty of physical activity reduces the amount of redirection you’ll have to do, according to the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Try to plan plenty of active time for your child. If the weather is bad, think of ways that you could stay active indoors, like having a dance party. Shaking your booty is good for you, too.

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