Diversion is one of those good old-fashioned remedies that has stood up
to the test of time and still comes out with flying colours. So what is
it, and how can we use it?
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Think back to those balmy days of your own childhood. You were at your grannys house and about to introduce yourself to her collection of attractively coloured balls of wool which she kept for her knitting. Suddenly you heard granny calmly say, Ive just remembered I have a box of French Fancies cakes in the cupboard. Your mind was instantly redirected towards this fascinating new prospect and the balls of wool went on to fulfil their destiny as an itchy jumper for you that next Christmas.
Today’s parents can use exactly the same technique with the same success. It is particularly useful with younger children. When it looks like a child is about to do something that youd really rather it didnt, it is often much easier to quickly divert the child’s attention before the obnoxious behaviour has time to take hold.
There is a precise moment at which the clever parent can step into a situation and take control, guiding the child to an activity or item which is much more socially acceptable. It must be remembered that if you can divert the attention of the child onto a ‘side-stream’ (ie something not directly involving you) you will find yourself less busy.
Some parents argue that the use of diversion is improper, claiming that it deceives the child therefore teaching it dishonesty. I believe the answer to this is two fold. Firstly the art of diversion has been practiced for centuries. It works and helps prevent fights, accidents and other non desirable things from happening, therefore, you would be mad not to use it. Secondly I think it could be argued that diversion is also a form of entertainment. You are forced to always consider something interesting for the child to do or play with which can only be good.