The Redirection Method of Discipline for Toddlers
Disclipling your toddler can be hard. They don't know what they did wrong most of the time and punishing someone when they don't know what they did is pointless. One method that I did with my little girl (who is now four) was the redirection method. Want to learn more? Read on!
What is the Redirection Method?
The Redirection Method is just that. You redirect your toddler to take away attention from what the present situation is. This isn't just useful for disciplining either. You can use the redirection method for diverting attention away from something. Let's say you are trying to leave your toddler with a babysitter and your toddler doesn't want you to leave. Diverting their attention with the redirection method is a great way to move the toddlers attention long enough for you to leave (and chances are they will even forget that you left in the first place).
But, redirection is a great way for disciplining too. Depending on the situation, it may not always work. Most of the time though, it will be effective.
How to Use the Redirection Method
So how do you use the Redirection Method? It's pretty simple. Let's create a scenario. Let's say you are babysitting another toddler along with your own and they both want the same toy. The other toddler (let's name her Sophie) had the toy first. Use the Redirection Method to stop this situation from getting out of hand. Let's say your toddler's name is Max.
Max and Sophie are fighting over the same toy. They are in a tug of war with the toy and you can see the toy about to break. Max and Sophie are both getting frustrated and you can see one of them about to snap and hit.
If you see this situation happening, you can walk up to them and talk to Max. Since Sophie had it first, you want to divert Max's attention away from the toy.
"Max, Sophie had the toy first. When she is done, you can have the toy. Until then, why don't you <insert activity here>."
By suggesting another activity for Max to do, you are diverting her attention and putting the Redirection Method to good use.
When to Use the Redirection Method
It's not a good idea to use the Redirection Method all the time. Toddlers say "no" a lot. This is good because it allows them to discover themselves. Use the Redirection Method for when you really need to use it.
It's also not a good idea to rely solely on this method. Switch it up a bit. It's always a good idea to have more than one disciplining technique with your toddler. The more you use a certain technique, the less effective it becomes. So, research other techniques alongside this one.
Also, remember to be as firm as possible. Being firm is very important when disciplining. No matter what technique you use.
Using the Redirection Method in a Daycare Setting
For preschool teachers and daycare provders, the redirection method is used a lot to help keep peace in the daycare. The redirection method is used at drop-off when a child feels anxiety about leaving their parents.
We will also use the redirection method when a toddler wants to play with a toy that is meant for older kids. If the toy is a hazard for a toddler, we'll redirect the toddler to play with a toy that is more age appropriate and safe for the toddler.
Tips & Tricks for the Redirection Method
- It is a good idea to keep some toys and activities exclusive to certain scenarios for redirecting.
Do you use this method?
It's never easy to discipline your toddler, but it is necessary. I consider this method to be the easier of them. Especially with toddlers, teaching them the right ways is important. Good luck, I know you'll need it if your todlers were like mine.