Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Art of Redirection

Redirection: To change the direction or focus

How often do our kids go to bed crying, we dole out a time out or we storm into another room full of guilt because we just lost our patience with our child. As parents, teachers and caregivers, it is our job to teach children proper behavior. Very often, we use the strongest approach when all is needed is a gently word. We find ourselves getting into a battle of wills, which really nobody wins.

This is where the art of redirection comes in. Helpful Hallies™ Mighty Miracle Mist™ was developed to interrupt undesired behavior patterns in young children, so they can be redirected to exhibit more positive ones. The result is three fold:

1. Children are given a physical representation of the behavior being asked of them. They associate this as being outside of themselves, and no longer have to exhibit undesired behavior as a matter of principle.

2. An opening is being created where children can be redirected in a positive manner and will associate a positive experience with the desired behavior.

3. Parents, Teachers and caregivers now have a positive tool to assist them with redirecting the behavior of the child.

Helpful Hallies™ Mighty Miracle Mist™ came into being when my 4 ½ year old daughter was speaking in a tone that was disrespectful and inappropriate. My first instinct was to angrily tell her that she couldn’t speak to me that way. I knew in my heart that this would possibly stop the behavior or we would get into a battle of wills that would lead to a time out, and resentment from my daughter.

A quick flash popped into my head and I wished I had a tool that would just change how she was talking to me, and do so willingly. That when Helpful Hallies™ Mighty Miracle Mist™ was conceived. I created a quick mock up of Kind Voice Spray. I sprayed the room and said to my daughter in a pleasant and encouraging tone “the room has been sprayed with Kind Voice Spray, so only kind voices can be used now”. Well, the change was instant and remarkable. She no longer had to save face and remain angry out of principle. She intentionally asked in her kindest of voices “Mommy, may I have a glass of water”. Since then, she even asks for different sprays and regulates her own behavior.

In addition to being a parent of a preschooler, I am a teacher both of private music lessons, and in a preschool environment. Very often, my students will not feel confident stepping outside of their comfort zone, or have learning patterns that are not effective. I will spray “Good Thinking & Pay Attention” spray and encouragingly tell them that their brains are soaking in this good thinking. An instant change takes place and they do their work eagerly. Now the children ask for it before they perform task, and are more willing to step outside of their comfort zones.

Cooperation & Sharing spray works wonders when children are having difficulty sharing. Again, nobody wins a battle of wills. So, when sharing is “put into the air” or “the room is filled with cooperation”, young children get excited about working together or with parents and teachers. This spray also works great with transitions such as cleaning up or even going potty.

A special ed. teacher who used Mighty Miracle Mist in her class said that her students really feel better when using Mighty Miracle Mist, and they are acknowledging their feelings which they never did before.

Here's how it works.

Step 1. Use the power of suggestion:

Convincingly and encouragingly inform the child/ren that you are going to spray the room with the corresponding spray (use the name of the spray bottle you choose), and that once the room is sprayed, everybody in the room needs to behave accordingly. Example, “I am going to spray some Kind Voice into the air, and after that, everybody in the room needs to use a Kind Voice”.

Step 2. Take Action:

Choose the Appropriate Bottle. Spray the air, not the child/ren.

Step 3. Follow Up:

Convincingly and encouragingly remind the child/ren that the room has been sprayed for the appropriate behavior (again, use the name of the spray bottle you choose) and now everybody in the room, including yourself, needs to behave appropriately. “The room has been sprayed with Kind Voice and now everybody in the room, including me, needs to use a Kind Voice”.

The Four Sprays include:

Kind Voice & Good Manners, Cooperation & Sharing, Good Thinking & Pay Attention and Good Night.

No comments: