Available Now
MetroKids
Jun 14, 2013
06:00 AM
MomSpeak

Distraction vs. Saying No

Distraction vs. Saying No

We've all been there. We are desperate for cooperation in certain situations, so we offer a toy, iPad or candy to allow us to complete what we are doing. Let's face it . . . sometimes it's basic survival!

But it's a parent's ultimate dilemma, whether to distract your defiant child who can't have what they want or if you should just say no. Sometimes I feel so exhausted from distracting or thinking of other solutions to their problems and I ask myself, "Why can't they just listen? Why do I have to offer other options all the time?" But the truth is that while there are certain times when saying no is important, distracting or offering other options often teaches children how to problem-solve (and also avoids a power struggle). Children don't have the coping skills that we do to figure out how to solve their problems. especially if they are tired or sick.

Here's an example of what kind of situation often arises...

Scenario #1

Child: Mommy, can I play in the water table with Grandma while you are gone?
Mommy: No
Child's thoughtsWhy is Mommy being mean? What am I supposed to do if I can't play in the water table? Why am I being punished?
. . . and then the anger begins building up.

Scenario #2

Child: Mommy, can I play in the water table with Grandma while you are gone?
Mommy: No, I'm sorry but that is too messy. Why don't we fill up the sink and add some bubbles? You can pull a chair over and pour with the cups?

Do you see how Scenario 2 teaches your child how to find another fun activity? This is different, however, than other situations where a parent constantly distracts a child by offering candy (or other reward) when they are not allowed to do something. While distraction can sometimes be a good thing, it's important to not use it as a constant crutch or else your child will not learn to problem-solve in other situations when being told no.

Toni Langdon is a stay-at-home mom of two daughters and an in-home child care provider. She is a black belt in martial arts and has worked with Chester County, PA children with special needs. This post is adapted from her blog, Tickles and Time Outs.

Add your comment:
Edit Module
Advertisement
Edit Module

About This Blog

Outstanding Delaware Valley mom bloggers share insights about their kids or themselves, family experiences or ways they handled parenting situations. Their items — often reposted from their blogs — reflect everyday experiences that anyone can relate to rather than political viewpoints or belief systems.

MomSpeak Contributors

Trish Adkins, Yoke
Jennifer Auer, Jersey Family Fun
Stacy Heenan Biscardi, Wifty & Shifty
Hillary Chybinski, My Scraps
EJ Curran, Four Little Monsters
Darla DeMorrow, The Pregnant Entrepreneur
Rachée Fagg, Say It Rah-Shay
Raya Fagg, And Starring As Herself…MRSRFKJ
Erin Flynn Jay, Mastering the Mommy Track
Marion Kase, Helicopter-Caterpillar
Jean Ladden, Jean's Book Reviews
Brie Latini, ( . . . a breezy life)
Toni Langdon, Tickles and Time Outs
Lisa Lightner, A Day in Our Shoes
Jeanine Ludwikowski, Mommy Entourage
Jeanne McCullough, Mom Hearts Pinot
Trina O'Boyle, O’Boy! Organic
Kelly Raudenbush, My Overthinking
Sandra Telep, West Philly Mama
Marissa Kiepert Truong, Land of Once Upon a Time
Lisa Weinstein, The Mixed Up Brains of Lisa Weinstein
Shivaun Williams, Dar Liomsa (In My Opinion)
Paige Wolf, Spit That Out!

If you are a Philadelphia-area mom blogger and would like to contribute to MomSpeak, please e-mail editor@metrokids.com.

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More on this topic »Mom Matters

Mommy Blogs

Mommy Blogs

MK's mommy bloggers share why they find the act of online journaling so rewarding.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More on this topic »Mom's Health

How Much Alcohol Is Too Much

How Much Alcohol Is Too Much

More moms than ever are binge drinking. How much alcohol is too much? Plus, where to seek help in the Delaware Valley.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

MK Memo

MK Memo: Moms Know
Develop Kids' Growth Mind-set

Develop Kids' Growth Mind-set

Teach kids to develop a growth mind-set and learn how they achieve with a simple graphic exercise.

Comments

December 2014 Preview

December 2014 Preview

The December 2014 previews discusses MetroKids' Holiday Survival Guide, our annual Toy Test and one of the "Worst Toys of 2014"

Comments

Mermaids & MasterChef Junior Casting

Mermaids & MasterChef Junior Casting

MasterChef Junior auditions kids in Philadelphia and the Weeki Wachee Mermaids swim to the Adventure Aquarium

Comments

November Preview: On the Table

November Preview: On the Table

Nov. 2014 preview, plus are moms drinking too much, Thanksgiving traditions, a focus on special needs and the board-games kickoff to our annual holiday Toy Test.

Comments

School Days: Don't Forget Your Resilience

School Days: Don't Forget Your Resilience

Why resilience is an important tool for school success

Comments

Edit ModuleShow Tags