The Art of Distraction

Candice Nolan / Nov 7, 2017

The Art of Distraction

Dr No. That’s my nickname for a nephew who always says “No!”. Are you happy? No! Are you sad? No! Do you like aeroplanes? No! What’s that in the sky? No!

It’s usually the first word kids learn. But they don’t understand it the way we do (see article link). I had this debate with some in our village today.

She was banging on the window pane with an open hand. The village elders response can be summed up as follows: After a few firm “No’s” and removing her from the window, she appeared to have learnt her lesson and was banging with less force this time around.

This incident illustrates my point, and is borne out by the link. I try to avoid saying no to her as much as possible. I rely on diversion tactics to distract her from engaging in unwanted behaviour.

It is an empathetic approach, where we appreciate her drive to explore and discover, to make an impact on things around her, to cause change. It is all part of her development.

But I am by no means, perfect! Saying no is so much easier than coming up with a diversion – in fact, it is, in itself, a diversion – a reaction to her behaviour!


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