I have a 9-month old girl. If you were a parent, you would know how difficult it is to keep a child engaged and entertained.
Recently, I had a long weekend holiday. And I had more than my fair share of time to spend with my little girl. It must’ve been a relief to my wife to have an extra hand. But, I didn’t find it as comforting.
The 9-month old had her curiosity running amuck. She had her tantrums showing up every other time. I as a father had the responsibility to keep her calm and to make sure she has fun. And keeping my sanity at the same time. Believe me it was not an easy task.
One of the interesting things I observed is that to use distraction, positively. This helped my girl’s curiosity jump bottled and herself engaged. I just need to keep her engaged or as I put in distracted in various plays – including taking her for a walk outside, allowing free play with her toys, playing and talking to her, and sometimes simply putting her on my shoulder to sleep.
This variation of distraction, I would like to call it ‘positive distraction’. Gandhi also talks about how to get oneself meaningfully distracted especially from a bad intention. No wonder there is an adage, ‘An idle mind is a devil’s workshop.’ The solution is to get oneself distracted positively.
You create a thought or behavior chain to whatever you want to replace or to distracted from. Affirm yourself saying, – ‘If I think/ devising to do X (a negative idea), then I will Y (a positive distraction).’
- If I feel like eating more, I will drink a cup of water
- If I want to smoke, I will buy a gum to chew
Scientifically it is called ‘Implementation Intention’. Slow this chain created strengthens and every time the negative idea arises, the positive distraction comes along with it. Eventually, this would replace the negativity.
Try this ‘positive distraction’ for yourself to avoid bad thoughts and behaviors.