Tools of the Trade: The Power of Distraction - Life.Church Leaders

Tools of the Trade: The Power of Distraction

Hey Buddies! Imagine a scenario for a moment. For some reason, your special LifeKid is rolling all over the floor during the Konnect lesson video, and she won’t stop despite your best attempts to convince her. She’s bumping into other kids and is causing them quite a distraction. You’ve tried using physical touch and fidget toys to help her feel more comfortable, but nothing seems to be working. What do you do?

I’ve been there! And I’ve got ideas to help you. And don’t worry—you don’t need a PhD in child behavior to implement my ideas. My name is Addison, and I’m actually a high school senior who also happens to have a sister with special needs. I’ve learned a lot from working with her. It’s helped me work at my church to help other kiddos with different needs to feel comfortable in the church environment. Don’t stress out. Take a deep breath, and get ready to sharpen one valuable tool in your Buddy toolbox: Quick Distractions and/or Redirection.

It can sound odd to say it’s a good idea to offer a distraction to a child in LifeKids, but there are times when distracting a child is the easiest way to redirect their attention back to where it needs to be.

Okay, back to the log-rolling. At this point, you might start to feel a bit stressed, but don’t worry, it’s just time to try another tactic. As long as you know when and how to use distraction, it can be very effective. It could even be a game-changer in the way that the child responds to you during the service. I know it might sound strange to hear it said that it’s a good idea to offer a distraction to a child in LifeKids! Counterintuitive for sure. But there are a lot of times when distracting a child is the easiest way to redirect their attention back to where it needs to be.

When can I try distracting my special LifeKid?

There are way more situations than I can possibly describe, but a good time to distract the child is if the behavior is severe or escalated and you need an immediate response.

How do I offer a great distraction when I recognize one is needed?

So now that you know when to distract, how do you actually do it? This is when your personal creativity comes into play. Your toolbox is as big as you make it, meaning, every idea is a great idea! Here are some things I’ve tried before with success—and some other ideas I’ve got ready to try in the future should the need arise!

All these things can cause kids’ brains to change directions and start thinking about something good instead of whatever they were struggling with. We want every kid to be comfortable and feel loved, and distraction is just one way we can help these kids see the love of Jesus.

Remember, you are full of incredible ideas, so you’ll be able to try things I’ve never even thought of. If you’re feeling nervous about serving as a Buddy, pray that God would help you love the child in the best way you can, and trust Him to give you wisdom and awesome ideas. You can do this!