The rubber bands serve as physical reminders not to lose your cool
As parents, we lose our patience with our kids sometimes. That’s a fact. We try hard to not go over the edge, but with little ones that push our every button, it’s difficult not to do exactly that.
One mom decided she needed to be more positive in parenting her son and tried a rubber band method designed to stop her from getting angry with him. She shares the results in a now-viral post every parent should read.
Shauna Harvey came across the brilliant idea on the blog The (Reformed) Idealist Mom. Her Facebook post about the results of her experiment has been shared over 11,000 times and has more than 1,000 comments.
She writes, “Today, I tried something new.” Harvey details how she was trying to be patient with her “oh so testy 4-year-old.”
“I wore 5 rubber bands on my wrist from the time I got up, to the time I tucked him in just now. The 5 rubber bands represent every time you lose your cool or say something unkind to your child.”
The idea is to move one of the five rubber bands to your other wrist whenever you lose patience. Harvey says, “To ‘gain the band back’, you must do 5 kind/positive things with your child (dance party, singing a song together, reading together, etc).”
The mom read about how for every bad reaction, it takes five positive reactions to repair the relationship, hence, the five rubber bands and five kind things if you have to move one. She says she plans to use the bands until it becomes “auto-pilot” behavior in the hopes of being less stressed and angry around her son. Harvey found herself dismayed at her 4-year-old’s “disrespectful” behavior and was crying “at least every other day” until she decided to try the rubber band method.
The results? Success. “I have finished the day with all 5 bands on the original wrist. I’m very proud of myself for exercising patience with him. I know it’s only day 1 but I’m hopeful this will help our communication skills and our relationship.”
Scary Mommy caught up with Harvey to see how things are going a few weeks into her rubber band experiment. She tells us it’s definitely helping. “I don’t get angry near as much. As a mother, well as a parent in general, it’s so easy to go straight to anger or frustration.”
Harvey says the method has changed the dynamic with her son and how she handles his more difficult moments. “I’ve noticed that he responds better when I keep my voice low and ask what the problem is. Now, if he’s throwing a fit, I politely just ask him to go to his room because I won’t witness a fit!”
More than a simple item stuck to the wrist, the rubber bands serve as physical reminders that stop us in our tracks, hopefully, giving us a minute to calm down and find a better way to react. “I think as parents we need a reminder every now and then that children are children and they are learning. We are their examples,” Harvey explains.
Harvey’s advice for fellow moms tired of being angry all the time is to give this blogger’s idea a shot.
All you have to lose is, hopefully, not your patience 27 times a day.