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How a simple rubber band can make you a better parent


Marina Shemesh | CC

Cerith Gardiner - published on 05/31/17

Kelly Holmes's brilliant idea just takes few rubber bands, a good dose of mindfulness, and a desire to be a more positive parent.

Part of being a good parent is knowing that we can behave badly too. We lose our cool and say things we don’t really mean, or we can get caught up in grown up issues that leave our kids feeling neglected — and the parent full of guilt and shame. But thanks to mom Shauna Harvey’s now viral post, there’s a way to snap out of it. And all it takes is a few rubber bands, a good dose of mindfulness, and a desire to be a more positive parent.

Read more:
Have patience with all things, but first of all with yourself.

In her recent Facebook post, Harvey shared her hair tie experiment that she’d discovered on a blog by mom-of-three, Kelly Holmes, The (Reformed) Idealist Mom. After being at her wits end with her “testy” four-year old who left her in tears “nearly every other day,” Harvey decided she needed a more positive approach to parenting. She turned to the hair tie experiment that aims to make us more aware of when we snap at our children, having a helpful visual reminder to exercise more patience, and become the less angry parent that we would so love to be — a big high five to the already patient parents out there!

It’s a very simple technique of placing five comfortable hair ties around your wrist and every time you snap at your child you remove a band and place it on your other wrist. In order to win back that angry band back, you just need to do five good acts, and they’re not that hard. Holmes lists some ideas on one of her blog posts, but just think of what your child loves: a kiss, a hug, a “sorry,” a book to read together, sing a favorite song, take two minutes to look out the window together. It’s all doable and it doesn’t cost a dime, and before you know it you’ll have a wrist full of five bands again.

Shauna Harvey | Facebook

And the result … on day one Harvey managed to have all her bands back on the right wrist. Better still, over time Harvey explained to Scary Mommy: “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,” adding “I think as parents we need a reminder every now and then that children are children and they are learning. We are their examples.”


Read more:
How do we get better at being patient?

We know it isn’t always easy being a parent but as Harvey said, as our children’s examples we need to show them the best of us so they can become the best of them. If a few bands can help us keep our anger in check then it’s definitely worth a try! Feel free to let us know how your own hair tie experiment works out for your family in the comments below.

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