Every parent knows the feeling of wanting to explode. Paint on the walls, handing you the dirty diaper after they decided to change themselves, your trash can is on fire because of the latest science experiment, dog food strewn across the kitchen floor because they wanted to help, and of course every parent’s favorite; the arms-flailing, legs-kicking tantrum.
Those frustration levels rise to the point where you actually feel the temperature of your face start to rise, but the voice in the back of your head is screaming at you not to yell. Sometimes every parent needs an attitude check.
So many parents just don't to feel comfortable yelling at their kids. We have all been there where you lash out angrily, making your child even more upset, and then you feel bad afterwards. This creates tension and puts an unnecessary strain on the relationship. It does happen and it’s okay to be frustrated, but if you want an out, this hair tie hack might just be the trick for you.
All you need is 5 hair ties and in no time you will be relaxed enough to calmly deal with the situation at hand. Developed for parents, by a mom, this new technique is simple but proving very effective.
Begin each day with 5 hair ties or rubber bands on your wrist. It is important to put the ties on when your child is awake, so they can see you perform this ritual. The visual cues are important so your child is aware of the whole process. Each time you yell or are unkind in any way to your child, you remove one hair tie and place it on the other wrist. The goal is not to move any from the original wrist. Each time one band has to be moved, you have to perform five loving, kind, or positive things to win the ability to return the band back to its starting place.
The guiding principle is that for each harsh word or action, five positive acts are required to make up for it. Examples of positive things you can do to earn that tie back include:
- Give your child a hug
- Tell them you love them
- Read a story together
- Do an art project
- Give them a cute note or sticker
- Get out their favorite coloring book and color together
- Play a game outside or a board game
- Tell a funny story or joke
- Go for a walk together
- Leave a surprise for them somewhere
- Tell them something they did that you appreciate
- Even a simple smile goes a long way.....
Parents know and expect their children to act up, it is how they test boundaries and learn. Our response can either hinder their learning or help it. If parents constantly show anger and aggression as their response, this is what children will learn as the norm which will impact their development and personalities.
Keep in mind, this trick is not to replace discipline, by any means. Parents can still be firm while maintaining a pleasant demeanor. Remember, positive reinforcement does go a long way.
Acting in frustration does not always produce the best results. Using the hair tie trick allows parents to take a step away from the situation to think of the correct way to address it. Since children absorb like sponges and mimic behavior, if you are frustrated, they will be frustrated. Alternatively, children can learn that their behavior was wrong without being scolded or mean. Stress causes more stress, so trying to calm a tantrum with a tantrum is not going to end well.
Parents using this technique have reported better communications with their children and a more positive relationship overall when they take a step back, move a hair tie and calm down. It is important to remember that yelling and saying hurtful things is damaging to impressionable minds.
Parents need to remember that words can hurt and repairing that hurt takes commitment. Using this hair tie hack is a great way to help remind adults that children are just that; children. They make mistakes as they learn, just like we did, and we have to be their examples.