From toddler tantrums, to constant demands for more juice/snacks/toys, there are times when parenting requires some serious patience.
And sometimes when those buttons have been pushed one time too many, keeping your cool can be tricky. But one mum has come up with a genius hack which promises to help parents find their inner calm.
The ‘hair tie trick’ first appeared on the blog The Reformed Idealist Mom, after author Kelly Holmes noticed she was often losing her temper with her middle daughter.
“Something about the preschooler-ness of my preschooler was turning me into an angry mother every time I opened my mouth to talk to her,” she wrote. “I needed help.”
Kelly decided she needed some sort of visual marker so she could keep track of how often she was getting riled. So whenever she was with her children, she’d put five hair ties on one wrist. If the mum-of-three accidentally lost her temper with one of her children, she’d move one hair tie over to the other arm, then she’d have to ‘earn it’ back by doing a positive act instead. That could be reading a book with them, or playing a game.
Kelly explained that her goal was to have all five ties on her original wrist by the end of the day.
Although it sounds simple, Kelly said that the simple temper-controlling trick actually turned into a bit of a habit and has changed the way she interacts with her children.
“I thought all this was a fluke, that it would wear off over time, and I’d revert to being an angry mother with my middle kid,” she wrote. “Months later, the hair tie trick is still working wonders. I talk to my preschooler with love and kindness in my voice instead of annoyance and frustration.”
And it seems other parents can’t get enough of the unusual parenting hack either.
“Thanks for this post. I quite often ‘fly solo’ at bath time, at weekends, due to my husband’s work and other commitments. I’m interested to see if this works for me, especially during PMS weeks when my anger really flares,” one mum wrote in the comments of Kelly’s original blog.
“Reading this has me in tears…..of joy, that is. Knowing that Love Always Wins, it’s still hard as an exhausted mumma to know how to fight the battles. But this. THIS gives hope! Thank you for sharing this and the sweetness of your little triumphs. Definitely planning on putting those hair ties to the test,” added another mum.
One mother was concerned about wearing the hair ties on her wrists, which could be a valid point as wearing a hair band on your wrist can actually be dangerous.
Thankfully though, Kelly had some alternative suggestions.
“What about clothespins or safety pins on some part of your clothes? Move to the other side? Might work better for home than out and about, but it seems like the process would be the same,” she wrote.
So next time you’re feeling on the edge after a morning of button-pushing from the little ones, remember the hair tie trick and unleash your inner PPA. That’s Positive Parenting Attitude.
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