One of the things that surprised me most about motherhood was the anger that came along with it; I’d never seen my lack of patience or shortness of temper evidenced so clearly before. It didn’t start right away, but after my 2nd child was born, I quickly learned how sleepless nights and caring for a baby who was rarely content AND an active toddler could make my anger boil over like a forgotten pot on a hot stove: furiously. I’ll never forget the day I realized I had an issue: I had buckled my 3-year-old into his car seat while my infant screamed and screamed in hers (she hated the car seat!). Then, my 3-year-old started screaming in reaction to his sister’s screaming. Already exhausted and frazzled, it was all I could take.
I screamed it so loud it hurt my throat. Then I burst into tears. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry!” I babbled to my son as his sister continued to scream.
It was not my best day in parenting.
Back then, I would have LOVED to hear about this system for keeping your mom anger in check. It’s the hack of all hacks, from blogger Kelly Holmes of The (Reformed) Idealist Mom, and it’s a genius game-changer. Since she wrote about it, other parents and bloggers are responding in DROVES about how it worked for them, and the results are overwhelmingly positive. And the best part? You probably already HAVE what you need for this hack: five hair ties.
Holmes developed the trick after doing lots of online research about how to change her behavior and form new habits, and she discovered that you need 5 positive interactions to counter-act one negative one. She put this trick into place and saw amazing results in her own home within a very short time. (Check out her post!)
It works like this: You start the day off with 5 hair ties on one wrist. If you snap at your kids or blow up, you move one hair tie to the other wrist. You can earn it back by doing five positive connecting activities with your child such as hugging, dancing, or playing a game with him or her. The goal is to have all five hair ties back on the arm they started on at the end of the day.
The trick not only transformed Holmes’ behavior, it changed her children’s as well. She told The Daily Mail, that her 4-year-old is herself much better with her younger sister, doesn’t lose her temper or take toys as much, and is more compliant with Holmes’ requests.
Another blogger, Shauna Harvey, posted on Facebook about how well the trick worked for her, and HER post quickly went viral as well!
Since working at home during the summer with three kids around is hard on my patience, I am DEFINITELY going to be trying this amazing hack! And fortunately, I’ve got a bazillion hair ties around so I am ready to get started. Who’s with me??