Welcome to Mothership: Parenting stories you actually want to read, whether you're thinking about kids or not, from egg-freezing to taking home baby and beyond. Because motherhood is a big if — not when — and it's time we talked about it that way.
Sometimes even parents require an attitude check. Earlier this month, one mother, Shauna Harvey shared how she’s teaching herself to handle her testy 4-year-old son in a Facebook post. It went viral weeks later.
While figuring out how to control the emotional whims of toddlers will forever remain a mystery, how we react to our child’s behavior is the one thing we can control and apparently Harvey found a simple hack, thanks to The (Reformed) Idealist Mom.
“Something that required me to exercise patience with my oh so testy 4 year old,” Harvey shared in a caption underneath a photo of her wrist wrapped in hair bands on Facebook. “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. Every time that happens, you move one band to the other wrist. 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 reformed mom also shared another reasoning behind the act: science.
“I read that science shows for every bad reaction, it takes 5 POSITIVE reactions to regain a positive relationship. I'm going to be using this method until it becomes a habit and basically turns into an auto pilot ritual. I've found myself so incredibly stressed out, I beat my head against the wall daily because I don't understand why my 4 year old insists on being disrespectful and a non listener.”
While the scientific source of the theory wasn’t backed, by now most of us know that visual cues can be crucial when curbing bad habits — be it anything from quitting smoking to (apparently) being a better parent.
Check out the rest of Harvey’s message about motherhood below.
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