Toddlers, am I right?
We love them, and they’re adorable, but oh boy are they a handful.
Supposedly, kids start to rapidly develop empathy somewhere around their second birthday. But let’s be real: They’re still learning. Most of the time, they’re self-centered, extremely emotional, and prone to outbursts.
Any parent who claims they’ve never lost their cool around a screaming child isn’t being totally honest.
But there’s a clever “parenting hack” making its way around the internet that’s supposed to help stressed-out parents stay calm under pressure.
Or, at least, help them cool down following a major temper tantrum from their darling angel.
It’s called the “hair tie trick,” or “rubber band trick,” pioneered by parenting blogger Kelly at The (Reformed) Idealist Mom.
Sick and tired of constantly being angry with her young daughter, she got the idea to keep track of every time she snapped, yelled, or lashed out with hair ties or rubber bands around her wrist.
Every time she felt like she lost her temper, she moved one hair band to the other arm.
In order to “earn it back,” she had to sit down and create a few positive moments with her daughter: reading a book together, dancing, singing a song.
The goal is to keep as many bands as possible on the original wrist.
If you’re skeptical, you’re not the only one. But moms and dads sharing this trick like crazy online say it works.
This post about the chill-out tactic from one mom, Shauna Harvey, recently went viral.
The response has been huge, with thousands of parents sharing with other parents in need.
We all want to be the perfect mom or the perfect dad — the one who always has everything under control and can soothe a crying child while simultaneously whipping up an organic, Instagram-worthy dinner, all with a beaming smile.
But the truth is parenting is rarely that effortless. And worse, when the stress does get the better of us, it can be really harmful for both us and our relationship with our kids.
The hair tie trick may seem cheesy, but anything that reminds us to slow down, breathe, and at least try to enjoy quality time with our kids is certainly worth a shot.