What's A-Parent

People Are Loving This Simple Hair Tie Trick That Helps Replace Anger With Love

"I know it's only Day 1, but I'm hopeful this will help our communication skills and our relationship."

What's A-Parent is a series highlighting those who get real about the hardships that come with raising kids. These often untold stories help show parents they are not alone in their struggle, and are doing an amazing job.

Parenting is challenging. Period. Kids push boundaries, test patience levels, and don't always listen. They make mistakes and, while it's a parent's job to help them learn from them, it's not always that simple. Sometimes, the stress becomes overwhelming and parents are caught up in the heat of the moment. They yell, overreact, and let their anger get the best of them. 

Mommy blogger Kelly Holmes, AKA The (Reformed) Idealist Mom, created a visual trick to help parents get their negative attitudes in check. 

The trick works like this. When your kids wake up in the morning, put five hair ties on your right wrist. Each one of the ties represents a time that you snap at, or say something unkind, to your child. Each time that happens, move one hair tie to your left wrist. To "earn it back," you must do five positive things to reconnect with your kid. This can be as simple as reading or singing together. Once you do five kind things for him or her, you can transfer the hair tie back to your right wrist. 

"Research shows that to have a healthy relationship, for every one negative interaction you need five positive interactions to balance that out," Holmes wrote on her blog

The hope is that this method will help parents make a conscious effort to stop unnecessarily snapping at their kids and develop a more positive relationship with them. 

Recently, mom Shauna Harvey tried the hair tie trick and shared her experience on Facebook, where it went viral. She was hoping it would help her be more patient and kind to her 4-year-old son — and it did. 


"I've found myself so incredibly stressed out," Harvey wrote in her Facebook post. "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. I was to the point of crying at least every other day." 

Despite how challenging her daily life with her child felt, Harvey was able to finish the first day of the hair tie experiment with all five bands on the original wrist. 

"I'm very proud of myself for exercising patience with him," she wrote. "I know it's only day one but I'm hopeful this will help our communication skills and our relationship." 

She plans to continue using this method until it becomes a habit and "basically turns into an auto pilot ritual." 

Since sharing her experience two weeks ago, Harvey's post has been shared more than 11,500 times, amassed over 1,000 comments, and has more than 5,000 likes. One commenter noted that this can be a useful tip for any type of difficult relationship such as with the elderly, family members with dementia, or even your spouse. 

"Thinking about doing this for myself," another commenter wrote. "Any negative thoughts, unhealthy habits have to be earned back with 5 good deeds for myself." 

This genius trick might just help us all be a littler kinder, a little more patient, and a little bit more forgiving. 


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