One of the hardest parts of parenting is setting boundaries for your child, and a simple method, that’s been doing the rounds online, is called the Rubber Band Method for discipline.
The method involves you wearing three (or four, or five) rubber bands around one wrist.
During the day, each time you give your child some positive feedback, you move a rubber band to the other wrist.
So the aim is to have all the bands on the opposite wrist by the end of the day.
The theory behind this is that you’re using visual cues (ie the rubber bands) to remind yourself to praise your child each day.
This can be harder than you think, on those more ‘challenging’ days!
There are various versions of this technique online.
For example, blogger MyMamaAdventureCom decided to use three rubber bands to represent negative statements to her child, instead.
‘When I use a negative statement that is not followed by a positive statement. OR when I raise my voice (it happens, not gonna lie), I will move a rubber band from my right wrist to my left wrist,’ she wrote.
‘Hopefully this will keep me in check, even on days when I’m struggling as the parent.’
Time to reconnect
Meanwhile, blogger Jackie at LJSkool said that a doctor had told her about the Rubber Band Method as ‘homework’ in dealing with her son.
‘I had to place three rubber bands on my right wrist in the morning. The goal was to have them all moved over to my left wrist before I got into bed,’ wrote Jackie.
‘The only way I could move one from the right to the left was to catch [her son] Logan doing something good. ANYTHING. No matter how small.’
And Jackie doesn’t claim that it’s always easy.
‘Some days it would be dinner time I still had rubber bands on my right hand.
‘Those were the days, after dinner, when I would sit in the rocking chair, grab his favoritest book … and ask if he wanted to come listen to me read to him.
‘He never turned me down.’
Jackie said that this was her time to reconnect with her son, and appreciate him for sitting with her.
‘Catch them doing something good,’ she wrote. ‘How to discipline your child isn’t just about correcting misbehavior.’
There’s no reason why you couldn’t use elastic bracelets, loom band bracelets or elastic hair bands for the same trick.