Recently I came across a really interesting article about using rubber bands to discipline your kid. The Rubber Band Method of Disciplining Your Kids, which is so misleading. It’s just click bait. It’s the Rubber Band Method of Praising Your Kids. And it’s awesome.
Don’t worry, y’all. You know I’m more of an alternative style parenting kinda girl. The rubber bands aren’t used to snap the kid. The kid never comes into contact with them at all.
They go on my wrist. They are a reminder to praise the GOOD behavior. You start with three on your right wrist and every time you genuinely stop in the moment to praise the good behavior, you move one rubber band to the left wrist.
It’s so fucking simple. I felt like I was already praising good behavior, but was I? I’m deep in week
four five of severe insomnia. I forgot his lunchbox at school yesterday. I now lose my phone, which is usually in my hand, multiple times a day. I’m super itchy for some reason, I’m really, really stressed, I’m prone to my Irish temper lately, etc. So, I probably wasn’t doing a stellar job of praising the good behavior. I know I wasn’t. I was probably snapping at him and my husband.
But now, I’ve got these three rubber bands (I used purple ones, because, vanity) as a reminder. And for me, that sort of thing WORKS. I thrive on devices of scheduling, timers, calendars, to do lists, rubber bands, etc.
So I started a week and a half ago, and holy shit. I was shocked at the result.
I moved my rubber bands in just a few hours. And this was coming off a SUPER stressful Thursday and Friday for the whole family. I was actually stunned.
A couple days of this (because, remember they were right there to remind me) and I saw a distinct change in the kiddo.
Our norm had been me asking for him to do something, him ignoring or getting distracted, me repeating in a firmer tone, his mind wandering, me escalating to demanding in an Angry UniKitty voice.
Then hurt feelings, mom guilt, and the inevitable rush to get out the damn door and to school on time.
Most importantly, I’ve learned something about my son. He loves to hear “I’m so proud of you.” Like the little punkin shines when I say those words. He doesn’t want a prize, or candy–he wants me to be proud of him. I feel like a total dumbshit for just now discovering this about him, but now I know.
He’s asked me about the rubber bands and I explained to him that every time I show him a real act of kindness, I move it from one wrist to the other. Now he wants some of his own. He’s very concerned with making sure I’m accountable for my kindness as I am with his.
As it turns out the rubber band method of disciplining is really about changing my behavior to notice and praise the good. The embrace the awesome and let my son know every chance I get how proud of him I am.
*That cuff bracelet I’m wearing actually holds my Fitbit tracker. Fashion, kids.