Little C has been putting both our patience to the test of late, and there have been way too many threats, raised voices, and bringing the presence of the dreaded “stick” out in the open – all in the hopes of setting her on the path to good behaviour.
On my end, I feel really, really bad for having to do some of the actions. But at the same time, I just know that there is a sweet angel hidden beneath the bratty behaviour that she has been displaying, and I try to convince myself that it is part of the Horrible Three’s stage (which is worst than the Terrible Two’s!).
Plus, I know that it would be very wrong on my end to not say or do anything. But I just wished and hope that whatever we are doing will impact her positively, and make her see that there are consequences for her actions/choices.
And then, I came across this intriguing article: How to Discipline a Child – The Rubber Band Method.
Contrary to the mental images that most of us would have in our minds right now (Admit it, you were thinking along the lines of shooting rubber bands, right?), this is actually a form of gentle discipline which I don’t mind giving a try on my little girl.
The Rubber Band Method of Disciplining Kids
According to the author of the article, this method was suggested by her child’s psychiatrist one day, when she was explaining how her little boy seem to know just what to do to push her buttons and challenge her.
The doctor then asked, “How often do you reward him?” – which caught her dumbfounded. And then the rubber band method of discipline was explained to her:
- At the start of every day, place 3 rubber bands on your right wrist
- Throughout the day, do your best to “catch” your kid(s) doing something good – doesn’t matter how simple or significant the act is
- The goal is to get the 3 rubber bands to your left wrist by the end of each day
Thoughts on the method
I agree wholeheartedly with the writer on the rationale and learning behind this discipline method.
As parents, we are so quick to jump out with threats and harsh remarks to our kids, when they are doing something wrong (or that looks wrong to us). But oftentimes, there might be a reason for them to behave this way – which we would have so easily find out ourselves have we not put on our defence attack on them.
My Real Case Study: Little C was turning her water bottle upside down while sitting on our bed, and I saw some water droplets. To me, it seemed as though she is deliberately trying to wet our bed – which I raised my voice at her immediately (and felt bad, just as quick thereafter!). Later, I found out that she was just checking to see if the lid was leaking and turning the bottle upside down was her way of achieving that.
How I could have handled it better: I jump into conclusions too quickly, which then leads me to doing things that I’d later regret. And this situation with Little C is a fine example. Had I kept my cool and asked her first what is she doing, she could have had the opportunity to tell me her intent. On my side, this would very well be a chance for me to applaud her for being curious at such a young age and wanting to find out how things work on her own. This shows that she is slowly gaining her independence, and is not so much the baby that we all would jump in to cuddle and carry to make things OK for her.
This method teaches us to appreciate our children and give them a chance to learn how things work in the world we live in. From our simple words of appreciation, it makes our kids feel good about what they have done and will inspire them to repeat this in different situations later on. Also, it affirms of our love for them, as it’s a way of telling them that no matter how bad the day has turned out to be, there is always time and space in mummy’s heart to shower them with love and affection.
And all these are the things that will help them feel secure and confident as a growing person.
I plan to practice this with my girl, and be more patient with her – because after all, I am also learning at the same time she is. Let’s hope that I’ll be able to go through this just fine 🙂