A mother of three who resolved to never lose her temper with her children again has created a clever hairband trick she maintains has totally transformed her relationship with her offspring. Kelly Holmes 39 years old from Austin, Texas, is a mother to a nine years old, four years old and one years old and admits that she struggled to keep her temper in check so began researching the science behind how to form healthy habits.She used various studies to invent the hairband trick, which involves placing 5 hair ties around your wrist. If you catch yourself snapping at your child, you have to move one hair tie to the other wrist, but your goal is to make it to the end of the day with all five hair ties on the original wrist. To ‘earn back’ a single hair tie, you must do 5 simple things to reconnect with your child, such as giving them a hug or dancing with them. Kelly created the trick based on research from The Gottman Institute, called the Magic 5:1 Ratio, which shows that to have a healthy relationship, for every 1 negative interaction you need 5 positive interactions to balance that out.

Kelly shared her hack on her blog, Idealist Mom, and it quickly went viral with 500,000 parents reading it and messaging her telling they’ve employed the trick and it’s changed their relationship with their children. Explaining the inspiration behind her trick, the mummy blogger and author said: ‘Ever since I became a mother to three kids, I’ve struggled to keep my temper in check. One day, I just broke and completely lost it.’After that day, I resolved to never let it happen again. I threw myself into researching all the science behind how to form healthy habits, but instead of focusing on eating more vegetables or exercising, I applied the behaviour change tricks I found to the goal of finding more happiness as a parent.’  Kelly, who even penned a book Happy You, Happy Family, based on her research, explains that a classic tool for behavior change is the visual cue. This involves finding something physical to add to your environment that will remind you of habit you want to form.  ‘This is the concept that I combined with the research from The Gottman Institute on how to maintain healthy relationships in order to come up with this specific hair tie hack’ she said. Kelly created the trick based on research from The Gottman Institute, called the Magic 5:1 Ratio, which shows that to have a healthy relationship, for every one negative interaction you need five positive interactions to balance that out.  Kelly notes that she would developed a bad habit of talking sharply to her middle child, who has just turned four, but tells the hairband hack was ‘the reset button she needed’.

She explained that her daughter’s behavior has also totally transformed, she does not take toys from her little sister as much, she does not get as angry and is much more compliant with Kelly’s requests. Explaining how she explained the trick to her children, Kelly tells ‘Early on, I told her the hair ties gave me superpowers so I could be the best mommy I could be. She loved that, maybe a little too much. One night when she got up several times after I tucked her into bed, my tone started to get a little short because I was tired and frustrated that she wouldn’t just go to sleep. I’d already taken my hair ties off, and so when I sent my husband to tuck her in one more time, she said, “Daddy, can you tell Mommy to put her hair ties on?” He laughed and said her “I think if you just went to sleep, Mommy would be fine.”‘

The hairband hack goes viral, Kelly’s tips now reach hundreds of thousands of parents. After telling her friends about the trick, she blogged about it and it was viewed by at least 500,000 parents. Fellow mummy bloggers and parents have been taking to social media to share photos of themselves trying out the hack and revealing the positive results. Shauna Harvey, who told she was ‘to the point of crying at least every other day’ shared a pic of herself with the caption ‘I have finished the day with all five bands on the original wrist. I’m very proud of myself for exercising patience with him. I know it’s only day one but I’m hopeful this will help our communication skills and our relationship. If you find yourself being that “Angry Mom”, try this!.’

Speaking about the positive feedback she’s received, Kelly added ‘Every morning, I open my email to find new messages from parents telling me how they don’t snap at their kids anymore and their relationship with their children are stronger than ever. I start every day with happy tears knowing that parents are finding more connection with their kids and opening themselves up to more joy in the chaos of parenting life. Above all, we crave a healthy, connected relationship with our little ones. Nobody wants a strained relationship with their children. But when you’re in the middle of a frustrating situation or a power struggle, it can be hard to see the way forward to maintain that healthy relationship with your child. Sometimes you need a nudge in the right direction, and five hair ties on your wrist can be just the nudge you need to find the patience and compassion that you didn’t know you had.’

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