The Rubber Band Method

You must be wondering, "What the heck is the rubber band method?" Well, it's actually a discipline method, but not one for us to use on our children...instead we use it on ourselves!

I found an article highlighting the rubber band method in the March 2015 issue of SWFL Parent & Child. The author, Kira Lewis, really hit home when discussing the average words used in a typical day of parenting: "Don't do that?" "What are you thinking?" "Stop hitting her!" etc. All of which are frustrating, negative and the things we think about most often. But what about all of those good moments throughout the day? We rarely focus on those. Now enters the rubber band method.

Per the article, "The rubber band method is a simple technique that we frenzied parents can use to help remind us to look for and acknowledge all those good things that are also happening. Here's how it works: In the morning, place three rubber bands on your right wrist. Your objective is to move all three rubber bands to the other wrist by the time you tick your littles into bed at night. In order to move the rubber bands, you have to catch your children doing something good and then recognize them for it." 

Sounds easy enough, right? Well, it may not be at first. Between work, daily personal activities and everything in between finding the time to provide the opportunity for us to see our children do something good, let alone acknowledge them for it, may be few and far between. But I think this is the first step to something great. The goal is to move those three rubber bands each day, but if only one is moved here and there, we cannot beat ourselves up. We're still putting things in perspective and headed in the right direction.

Read the full article, The Rubber Band Method of Discipline by Kira Lewis from the March 2015 issue of SWFL Parent & Child HERE or see below:

"THE RUBBER BAND METHOD OF DISCIPLINE

A blog post called “How to Discipline a Child – The Rubber Band Method” from LJSkool (ljskool.

com) recently made its way around social media. Before you jump to the same conclusion I did, let me reassure you, it has nothing to do with using rubber bands to inflict pain. The post actually talks about how to use rubber bands as a way to recognize good in our children.

If you are anything like me, days are often a little frantic and sometimes frustrating. It can feel like the only words that I speak to my children during their waking hours are negative: “Don’t do that!” “What are you thinking?” “Stop hitting her!” “Why did you do so badly on that test?” Sound familiar?

We know there are good moments in every day, even the worst ones. However, theyoften require us tobe a little more engaged and observant than those stressful moments when we’re acting on instinct and trying to keep one of our children from destroying things or killing themselves.

The rubber band method is a simple technique that we frenzied parents can use to help remind us to look for and acknowledge all those good things that are also happening. Here’s how it works: In the morning, place three rubber bands on your right wrist. Your objective is to move all three rubber bands to the other wrist by the time you tuck your littles into bed at night. In order to move the rubber bands, you have to catch your children doing something good and then recognize them for it.

To catch our children doing something good three times a day really shouldn’t be that hard. But I suspect at first, it might be more difficult than we think. We’ve got to pay attention and many of us are all too often functioning on autopilot, just trying to survive our days rather than actively seeking out the positive. It may even require that we have to create afew opportunities for our children to demonstrate their best to us.

Now, you may be asking, while focusing on the good is nice and all, exactly how is this discipline?

Well as the post explains, “How to discipline your child isn’t just about correcting misbehavior, it is also to teach how to behave well.” If we are constantly giving our children negative feedback, they will always know what they are doing wrong, but they may have no clue what they are doing right. Even worse, they might come to believe they aren’t capable of doing things right, so why bother.

I love the rubber band method because it is so simple to implement, but its impact can be huge. I also think it could be equally as valuable for parents to try on themselves.

Too often it’s not only our kids that we fail to recognize for what they do well, but also ourselves. If our self-talk is constantly critical and we feel like we are falling short as parents, then it is no surprise that we are more likely to focus on the ways our children are falling short.

By learning to catch our own good moments, it may become easier to do the same for our children. Who knows, we may even find that one day we’re wearing a whole armful of rubber bands."