A mother from Austin, Texas found a creative way to remind herself not to lose her temper with her children. Kelly Holmes is a mother to a nine-year-old, a four-year-old and a one-year-old. Like many other parents, she admits she struggled to keep her temper in check. So she started doing research to find out how to form healthier habits and create a better relationship with her children.

Kelly’s Hair Tie Trick

After reading various studies, Kelly invented the hairband trick. Each day she places five hair ties around her wrist. Every time she catches herself snapping at one of her children, she moves one hair tie to her other wrist. The goal is to make it to the end of the day with all five hair ties still on her original wrist. She can earn back a single hair tie by doing five simple things to reconnect with her children, such as hugging them, reading them a story or dancing with them.

Research from the Gottman Institute called the Magic 5:1 Ratio inspired Kelly to create the hair tie trick. The Magic 5:1 Ratio shows that in order to have a healthy relationship, for every one negative interaction, you need five positive interactions to balance things outs.

Kelly shared her parenting trick on her blog and it quickly went viral. Over 500,000 parents read it and messaged her with stories of how they implemented the trick and it changed their relationship with their children for the better.

Becoming A Kinder Parent

Kelly explained, “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 behavior change tricks I found to the goal of finding more happiness as a parent.”

The positive feedback Kelly has received gives her joy. She said, “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.”

Kelly added, “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.”

Daily Mail
Idealist Mom
The Gottman Institute