If you see welts on my wrists, you know I’ve been trying…

… to control my temper.

Weekend shopping list includes 2 4 6 12 rubber bands. I’ll tell you why, by and by.

On March 8 (to celebrate IWD), O’s school organised a session with a neuropsychiatrist for mums of Grade 1 and 2 students.

Just a handful of us turned up for the session with Dr Madhu Pahwa. She spoke of cognitive skills, understanding and dealing with children in the age group (I am sure if it had been a session on how to make your child a genius, there would have been a record turnout).

I loved it that she spoke not only as an expert, but also as a working mother.

Firm and forceful in what she wanted to express; Kind and empathetic about the concerns we shared.

A minimum of 45 minutes of quality time every day, with your child, is a must. Working mothers who manage to do that – be it over a meal, playing a game, or just chatting – have nothing to feel guilty about. Yipee!

Here is something else  – negative reinforcement is NOT bad. You can hold back privileges, ground them, ban them from doing what they like. Indulging in negotiations all the time – as some smug mums tell me they do – is not all that healthy.

Guess what else is not healthy – surprise! Surprise! – screaming mums.

She suggests that we wear a loose rubber band around our wrist; Every time you scream at the child, ping yourself with the band. Real hard. Apparently this works very well – by associating pain with an undesirable behaviour (in this case screaming), you get rid of the habit.

And no, you can’t have a rubber band around your child’s wrist – unfortunately, that will not have the desired effect. She made that very clear to one frustrated mother.

So since my screaming and temper attacks are not restricted to child alone, I am going to buy myself a whole bunch of rubber bands.

Colour-coded. Pink for O, blue for R, red for the office, one for family back home, one for the road…

So next time you meet me and see deep welts on my wrists, you know I’ve been trying hard.

On second thoughts, what I need is probably not a dozen rubber bands, but a few sessions with Dr Pahwa on anger management!
So tell me…

16 thoughts on “If you see welts on my wrists, you know I’ve been trying…

  1. nadira289 says:

    Am a big fan of negative reinforcement and I swear it works.. But unfortunately most often before my brain kicks in, my mouth does and i end up yelling..need to invest in some rubber bands.. I’m really going to try it.. Cos every night when i see them asleep i beat myself up mentally for having yelled at them 😦 So let’s hope the bands work..

  2. Mala Balaji says:

    🙂 Parenting is such a complicated job.. according 2 me there is no hard n fast set of rules.. all kids r not d same and each kid has a unique way of responding 2 a particular way they r treated… may it be reward for good behaviour or negative reinforcements.. Might work 4 some kids or even totally back fire 4 d rest.. All trial n error I guess.. 🙂

    • UmmON says:

      absolutely agree mala. for me, i was the error. so i try not to repeat that with the kids 🙂 my mum will kill me if she hears this… but i don’t think they did much of a job with me!

  3. Chris says:

    I guess the neuropsychiatrist really knew what she was talking about seeing as how she’s got handson experience……am just going out to buy the whole pack of rubberbands!

  4. inbavalli says:

    Thanks, Umm. You heard me? T-H-A-N-K-S. I seriously need to do something about my temper, especially with the kids.

    Just yesterday I whacked the boy and he developed a patch on his arm. I thought I would die of guilt. Just imagine, had this been a Western country I would be in jail today.

    I shall most definitely wear the rubber band and get back to you on this next Sunday. Promise. Thanks a ton

  5. UmmON says:

    i’m still chicken. haven’t managed to string the band around my wrist. but the thought itself is helping me behave. waiting for your update.

  6. Sunita says:

    Thanks for this wonderful tip Vani and Dr. Pahwa.. I realize that I have been doing more than my share of screaming and the kids and my rubberband act starts today.. will keep u posted how it goes..

    BTW I love negetive reinforcement too – I find that it works better than whacks most of the times with my girls. Ban from play time with friends for a day or an extra study hour normally does rein my older one in.. But with my younger one (god help!!)

  7. inbavalli says:

    Hey, this rubberband is proving to be a major source of entertainment. Every time the kids pass by they tug at it and I end up screaming for that 😦

    But for the past 24 hours I’ve managed to rein in my temper :))

  8. Inbavalli says:

    Hey, it’s next Sunday already. The rubber bands are off but the screaming has come down.

    Sorry for boring you with such details.

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