How a Rubber Band Is Saving This Dad From Becoming the ‘Grumpy’ Parent

Mike Julianelle explained that his firstborn has been acting out since they brought his baby brother home, and this Brooklyn dad has turned to a “bracelet” for help dealing with the 6-year-old.” I don’t wear a watch, or a Fitbit; I never even wore a LiveStrong band. I keep it simple,” he wrote on his blog, Dad and Buried.  “But see that elastic band? I’ve been wearing that for about a week now. It’s not a fashion statement; it’s a reminder.”

Although Julianelle jokes that his sheer beauty typically doesn’t need any accessorizing, he’s rocking this band of rubber to constantly point out that he’s too hard on his child. “It’s a reminder that I yell too much, that I say ‘no’ too much, that I lose my patience with him too frequently and I scold him too often and I don’t cut him enough slack,” he wrote. “It’s a reminder that he’s only six years old, that he’s still just a little boy, that he’s still learning about the world, about himself, about me, and that most of the stuff he does that drives me crazy is the same exact stuff other little boys do.”

It might not seem like much, but this band brings Julianelle down when he gets caught up in frustration. It’s a simple reminder that his son is still adjusting to having a baby brother to share his toys, home, and parents with. “And it’s a reminder that I’m only human myself! That I’m still learning about the world, about myself, about my six-year-old and his little brother, and about being a good parent,” he wrote. “…. The idea behind the rubber band is that when I catch myself forgetting those things, when I find myself engaging in my bad parenting habits, forgetting to be patient and understanding with my kids, I pull it back and give myself a flick on the wrist. It’s supposed to act as a deterrent.”

Julianelle knows that he isn’t a perfect person or father, no matter how hard he tries to be, and hopes that the rubber band will keep it fresh in his mind that he makes just as many mistakes as his kids do. “The elastic band helps me remember that, and helps me remember that that’s okay, that parenting is a process, that it’s okay to get some things wrong, so long as you keep trying and you learn from those mistakes,” he wrote. “It’s a reminder that I need to do better, that I need to keep my voice down, that I need to stay calm for longer, that I need to say yes more often.”

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