How wearing 5 bands on your wrist can remind you to be a better parent.

Toddlers, am I right?

Photo by George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images.

We love them, and they're adorable, but oh boy are they a handful.


Supposedly, kids start to rapidly develop empathy somewhere around their second birthday. But let's be real: They're still learning. Most of the time, they're self-centered, extremely emotional, and prone to outbursts.

Any parent who claims they've never lost their cool around a screaming child isn't being totally honest.

But there's a clever "parenting hack" making its way around the internet that's supposed to help stressed-out parents stay calm under pressure.

Or, at least, help them cool down following a major temper tantrum from their darling angel.

It's called the "hair tie trick," or "rubber band trick," pioneered by parenting blogger Kelly at The (Reformed) Idealist Mom.

Sick and tired of constantly being angry with her young daughter, she got the idea to keep track of every time she snapped, yelled, or lashed out with hair ties or rubber bands around her wrist.

Every time she felt like she lost her temper, she moved one hair band to the other arm.

In order to "earn it back," she had to sit down and create a few positive moments with her daughter: reading a book together, dancing, singing a song.

The goal is to keep as many bands as possible on the original wrist.

If you're skeptical, you're not the only one. But moms and dads sharing this trick like crazy online say it works.

This post about the chill-out tactic from one mom, Shauna Harvey, recently went viral.

Today, I tried something new.Blogger here----> http://idealistmom.com/angry-mother/Something that required me to...

Posted by Shauna Harvey on Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The response has been huge, with thousands of parents sharing with other parents in need.

We all want to be the perfect mom or the perfect dad — the one who always has everything under control and can soothe a crying child while simultaneously whipping up an organic, Instagram-worthy dinner, all with a beaming smile.

But the truth is parenting is rarely that effortless. And worse, when the stress does get the better of us, it can be really harmful for both us and our relationship with our kids.

The hair tie trick may seem cheesy, but anything that reminds us to slow down, breathe, and at least try to enjoy quality time with our kids is certainly worth a shot.

When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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