Sunday, February 10, 2013

Help for Yelling Moms

[BTW--this is NOT a sponsored post!]

I swear, I have probably Googled "how to stop yelling at your kids" at least 20 times since "stop yelling at kids" debuted on my New Year's Resolutions list back in 2012.

So how is it that it's taken me over a year to stumble upon The Orange Rhino? It chronicles the life of a mom of four boys who challenged herself to go for 365 days without yelling--and she actually achieved her goal earlier this week.

Readers of my blog who have been keeping tabs on my struggles know that even though I'm still stumbling, I've made huge strides this past year toward my yelling-less goal:
  • I've identified some of my hot buttons (when my little guy asks for his third scrambled egg, what I hear is, "get up right now and serve me! You're needs are not important!" which makes me yell, the subtext of said yelling being, "YES I AM IMPORTANT!")
  • I've accepted that I'm a Highly Sensitive Person and/or have some sort of auditory sensory processing overload issue that can send me into a nasty fight-or-flight tailspin if, say, the TV is blaring, somebody is playing Angry Birds at full volume, both boys are whining, and my husband asks me an innocent question all at the same time
  • I've chosen to stop beating myself up for being an introvert (I mean, would anyone berate herself for being an extrovert, or anything else that makes you you?) and finding ways to accommodate my needs.
But back to this Orange Rhino Challenge. I started small (one day without yelling), but I started. The first day, I yelled twice, but caught myself and stopped. Yesterday was about the same...but the important thing is that I stopped myself. What I like about this challenge is that you can enlist your kids' help (they can hold up little stop signs when they sense your temperature is about to rise, or you can ask them to give you a daily grade or evaluation), or train yourself to remember your goal whenever you see something orange (I made a big ol' batch of orange play dough yesterday, and also forced myself to re-focus when I pulled a pair of orange undies out of Pie's dresser drawer).

As someone who likes to laugh a lot (I yell hard, but I do laugh hard, too), I recommend starting with this list of 100 Alternatives to Yelling, which I will print and hang on the fridge today. There are a lot of ideas that make me smile, and you can's smile and yell at the same time, right?

(P.S. I just thought of one more alternative to yelling that I've used in the past...when I feel like I'm about to blow, I sing the theme song from "The Match Game." Yes, even I'm a little to young to remember "The Match Game," but you'll know the song when you hear it. It's so damn annoying you have to laugh at yourself.)

and then, she {snapped}


  1. Found you on The Sunday parenting party, Thanks for linking to this great list, I so need it!! now following you via RSS

    Natasha @

  2. yeah i saw that Orange Rhino thing only recently as well. I think i too need to start small. I like the idea of a mummy sticker chart where i award myself a sticker for days when i don't yell. Who knows maybe within the year i might make a whole week. (Thats me thinking big.) I'm sharing this on the Sunday Parenting Party Pinterest board

  3. I love how you can find ways that you've made progress/improved your lifestyle. So important to pat ourselves on the back sometimes!

    I remember when the girls were an infant, a 2 y/o and a 3 y/o declaring, "Your moods will not effect MY mood!!!" A good resolution for any mother, especially a mom of a 2 and 3 year old!!! My aunt laughed at me when I told her my resolution, and said, "good luck with that!" But it was and still is important to me to distance myself a bit from their moodiness, so that I don't find myself overwhelemed and then yelling/losing my temper or hiding in the bathroom with a bag of chocolates. (Yeah, I do that, and it's not really a great habit!!!)

    Thanks for sharing the other blog. Will check it out! Love to you Prickly!

  4. What an awesome idea! It's great that you're actually taking steps to help you to your goal. That's the hardest bit. Well done.

  5. Good job being aware of your yelling and finding your triggers. Thanks for introducing me to The Challenge. My husband and I have both noticed an increase in yelling around the house lately and are looking for ways to cut it out. I'll have to print out the Alternatives to Spanking and hang it on the fridge too!

    Thanks for continuing to support The Sunday Parenting Party by linking up...we really appreciate it!

  6. What a fabulous idea. You are doing great just for trying and recognising your triggers. It's a constant challenge, this not-yelling thing. Thanks for linking up with The Sunday Parenting Party. I'm featuring this post on my blog today.

  7. I just stumbled up on your blog today and love it. I'm looking forward to doing this challenge- in fact the list is printing as I type this out. My son should thank you for it ;)

  8. It seems we're very much alike. I am also a HSP and an introvert. And I also scream when I'm overwhelmed, even though I can be patient too.
    I also find to figure out how me and my children work.It's such hard work!I have read about the Orange Rhino and loved the idea. In many cases, it works better than yelling, and if I'm up for it, I can manage to not yell. What also helps is tons of me-time. I need it, it helps me to calm down so I'm better prepared to face the children.