Yelling: The Unspoken Shame Among Parents

 

TORC_logo_blogTour3-2This guest post is part of the “Yell Less, Love More” Blog Book Tour! Thank you Suzanne for so bravely sharing your story and sharing an important message that Yelling Less isn’t just about having a better relationship with your kids, but also about having a better relationship with life in general!

I have always been hot tempered. I was the kid who threw my toys, the teenager with the dramatic outbursts, but by the time I graduated from college, I had control of myself. Or so I thought. When I first became a mother, it seemed like I totally had a handle on this mothering business. Pinterest had nothing on me! I was going to be a great mom! And then reality set in, about the time my first started walking and I became pregnant again. Oh, I learned some humility from toddlerhood!

So I realized I was not the perfect mom, by any stretch of the imagination. I was actually a mean mom. I yelled at my kids, and I hated myself for it, hated what it did to my boys, but I couldn’t seem to stop. Yet I knew I had to stop. For my boys. Because I am modeling behavior for them, and teaching them how to handle anger and frustration. I want to raise good, kind men. I want them to be better than me.

I started searching the internet late one night and happened upon the Orange Rhino Blog. Eureka! I found I was not alone with my burden or newfound goals. I dabbled in the Orange Rhino community and followed her on Facebook, but I had never fully immersed myself in all it means to be an Orange Rhino. I picked up bits and pieces of advice, but I’m one of those girls that need something tangible in hand.

So I realized I was not the perfect mom, by any stretch of the imagination. I was actually a mean mom. I yelled at my kids, and I hated myself for it, hated what it did to my boys, but I couldn’t seem to stop.

 One morning over (cold) coffee, I saw that she was extending the offer of doing a book review to all moms-not just those with blogs! I immediately reached out to Sheila, and I was randomly selected for the opportunity to read her book, “Yell Less, Love More,” before it was published! I couldn’t believe it! As soon as my book arrived, I literally tore open the package and began to read.

Sheila has a gift for writing that is so easy and open-it feels like talking with someone you know and could trust. She opens up with her own heartbreaking struggles, and it deeply touched me in so many meaningful ways. More than once, a poignant story she shared brought me to tears.   She mixes a touch of comedy with her endearing realness in describing her journey as the original Orange Rhino. Her story never comes across as pompous or superior, just another mom in the trenches, struggling to make it through the day. Or just breakfast.

Sheila’s book, “Yell Less, Love More,” is broken down into 30 easy to read sections, so you can take it day by day with your morning coffee or in huge swaths when you have the time. Each chapter has a relatable story, tips, actions to help you on your way, and inspiring quotes that embody the Orange Rhino goal. She includes a “Yelling Meter” to help you define what exacts constitutes yelling-from the nasty voice to yelling in an emergency.

The chapter on tracking triggers is the one that makes you take a long, ugly look at yourself to determine what it is that makes YOU yell-whether it’s a cluttered house or being hungry-which is painful and strangely cathartic. Because once you are aware of your triggers, you can work on managing or controlling them.

Because once you are aware of your triggers, you can work on managing or controlling them.

There are even tracking sheets provided in the back of the book to help you get started. Realizing YOU are the problem (and not your kids being kids!) is a tough to stomach, yet necessary.

Each day has some clever advice in the “Today’s Tips”, like changing your password to reflect your goal-“yelllesslovemore”- and meaningful tips that actually work, like posting inspiring quotes (on orange sticky notes) or posting pictures of your children as babies around the house, which was perfect for me since I’m a very visual person. The book is filled with advice that will appeal to a wide range of personalities-it is definitely not a one size fits all approach, and she encourages you to find solutions that will work for you (I found that jumping in the kiddie pool was a perfect way to cool off and stop a yell!) It’s not the type of book you never want to open again once you have finished, and I’ve actually gone back and reread some of the chapters or flipped through for the tips for desperately needed ideas.

I wholeheartedly recommend Sheila’s book, “Yell Less, Love More,” to anyone struggling to stop the yelling. It seems yelling is the unspoken shame among many parents, and whenever I open up to other moms, my confession is always met with great relief that they are not alone. I definitely needed help to stop yelling at my kids, which is not something I’m proud of, but I am proud to be making a change, and this book has been instrumental in helping me implement that change. And it’s not just about stopping yelling, it’s about changing your whole outlook on life-and loving more.

November 1st BC ImagePre-order “Yell Less, Love More” by clicking here!

Curious in getting daily support from The Orange Rhino and a loving community? Join the “Yell Less, Love More 30-Day Challenge Book Club!” Read all about it here! 

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Thank you Suzanne for such a beautiful piece, truly!  

 

NEW DATE for “Yell Less, Love More” 30-Day Challenge Book Club

Oh the irony. Oh, oh, OH the irony.

Before I took The Orange Rhino Challenge, there were several things that triggered me to yell unnecessarily at my kids. Okay, like a lot more than several but I am going to just focus on a few here. I will leave the rest for a rainy day.

Anywho, early on my journey to go 365 days straight without yelling at my four boys, I realized that 9 out of 10 times (an unscientific statistic by the way but I am sure it is accurate) I yelled at my boys not because of their behavior, but because of my mood. Feelings of exhaustion, P.M.S., stress, hurt, embarrassment, and insecurity would linger in my body for hours on end leaving my mind unable to think as clearly, proactively and peacefully as I wanted. These negative feelings would simply overtake my mind and squash my ability to respond to my boys in a positive manner.

I would be amiss if I didn’t also mention two other big feelings that frequently got in my way of yelling less and loving more: feeling disappointed when things didn’t go as expected and feeling anxious from not knowing about how current challenges would play out.

Ah yes, my dear friends Disappointed and Anxious.

I am fairly certain these two friends of mine were the leaders of the feelings that triggered me to yell unnecessarily at my kids. They seemed to always pop up the most. Disappointed that I hadn’t lost as much weight as planned. Disappointed that I didn’t get as much done as I wanted. Disappointed that it rained during our entire beach vacation. Anxious about my son’s health and which doctor to select. Anxious about how fast my husband and I would make up from that morning’s fight. Anxious about whether or not I would fit in with all the new people I met in my new town. Oh Disappointed and Anxious, you sure held me back and held my relationship with my kids back. I would even gander to say that you two were definitely on the top of my “triggers” list.

Thankfully, enter The Orange Rhino Challenge!

As soon as I learned that these two BIG emotions, as well as others, were putting me in a cranky space that made me quick to snap and yell, I forced myself to learn how to take control of them so that they would no longer take control of me!

As soon as I learned that these two BIG emotions, as well as others, were putting me in a cranky space that made me quick to snap and yell, I forced myself to learn how to take control of them so that they would no longer take control of me! Now when one of these emotions rears it’s ugly head and my mind wants to spew out ugly and loud words at my boys, I say to myself, “Self, you aren’t angry at the kids you are disappointed at …..” Re-directing my anger to where it belongs helps me re-focus on my main goal: yelling at my kids less and loving my time with them more!

Which brings me to the main point of this post, the irony of the current situation.
The lack-of-books-being-in-your-house-as-planned-situation.
The lack-of-books-being-in-book-stores-situation.
The “Yell Less, Love More 30-Day Challenge Book Club” is-supposed-to-start-in-two-days-situation.

Well, I do regret to inform you that the books are delayed and will not be released October 15th as planned but rather on November 1st.

This is by no fault of my Publisher or anyone for that matter; it is simply something that happened beyond anyone’s control and fortunately had a non-tragic ending.

Some of you may have seen in the news that there was a horrible fire in Los Angeles at one of the ports not too long ago. Thankfully, no one was majorly injured! And thankfully, the huge order of my books was in a container on a ship in the Pacific Ocean, waiting patiently to get to me, to us, and it was also unharmed. As were many, many, many other products that were destined for Los Angeles. The fire kept the port from functioning for numerous days pushing back the arrival of every single item that was hanging out in the sea, taking in the sun, listening to the waves.

I am not going to lie, when I first heard this story and the kicker that therefore the October 15th date was in jeopardy, I wanted to yell! Oh man was I cranky! I had worked so hard to be ready for that date and I felt wicked disappointed. And I am not going to lie that I felt massively disappointed and massively anxious when I learned that even though the books did get into Los Angeles earlier than planned and even though they got really, REALLY close to making the October 15th publication date, they didn’t. I felt disappointed because I had been waiting for October 15th like a little girl waiting for Christmas and then it came and it wasn’t Christmas. And even though I know my books will arrive and I will have my “Christmas morning” feelings of “oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh, it is really happening!!!” I still felt a wee bit let down last Wednesday. And Thursday. And Friday. And Saturday. And Sunday. And today when nope, still no books!

Which of course, just left me feeling anxious. Anxious that maybe even the November 1st date won’t be met and that I will (1) further frustrate people, (2) feel more disappointed, and (3) will have to re-schedule the Book Club, again, because, yes, that is what I need – no want – to do. We’ll get to that in a moment.

So here I am waiting for my book about how to Yell Less and two of my main yelling triggers, feeling Disappointed and Anxious, are in full effect! Oh the irony! And oh the gift! Because guess what? I am feeling wicked disappointed and anxious and my ability to remain an Orange Rhino is being massively tested, but, and this is a big BUT, I have not yelled! I have not let those feelings control me; I am in control of them. I might not be in control of when my books arrive but I am control of how I choose to manage my own emotions!

November 1st BC ImageAnd I am in control of when The “Yell Less, Love More 30-Day Challenge Book Club” takes place! Which by the way, will now start on NOVEMBER 1, 2014 and go through NOVEMBER 30th.

This is where the irony of the situation gets even better. At first I was bummed to push it back but then I realized that Thanksgiving and the day after fall on the most, most, MOST perfect of days in my book. On those two days I share a Thanksgiving story (I kid you not!) and I share a story about how I keep from yelling during meal time (um Thanksgiving meal with lots of people squished around a table is a huge challenge for my boys!). The timing is actually PERFECT!

So it is all going to be okay, in fact, I am glad things worked out this way. At least now I have gained back two of the weeks I lost to my shoulder injury this fall. At least now more of you have a chance to join in what I believe is going to be an awesome experience. At least you all now can take advantage of the lower prices the online sites are offering pre publication. At least I have the chance to look forward to another date! My excited feelings of anticipation just got a two week extension. Sweet!

Ah, the power of perspective!

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we wait for my “Yell Less, Love More” books to find their way to you. I have confirmation that as of today, they have indeed made it to most of the large book sellers so all signs are looking positive that you will indeed all have your books by November 1st (assuming you live in The United States) if not sooner!

Let’s all send positive vibes to my book – and to other Authors whose books are still stuck at sea and are even more delayed than I am! Again, the power of perspective!

For more information about The Book Club, read the entire post here or read below for the highlights!

Looking forward to Yelling Less and Loving More with you!

All my best,
The Orange Rhino
a.k.a. Sheila
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Everyday in the “Yell Less, Love More Book Club” I will:

  • Do daily giveaways of items that can support you on your journey, such as Orange Rhino bracelets, keychains, stressballs, notebooks, coffee mugs, nail polish, and more!
  • Share additional inspirational quotes that reflect the book’s theme of the day.
  • Offer additional stories and details that further expand on the book’s theme of the day.
  • Answer as many questions as I possibly can! (I have no idea how big this will be!)
  • Work to help you all connect with each other and meet like-minded Orange Rhinos facing similar challenges or living in a nearby location.
  • Continue to develop other community boards that reflect the needs you all share in the book club!

Every day in the “Yell Less, Love More Book Club” you will:

  • Read posts by others that make you feel less alone and more hopeful
  • Find other Orange Rhinos that share the same yelling challenges as you, giving you more personalized information/stories to help you on your journey.
  • Build the necessary support network to succeed at learning to yell less
  • And much more I am sure!

How can you join? As all book clubs go, I will lead the days’ discussions based on the content in the book. So, understandably, you need the book to participate! My sincere hope is that the combination of the book content and the enhanced support and conversation on the community will truly help make your journey to “Yell Less, Love More” both easier and enjoyable! Ready to start your journey?

  • Email me your proof of purchase (pre-order or regular order) at YellLessLoveMore@gmail.com
  • I will reply before November 1st with a temporary code for you to use to login into the Private Community. You will then create your own password. Every day, at least once, I will add a new post to the Community. Check in throughout the day for my posts as well as comments from others!
  • The club will officially start November 1st and go through November 30th – overlapping with American Thanksgiving. This was planned! I imagine that you will be Thankful that you met new people, Grateful that you pushed yourself to change, and happy that you Discovered that you could indeed “Yell Less, Love More” (NOTE: Many sites say November 1 for the release date but I have strong reason to believe ;) that pre-orders will be arriving by November 1st! If not, we will adjust the date!!)
  • Pre-order the book today to make sure you have it by November 1st! You can find it at any one of your favorite online resources for books! Here is a list of a few: www.theorangerhino.com/the-book

 

 

I Will Never Look at the Color Orange The Same Again!

TORC_logo_blogTour3-2This guest post is part of the “Yell Less, Love More” Book Blog Tour. I am honored to have Carrie write this and impressed with her courage to share her story. Thanks Carrie!

I WILL NEVER LOOK AT THE COLOR ORANGE THE SAME WAY AGAIN!
by Carrie G.

Yelling was just a common occurrence growing up. I guess I never thought that much about it until I had children of my own. When I had my children, I told myself I would raise them differently then I was raised. I would do better in all the areas my parents struggled, like not yelling at my children. Then the stresses of daily life happen and you find yourself falling into some of those same parenting patterns. You do what you know until you know better. I have yelled at my children and afterword felt frustrated and sad. Shortly after an outburst I would apologize, but my guilty feelings would still be there. This was a part of my childhood I didn’t want my two boys to experience.

It was February 2013 when I first stumbled upon “The Orange Rhino 30 Day Challenge to Yell Less and Love More” blog. I was making my usual rounds on Pinterest and saw a bright orange rhino with little pink birds resting on it’s back. It was definitely the color of the pin that first caught my eye. After visiting the blog and reading posts about the upcoming challenge, I thought I am up for this challenge. So later that week I signed up for the 30 day challenge. The first few days of the challenge were enlightening. I was learning about myself, what triggered my yelling, and tips to help me not to yell. I started becoming mindful of these triggers and how my occasional outbursts affected my children.

The challenge was going rather well until day 22. I just lost it and yelled. I know what triggered my yelling, little sleep the night before and a lot of “kids being kids”. I can’t remember what I even yelled about, but I knew how awful I felt looking at my teary-eyed boys. It wasn’t their fault I was tired.

I just lost it and yelled. I know what triggered my yelling, little sleep the night before and a lot of “kids being kids”. I can’t remember what I even yelled about, but I knew how awful I felt looking at my teary-eyed boys. It wasn’t their fault I was tired.

 Later that evening, I visited The Orange Rhino blog. I wanted to say thank you to “The Orange Rhino” for her encouraging words and great ideas. I wanted to ask her if I should restart the 30 day challenge, because I felt like I failed. So I emailed her and told her about my slip and how horrible I felt. How I so badly wanted to not yell anymore. Never did I expect to see an email from “The Orange Rhino” the next day. Sheila wrote this great email to me encouraging me to keep going.
Here is a snippet of what it said:

“Please know that you are not alone and that you are doing awesome. The mere fact that you are aware and want to change is HUGE. So many people don’t ever get to that point. It takes courage. Good for you, truly. I hope today and tomorrow are going better. Take it one moment at a time, that is all we can do. You will get there because you care and are determined. I can tell.”

Her kind words and knowing that I wasn’t being judged, but instead encouraged to keep trying is why I know Sheila McCraith’s book, ” Yell Less, Love More” can help anyone. It’s a wonderful, relatable parenting book with real stories from a real mother who struggled with her own yelling issues.

What I love about McCraith’s book:

** This is a real person’s experience with honest stories that took courage to disclose to others. McCraith shares her worse moments with you and it helps you know you are not alone.

** “Yell Less, Love More” is loaded with so many tips and ideas that can be adapted to fit any family.

** I love how McCraith intertwines her stories and advice with logic and humor… We all need a little humor.

** McCraith’s book has a lot of great advice packed into a little more than 200 pages… Good for anyone short on time.

No one can predict what each day has in store. Everyday I do my best to not yell. Some days are more challenging than others. “Yell Less, Love More” has helped me tremendously and I know it can help anyone who wants to be an even better parent.

One of my favorite revelations from “Yell Less, Love More”:

“Being an Orange Rhino isn’t about perfection; it’s about yelling less and loving more, one moment at a time, so that there are more loving moments in a child’s life than angry moments, so that the scale is tipped heavily toward love.” 

Being an Orange Rhino isn’t about perfection; it’s about yelling less and loving more, one moment at a time, so that there are more loving moments in a child’s life than angry moments, so that the scale is tipped heavily toward love. ~ The Orange Rhino, “Yell Less, Love More”

I think that quote says it all!

Thank you Sheila McCraith a.k.a The Orange Rhino!
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Thank you Carrie! For anyone who wants to pre-order the book so that you can participate in our “Yell Less, Love More” 30-Day Challenge Book Club (details here), you can do so here. Also, anyone who comments about this post on Facebook will be entered for a free copy of my book! 

“Yell Less, Love More” 30-Day Challenge Book Club!

When I started The Orange Rhino Challenge in 2012, I felt excited to change yet equally (more so?) ashamed that I had to change. As such, even though I very much wanted to share about my Challenge and knew that I needed to in order to get the support I knew I needed to succeed, I still hesitated to tell people. I would get the courage to tell someone or to post a new blog entry and then BAM! I would feel a pit in my stomach. Fear would take over and either my mouth or fingers would pause as my brain started freaking out!

What would be said when I shared that I promised my boys that I would go 365 days straight without yelling at them? Would I be ridiculed? Laughed at? Questioned? Lectured?

What would be said when I shared that I promised my boys that I would go 365 days straight without yelling at them? Would I be ridiculed? Laughed at? Questioned? Lectured? Or, what would be said when I wrote about a personal experience with yelling, would my capability as a mother be examined? Would I be insulted? Humiliated even more?

But after sharing about my Challenge a handful of times, I quickly realized that my fears were unfounded. Thankfully, the judgment never really came! Sure I received an occasional questioning eye and a fake encouraging response, but for the most part, I received nothing short of positive, enthusiastic, and genuine support. This gave me the confidence to more readily share my “dark secret” and about my journey. As a result, I created an even larger group of people supporting me, keeping me accountable, and ultimately helping me to succeed as an Orange Rhino who went 520 days straight without yelling!

Could I have succeeded without having to share my “dark secret” and without having to risk feeling more ashamed than I already did? Sure. We can all do things alone. But as Betty Ford so perfectly put, and as I so wonderfully experienced, “You can make it, but it’s easier if you don’t have to do it alone.” CURLY BRACKETS TOI want your journey to “Yell Less, Love More” to be easier for you too! I want you to succeed on your own Orange Rhino Challenge so that you yell less at yourself for being a bad parent, but instead experience what I have: enjoying my life more and finally feeling better about myself as a person and as a parent. Now, I obviously can’t make your journey easier by magically making all of your triggers go away and magically making your kids listen to you the first time, but I can make it easier by guaranteeing you a loving, understanding, non-judgmental, “hands-on-I-tried-this-and-it-worked-give-it-a-try” support! Enter the “Yell Less, Love More 30-Day Challenge Book Club!” Starting November 1st, I will lead a private, online virtual book club via The Orange Rhino Challenge community.

November 1st BC ImageEveryday in the “Yell Less, Love More Book Club” I will:

  • Do daily giveaways of items that can support you on your journey, such as Orange Rhino bracelets, keychains, stressballs, notebooks, coffee mugs, nail polish, and more!
  • Share additional inspirational quotes that reflect the book’s theme of the day.
  • Offer additional stories and details that further expand on the book’s theme of the day.
  • Answer as many questions as I possibly can! (I have no idea how big this will be!)
  • Work to help you all connect with each other and meet like-minded Orange Rhinos facing similar challenges or living in a nearby location.
  • Continue to develop other community boards that reflect the needs you all share in the book club!

Every day in the “Yell Less, Love More Book Club” you will:

  • Read posts by others that make you feel less alone and more hopeful
  • Find other Orange Rhinos that share the same yelling challenges as you, giving you more personalized information/stories to help you on your journey.
  • Build the necessary support network to succeed at learning to yell less
  • And much more I am sure!

How can you join? As all book clubs go, I will lead the days’ discussions based on the content in the book. So, understandably, you need the book to participate! My sincere hope is that the combination of the book content and the enhanced support and conversation on the community will truly help make your journey to “Yell Less, Love More” both easier and enjoyable! Ready to start your journey?

  • Email me your proof of purchase (pre-order or regular order) at YellLessLoveMore@gmail.com
  • I will reply with a temporary code for you to use to login into the Private Community. You will then create your own password. Every day, at least once, I will add a new post to the Community. Check in throughout the day for my posts as well as comments from others!
  • The club will officially start November 1st and will end November 30th – overlapping with American Thanksgiving! This was planned! I imagine that you will be Thankful that you met new people, Grateful that you pushed yourself to change, and happy that you Discovered that you could indeed “Yell Less, Love More” (NOTE: Many sites say November 1 for the release date but I have strong reason to believe ;) that pre-orders will be arriving by November 1st! If not, we will adjust the date!!)
  • Pre-order the book today to make sure you have it by November 1st! You can find it at any one of your favorite online resources for books! Here is a list of a few: www.theorangerhino.com/the-book

I am really excited to do another online 30-Day Challenge as the past ones have brought people together, spread hope, and created change. Get ready to “Yell Less, Love More!” Note: If you have already participated in one of my 30-Day Challenges, this will be different as the content and approach in the book are different. And well, now I actually have a real book where you can easily keep track of actions, take notes, and get printouts without having to print them out!

An Inspiring and Realistic Program for the Busy Parent who Wants to “Yell Less, Love More”

TORC_logo_blogTour3-2An Inspiring and Realistic Program for the Busy Parent Who Wants to “Yell Less, Love More”

Book Review and Blog Post by Melissa L.

As a mother of four young boys, Sheila McCraith found herself becoming the parent she never wanted to be: one who privately struggled with yelling at her own children. After a humiliating experience where she was overheard by another adult during a yelling episode, McCraith started her journey to becoming an Orange Rhino by starting her own personal 365-day challenge to stop yelling at her children. Along the way, she documented her experiences, personal revelations, and strategies on her internet blog titled “The Orange Rhino Challenge, My 365-Day Challenge to Yell Less and Love More.” McCraith developed the Orange Rhino as a symbol for her challenge; she explains that a rhino is a peaceful animal that, when provoked, displays aggressive behavior and charges. The color orange, symbolized warm and loving energy. On her blog, as well as in her book, McCraith provides many examples of how she uses the color orange as a visual reminder to curb her yelling and to use appropriate coping strategies. The blog took a life of its own as it resonated with many parents who found themselves struggling to curb their own yelling issues. This led McCraith to writing a book that offers struggling parents a doable 30-day program that offers realistic strategies on coping with anger and stress while parenting their children.

McCraith’s book, “Yell Less, Love More” is not a thick novel that parents have to spend hours pouring through before considering a program with the goal of yelling less at their children and building better, loving, and positive relationships with them.   An approximately 200-page book, it is laid out in an easy to read format with chapters broken down into daily sections that are not long; averaging about four pages, which is perfect for the parent who can spare five to ten minutes to read per day. Each section has a theme of the day, starting with a personal experience provided by McCraith that most parents will certainly relate to, and the section ends with the day’s revelations that provide a way for the parent to become more aware of their own anger issues and reactions. In addition to providing revelations at the end of each section, McCraith also provides action strategies, and tips of the day for the parent to use in order to develop better anger management and coping skills. In various sections, McCraith provides opportunities for the parent to journal their thoughts, feelings, and emotions as well as trigger tracking sheets at the end of the book. The book’s pages are attractive and colorful in fuchsia and two shades of orange which is consistent with McCraith’s Orange Rhino symbol.

Instead of doing McCraith’s daunting 365-day challenge, this book offers a flexible 30-day program that the parent can use as a guide.   The program is flexible; the parent can choose to proceed with it however they want. They can reset the yell counter back to Day Zero if they yell OR just stop the counter on the day they yelled and restart after a successful day. Also, it does not have to be a rigid 30-day program; some parents can just read through the book or just review the revelations, action strategies, and tips at the end of each section to gain ideas of how to manage their anger and stress. Other parents can choose to read each section on a daily basis if they want to follow a structured 30-day program.

I discovered McCraith’s blog through another parenting self-help blog and as a parent who struggled daily to curb the yelling, I was immediately inspired by the personal experiences that she shared as well as the strategies she used to yell less.  As I read about her experiences and sharing of her own painful emotions when yelling at her children, I felt like I was reading about myself.   The various revelations she provided at the end of each section were common sense observations which resonated with me, especially the revelation she made about parents who tend to avoid yelling at their children in public because there was an audience watching, but the most important audience were the ones inside of our very homes: our children who are the very things we love the most. We are their role models and we need to show them appropriate behaviors that we want them to use. I believe many parents will find this an easy book to relate to and be able to use many of the easy, common sense strategies and tips that are offered to help them “Yell Less, Love More.”

“Yell Less, Love More: How The Orange Rhino Mom Stopped Yelling at Her Kids–and How You Can Too!” releases October 15th but is available now for pre-order! Click here to pre-order it at your favorite store! 

 

I Had to Break the Yelling Cycle

TORC_logo_blogTour3-2

 

This guest post is part of my “Yell Less, Love More” blog book tour. In addition to several randomly selected bloggers, I randomly selected several Orange Rhinos without blogs to review my book and share their “yelling” story here. This courageous post by Joanne P., a mother to four young children, is her story about how she came to be an Orange Rhino. 

 

I Knew I Had to Break the Yelling Cycle, but Never Knew it Was Possible. Bring on The Orange Rhino!
by Joanne P.

Used with permission from Joanne P.

(c) Joanne P.

My name is Joanne and my story began many years ago…well 1980 to be exact. I was born into a very passionate family. I think passionate is the kind way to say we dealt with our emotions by yelling, slamming doors, stomping feet and getting angry. Mean things were said, not because we didn’t love each other, but because we just didn’t know any other way. My folks divorced when I was 8 years old and that didn’t help things. As I struggled to figure out what was going on when I was a kid, I continued to grow into a very independent, strong willed “I can do everything on my own”, fiery young woman. Now some of those qualities can be good, but the way I was walking through life was tough. I didn’t know how to ask for help and my first reaction to things not going “right”was to yell, say mean things and fly off the handle. I lost some friends along the way and it’s a miracle I have a good relationship with my sister now!

In 2003, I started dating my husband, Mike. By the grace of God that man stuck around even when I threw things during arguments!! Yup, I did that. Ugh! It was in this relationship that I first began my journey to calm down. I didn’t know then that I was taking the first baby steps to Yelling Less and Loving More…but it had started. Communication with my then boyfriend was key, we talked ALOT (still do)!! He asked me to marry him in 2005 and we were married in 2006! In 2007 we welcomed the first of our four kids into our lives! Little did I know then that becoming a Mom would bring up a lot of my old ways. Why was it so easy to yell at a toddler?? Why was it so easy for me to get all red faced and scare the daylights out of my son?? I didn’t know how to answer those questions in my first year of motherhood or even my second and third years.

A few more years passed and I now had two little boys. For several months I hadn’t been feeling good about the way I was reacting to my kids, I couldn’t put my finger on what was wrong or what I could do, it was those closed door moments in my house when a kid wouldn’t go to nap, bedtime horrors, a toddler that wouldn’t eat or put a jacket on when it was 10 below zero outside. It was those moments that I was so quick to react, yell, and say mean things. I knew it all had to change, but didn’t know how. To be honest I can’t even remember now how I managed to stumble onto The Orange Rhino website. I have tried hard to remember, but I now know that I was just supposed to find it! In January 2013 I signed up for The Orange Rhino 30 Day Email Challenge. Who knew then that those first 30 days would change my life so dramatically!!

(c) Joanne P.

(c) Joanne P.

I worked through each day from the daily emails. Writing down all my thoughts, owning my yelling, discovering my triggers and learning what I could do to stop yells before they started! I remember thinking at the time that this challenge would make such a great book!!! How awesome would it be to reach millions of Mom’s and Dad’s and help them discover a path to Yelling Less and Loving More! Well, Sheila was already on that!!

Now we are here on the cusp of her Book launch and I have had the privilege to read and review her book for you all! What an honor!!

Here is what I love about this book first and foremost!! It is like talking to Sheila in person. Like sharing those down and dirty parenting secrets with your best friend. Those secrets you would never share at book club or bible study because they make you feel that embarrassed! In Sheila’s book, Yell Less Love More, you get to take that journey with her in a safe no guilt place! This isn’t about making ourselves feel bad about what we have done, it’s about discovering ourselves and learning a new way to walk through our days with our kids, our spouses and ourselves! It is brilliant!

Here are some of my favorite things about the book:

  • Easy to follow daily chapters! Day 1, Day 2 etc.. They are not too long and can easily be read over morning coffee or an evening glass of wine ;)
  • All the awesome quotes from the email challenge, Facebook page and new ones to help you along the way. I have always loved the inspirational quotes. I like writing them down and putting them up around the house!
  • All the personal stories from Sheila!! She has a knack for sharing her story and helping to make you feel and know that you are NOT alone!
  • Love Love Love the daily places to write things down and tips for going forward. This is a practical book, not just something you will read but a place that you can journal too! What a great way to commit to new ways of doing things and put them into practice.
  • All the things we have loved from the blog…like the Alternatives to Yelling and Triggering Tracking Sheet!! It is all there in one place! You even get your own Orange Rhino to cut out and use for signs!!
(c) Joanne P.

(c) Joanne P.

This book will not only help everyone feel like they are not alone, but it will help each of us own our past, look to the future with tips and alternatives to our struggles and lead us to a path of Yelling Less and Loving our families more! Some of the benefits I have seen in my family are not even things that I do, but how my kids deal with their relationships with each other. They have their own trigger phrases that I hear them say out loud when they are getting mad and it is unbelievable to me how I can see that by teaching myself new ways to deal with stress and yelling triggers, I am at the same time teaching my kids that too!! What a gift! We are breaking the cycle! No longer will my kids yell just because their Mom did!

In my almost two year journey, there have been great successes and major set backs. I have two more kids now than I had when I started the challenge, which means that even today I still have to work hard at being an Orange Rhino. My daughter sure knows how to push buttons and is a master at the grocery store scream!! You guys know the one I am talking about!!!

Thanks to Sheila and The Orange Rhino community I always have a place to share and learn and grow! This book and this community is all about building each other up and growing in love!

Thank you Sheila for sharing your story and helping so many of us become Orange Rhino’s! I think I can say on behalf of the whole Orange Rhino Community…..THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!! THANK YOU, from the bottom of our HEARTS!

Now everyone…..GO BUY THIS BOOK!!! It will change your life!! You can pre-order it here!
Love ~ Joanne

 

My Cockiness Made Me Yell at My Kids

Happy Sunday all! Today I re-learned a crucial lesson I learned on The Orange Rhino Challenge. It’s a lesson that would have been wicked super to have remembered at 6 am this morning. Enjoy! P.S. I am really good at figuring out a better blog post title AFTER I finish. And I am really NOT good at adding said title into the video after the fact. Oh well ;)

4 Ways Not Yelling Helped me Manage my Shoulder Injury (For Real.)

Hi everyone! So I hurt my shoulder pretty bad and haven’t been able to write much for that reason (and a few other big ones. Check out my last post. I had to write that and my shoulder was fairly pissed with me afterwards.) Anyway, I have a lot on my mind and a lot of things I want to share so I decided to get creative, to find a new way. Here it is: my first video blog! It isn’t professional or edited or planned, just me being me. Enjoy!

The Truth Is…I’m Terrified.

I learned on my Orange Rhino Challenge journey to stop yelling that if I ignore feelings, especially the ugly ones, they bottle up which stresses me out which triggers me to yell (or want to yell.) So while you might think this post has nothing to do with yelling, it actually has everything to do with yelling. Here are some ugly feelings I have had that I need to get out before a yell does. 

So…as many of you have noticed, I have been basically radio silent for the last three weeks. The first of those I was on vacation and pushed myself to really detach from everything so that I could really enjoy the last week of summer with my family at my favorite place: the beach. Even though two kids visited the emergency room (horrific rash and popped ear drum) it was still a wonderful, beautiful, peaceful week. Sunrise

We returned the Saturday before Memorial Day. We returned tan, rested, happy and rejuvenated. Then Memorial Day happened and well, Memorial Day kind of sucked in our house.

As many of you know from the first year of my Orange Rhino Challenge, my youngest son (#4) suffered from intense seizures from age 14 months to age 18 months. (read here) Thankfully, a brain MRI showed no brain tumor.

Party at my crib! 9:00, 2+ hours past bedtime!

Party at my crib! 9:00, 2+ hours past bedtime!

And thankfully his in-hospital tests two weeks before Christmas that year showed no signs of epilepsy. On February 6, 2013, the day I celebrated one year yell-free, he had another seizure, the worst one to date. The medicine to stop it didn’t even work. He didn’t come to until he received oxygen at the hospital. Thankfully, a few days later, we discovered what we believed to be the source of the seizures: black mold underneath the cabinets where all his toys were stored. We immediately removed the black mold. Since then, #4 had high fevers but never again had a seizure. A coincidence? We thought not. Oh how we felt certain that there was a correlation between the two and that since the black mold was gone, his seizure history was well, history. In fact, this past February 6, 2014, we celebrated one-year seizure free.

I am sure many of you recall my emotional post about how I just couldn’t stop crying that day (read here.) I felt such, such relief to have the, what were determined to be, febrile seizures behind us. I felt like I could breathe again. That I could go out without my phone attached to my hip for fear a seizure would strike and I would have to rush home. I felt that I didn’t have to watch him as closely on the jungle gym out of fear that he would have a seizure while playing. I felt that I could turn off the video monitor during nights when he had high fevers because I felt positive he wouldn’t have a seizure. I felt that I could finally stop worrying, or well, at least worry less because I am a mom and I will always worry.

And I felt that I could leave my fears behind.

My fears of watching him have another dreadful seizure. My fears of him seizing in his sleep (again!) and choking to, well, you know. My fears that I would somehow miss the signals of an oncoming seizure and therefore not be able to stop it in time (like the last one.)

Oh, oh it felt so great to leave all those fears behind. So much so that on the Sunday before Memorial Day, a few days shy of 19 months seizure free, I turned to my husband as I put medicine away and said, “Hey babe, #4’s emergency seizure medicine is past date and so we can throw it out, don’t you think?” Yes, oh yes was I certain we wouldn’t need it. And yet, the cruelest, ironic, surreal, unbelievable moment occurred not 19 hours later.

#4 had a seizure.
An absolutely awful, horrific, seizure.
The worst to date on so many, many levels.

Per #4’s request, I put him down for a nap at noon. What three year old asks for a nap?! He felt warm so I took his temperature but the thermometer said 99.6. And well since he hadn’t had a seizure with fever in 19 months, I didn’t think twice. I didn’t even think about it over the next two hours for the other boys were out with my husband and I had the house, the peaceful, quiet house, alllll to myself. It was a guilty pleasure and I embraced it whole-heartedly. In fact, so much so that two hour nap window passed rather quickly. I looked at my watch, thought, “Hmmmm…he should be waking up, I’ll go get him.”

And I did go get him.
But he wasn’t waking up.
He was in a full-blown seizure.

Biting his tongue. Staring into the distance. Shaking on one side. Not responding when I said, “Mommy is here.” Not responding when I said his name. He had even peed himself which he has never done in a seizure. I normally respond calmly to such situations but not this one. It scared the crap out of me as it caught me so off guard. I called to my husband who had thankfully just arrived home and then called 911.

The police arrived five to seven minutes later and I immediately asked if they had oxygen as I knew that was what he needed to end the seizure. They did and they hooked him up to a tank right then and there. He continued seizing. Normally after the oxygen he snaps out of it. He didn’t. The paramedics arrived a few minutes later and #4 still wasn’t responding. By now, I estimate that he had been seizing at least fifteen minutes…or longer. The longer the seizure (even if febrile) the worse. It took another five minutes or so for him to come to. But when he did, oh, oh it wasn’t the same as the past seizures.

DSC_0054He still didn’t respond when I said his or my name. He couldn’t grab my hands and when I held his, he couldn’t squeeze. He didn’t turn towards me when I said, “Who loves you soooo much?” He didn’t do anything. His eyes were wide open and it was clear the seizure was over, but oh, oh the effects were strong, stronger than before. In fact, he didn’t talk for two hours after. He didn’t walk normally for at least a day. In the past, he was back to a crazy toddler within twenty minutes of snapping out of it.

Folks, there is no sugar coating it, it sucked. And to be honest, I blamed myself and I still kind of do. Why didn’t I check on him more? Why didn’t I stay with him? Why did I ignore the moan? Even though I know it wasn’t my fault, even though I know that I couldn’t have stopped the seizure, even though I know I did nothing wrong, I still blame myself. I would do anything to have made that seizure not happen, and not just because it was an intensely awful experience for my son, but because in the after effects, in the moments where he wasn’t himself, I felt, no truly, deeply feared, that I had lost a part of my child.

The rest of the week #4 suffered from a 105-degree fever and virus. We were on emergency room watch because not only wasn’t he eating or drinking, he was also quite lethargic and complaining of neck and head pain. It wasn’t a fun week. He has recovered from it all and is happily at pre-school, but I haven’t recovered. Because I know what is next.

This Wednesday I will take him back for more brain testing. There is a growing concern that because #4’s febrile seizures are so long and complex (mirroring that of a temporal lobe seizure) that he is in the small percentage of children for whom the febrile seizures aren’t the cause of, but rather a strong predictor of, epilepsy. As our pediatric neurologist said, “We need to know if he is going to have a seizure while playing by himself or in his sleep.” Yes, 4 out of 5 of his seizures have been in his sleep. How much does that suck?! Talk about scary.

It has taken me two weeks to share this because the seizure experience was so bad that I have been walking around in a state of denial for two weeks. So bad that I just feel numb. So bad that I am not even talking about it which really, is just not like me. I just don’t want to think about that moment, I don’t want to think about the fact that all my old concerns are now real and alive again. But they are. They very much are. I am back to the world of living on seizure alert, of worrying that another seizure will happen and that like #4′s past, the next one will be longer and more intense than the one prior. Even if his tests are clear Wednesday and show no signs of epilepsy, I now have another year ahead of me to be on alert. And that my friends, is immensely overwhelming and scary, for both of us. For all of us. And well, I am not even writing about the immensely overwhelming feelings I have about what if the tests aren’t clear?! What if he does have epilepsy? The truth is folks, I am terrified about it all, about having to live on alert again, about what the future tests hold. I know I “can’t” worry about the future, but gosh is that hard right now.

DSC_1194And yet, for the first time in two weeks, just from writing this post, I feel slightly more confident that I can handle it, I feel slightly less terrified. Yes, my mind just went to The Orange Rhino Challenge. How do you like that ;) A year not yelling seemed so daunting. But I did it. I survived it, I managed. How? I went moment by moment, day by day, and I did it with support. And that is what I will do now, here, in this situation. Moment by moment, day by day, I will celebrate being seizure free and I will seek support from friends, family, and doctors to get through this period. And we will get through it. We will. We will.