199 days without yelling, 166 days of loving more to go!
Dear Orange Rhinos,
I said it before and I’ll say it again. I am NOT an expert on how not to yell. I am not a therapist. I don’t have a background in childhood behavior. And I don’t read books and books on end telling me how not to yell. Nope, I have no credentials whatsoever on this topic. No extra letters next to my name, well except for M.O.M.M.Y. Mom On (a) Mission to Master (not) Yelling! On the eve of the 2nd Orange Rhino Challenge Day I thought I would share with you the top 50 things embarrassing, emotional, and well, outright obvious things I have done lately to “master” not yelling. Have a laugh with me, or at me, and maybe even be inspired to try not to yell too! Enjoy!
Fun Alternatives (Added bonus: you all end up laughing and new, better behavior is obtained!):
1) Play hide ‘n seek. You hide. They seek (a fun game can snap anyone out of it)
2) Put funny glasses on and “look” through their eyes (they laugh, you find empathy )
3) Give a High Five (The “slap” and touch of their hands slaps you out of desire to yell)
4) Try to do a somersault (makes you laugh and maybe even pee your pants. Nope. I have never had that problem after delivering 4 kids.)
5) Speak in a Robot voice (makes kids stop and look at you and wonder, who is she?!)
6) Start Playing with the kids or do what they are doing (makes you CHILL OUT and realize they are JUST kids and maybe they are on to something?)
7) Grab children and hug them (it just feels good all over for everyone!)
8) Start doing “crab walks” (entertaining and exercise releases good chemicals or something like that!)
9) Start coloring (calming and fun and wicked huge bonus: inspires kids to join you instead of punching each other
10) Bang a pot or pan (releases anger and gets kids involved in new activity)
11) Start running in place (adrenaline boost for you and kids who follow suit!)
12) Run over and tickle child you want to yell at (laughter does the body good)
13) Drop to the floor and pretend you are hurt (rest does wonders and makes kids come “attack you” I mean check you out with doctor’s kit.)
14) Go read 50 Shades of Grey (did I just write that?! Next subject. Blush. Blush.)
15) Whistle. Loudly. (helps you focus on breathing)
16) Hum. Even louder than whistle (really annoys kids and gets them to change from yelling to telling you to stop!)
17) Keep orange snacks in purse (chewing something is way better than yelling)
18) Pop some orange M&M’s into mouth (chocolate is a great mood changer)!
19) Eat frozen grapes and pretend kids are sleeping and the grapes are wine (okay, it’s a stretch but reaching into freezer snapped me out of my moods!)
20) Eat a carrot or an apple (fabulous way to crunch out stress and orange carrots great reminder of commitment not to yell!)
“Only if it is Safe to do so” Alternatives (which in my house is hardly ever):
21) Sit down and “watch” the circus to gain perspective and to laugh (wait is my house the only one like a circus?)
22) Put ear buds in and zone out to music for a minute (gain perspective, relax)
23) Close your eyes and put your head in hands in disbelief. Nope I have NEVER done this either. As if. (another chance to pull it together quietly and to laugh at yourself!)
24) Open a window or two or three and breathe in fresh air (kids laugh, is she a dog?!)
25) Close eyes and picture yourself on a beach, a really really really quiet beach where no one asks you to do something. Oh, and picture a daiquiri in hand and imagine waking up at 10. Or 11. Snap out of it Orange Rhino! You need to keep writing. Darnit…I was really happy in my happy place…
“Stress Relief” Alternatives (in other words, pretend you are at a spa):
26) Splash cold water on your face (snaps you right out of bad mood)
27) Put a warm wash cloth on your neck (ah…relaxation)
28) Light a candle, ideally an orange or pretty smelling one (gets kids attention…what are you doing? and relaxes your mood)
29) Use aromatherapy lotion on hands instead of slamming a door in frustration (massage and smell are relaxing)
30) Drink a glass of water. Resist the urge to throw it if annoying behavior is still going on! (cools you down and forces you to take a breath. Or two. )
31) Think how things could be worse (gain perspective. yes he’s on the table, but at least he isn’t swinging from the chandelier. Yet.)
32) Grab play-doh and squeeze really, really hard (don’t forget to share it when kids want it back!)
33) Go through yelling motions but don’t let voice out (shocks kids and yourself that you didn’t do it, releases endorphins from pride!)
“You’ll think I am cheesy” Alternatives:
34) Say out loud “Serenity Now.”
35) Say out loud “They are just kids and I love them.”
36) Say out loud “I want to love my kids more, not less.”
37) Call a family council meeting and have everyone sit criss- cross applesauce, decide on a new activity together. (forces kids to stop and think and therefore BE quiet, like in school.)
38) Look at TV and pretend there is a hidden camera. (fear of judgment will shove the yell right back down your throat…)
39) Smile (rumor has it if you fake it, you’ll feel it?! it’s worked wonders over here.)
40) Cry. Yup cry. Show your kids you are frustrated. (brings out empathy from kiddos)
41) Say positive thoughts out loud (forces you to see good and therefore to be kind)
42) Pull out family photo album (takes everyone to a happy, smiley place)
43) Tell your kids how you feel (gets concern and teaches them to express feelings!)
“I don’t know how to categorize” Alternatives:
44) Put a finger over mouth in shhh position (creates physical barrier to yelling)
45) Ring a bell like pre-school teachers (casts a magical spell on kids)
46) Look at this cheat sheet! (gives you ideas or makes you laugh?!)
47) If help is around, tag out. (gives you a well-deserved break!)
Preventive Alternatives (surround yourself with reminders that you don’t want to yell):
48) Paint your nails orange (reminds you every morning to be warm and composed and yes, I am this committed to this Challenge that I did this. What can I say, it was a hard week!)
49) Dress your kids in orange (a totally in your face reminder, great at big, busy, stressful public places)
50) Post pictures you love of kids in problem areas (forces you to fall in love all over again)
51) Drink from an Orange Straw (simply reminds you of the color orange, feelings of warmth!)
52) Log on to www.facebook.com/TheOrangeRhino when you feel the “yell” bubble rising (releases tension by typing, so long as you don’t break keyboard, and helps you find support).
So there you have it. 50 new things I have done in addition to the other 50 I did in the first 100 days (read here). It hasn’t been easy. WHOA NO it hasn’t been. But it’s been worth all the hard work and patience and creativity because my kids are worth it. They deserve me to try my best to treat them with more love and less yelling!
I hope you got a good laugh and are inspired to join me tomorrow for just one day of not yelling. Join me in the 2nd Orange Rhino Challenge day on Wednesday August 29th!
For more details on The Orange Rhino Challenge click here. For more details on what The Orange Rhino is click here. For how to participate in the Challenge tomorrow and help contribute to Habitat for Humanity…click here or read below!
How to Participate in The 2nd Orange Rhino Challenge Day on WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29, 2012
1) Get 3-5 friends to take this ONE DAY challenge with you by sharing this blog post and making a pact to do it together.
2) “Post” your name to show your participation and so people beyond your friends can support you! On the morning of August 29th check in one of four ways:
– Post at The Orange Rhino Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/TheOrangeRhino)
– Comment on Thursday mornings Blog Post at www.TheOrangeRhino.com
– Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
– Tweet me at ORchallenge.
At the end of the day, Post AGAIN to say how the day went. For every participant I will donate $1.00 to Habitat for Humanity up to $200. Read here for explanation!
3) Increase your Support Network by Changing your FB Profile picture to The Orange Rhino Challenge
4) Find Support and Give Support all day by logging on to your method of communication.
5) Read some of these posts to inspire you to succeed and to give you ideas on how to!
http://theorangerhino.com/the-challenge-details/ (definition of yelling per this challenge)
http://theorangerhino.com/why-i-yelled-at-my-kids/ (big inspiration to try)
http://theorangerhino.com/50-alternatives-to-yelling-at-your-kids/ (ideas on how not to yell)
http://theorangerhino.com/orange-rhino-mommy/ (my favorite source of help not yelling) http://theorangerhino.com/you-never-know/ (inspirationto try)
http://theorangerhino.com/why-the-big-tears/ (way not to yell, inspiration)
***Check back in tomorrow night for a new 50 alternatives to yelling!
It’s that simple. Take a chance. You might just surprise yourself. I know I did!
“You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi