The Orange Rhino Challenge App!

I know how cruddy it feels to classify oneself as a “parent who yells way too much” and I just don’t want you to feel that anymore because I know how great it feels to call oneself an “Orange Rhino Parent!” This is why I created all sorts of different tools to help you out on your journey to “Yell Less” like The Orange Rhino CommunityThe Orange Rhino store…The Orange Rhino Book, “Yell Less, Love More”…and now (drum roll please) The (new and improved) Orange Rhino Challenge App! I am super psyched about the App as it is a great complement to my book and it helps you do all the things that helped me stop yelling like…

Testing out all sorts of silly and unique ways to stay calm,
Talking positively to myself,
Tracking my progress visually,
Writing down when and why I yelled to determine my triggers,
Creating a plan for said triggers, and
Getting friends to support me in staying to said plan.

Oh, and did I mention it is free?! Yep, it is! It is only for iPhones right now but when we get enough interest and positive feedback, I will look into raising funds to create an Android version. Until then…here are some key screen shots of the App along with directions on how to best use the App.

Goal Complete– Daily Inspirational Quote
– Visual Goal Tracker: Set your own goal in the Goals page and select whether or not you want the graph to appear. The graph will always show your most recently achieved goal in the center (1 day included!) so that you constantly remember that you CAN indeed Yell Less because you have already done so! Also, once you successfully achieve your goal, The App will ask you if you want to go onto the next goal!
– Personal Mantra: Type in your own mantra that speaks to you and motivates you! Change it as frequently as you wish.
– Access to Settings: Three horizontal lines under the Rhino will take you to settings page where you can select daily tips, set an alarm, back date last yell.




Daily Tips      New Goal!


Journal– Traditional Journal:
“Write” out all your frustrations so that you don’t let the frustration out vis-a-vis a yell. Enter as many as you wish each day. Scroll through them to identify any patterns, also known as triggers. Tap on the arrow on right to make an entry.
– Trigger Tracking Journal:
Enter all triggers as you identify them as well as a potential solution. Make sure to tap on save afterwards to save changes!






Journal Entry   Trigger

– Stay in touch with my latest insights, stories, and tips by getting up-to-date posts from my Facebook page, Twitter Feed, and blog


Support– Get in touch immediately with your support network! Add up to five names from your phone’s contact list to your support list. When you want to yell, text or call them and get instant support!
– Connect with other Orange Rhinos by heading over to The Orange Rhino Community. Ask questions on how to handle a specific trigger. Ask for extra support. Read other posts and find hope that you can yell less and peace from knowing you are not alone! Find Orange Rhinos like you going through similar struggles.






Set Goal – Personalize your journey by picking the best goal for you. Make sure to select “Set Goal” to save your preferred goal.

– Determine how you want to monitor your success. Do you want just the days counter to appear or also a progress chart?
– Decide your rules for The Challenge. If you want to go a set number of days straight without yelling but you yelled, reset the counter…but don’t reset your determination or belief that you can do this!





Daily Tips– Daily Tips: Set a specific time (say, first thing in the morning?) to receive daily tips pushed out as notifications on your phone. Make sure to select “Set Time” to save your tip time.
– Backdate Last Yell: Capture every day you haven’t yelled by updating the date your Challenge successfully started.
– Set Custom Alarm: Set an alarm to go off at tough known moments with an Orange Rhino inspirational sound and a short message of support for yourself. (Note: You will not see a list of all of your saved alarms and at this point you can not upload your own sound…maybe in the future!)





photo 4   Backdate Yell
Please note: This screen shot of daily tips is old – you actually get tips, i.e. do pushups and not quotes! 

Daily Alarm   Short Alarm Message   Days of Alarm

To set alarms follow these steps in this specific order! (1) Tap on the “+” (2) Tap on Random Sound, select sound, press done (3) Type in short message (4) select “Repeat Options” to select all Days the alarm should go off (5) Select time (6) Tap “done.”

So there you have it – the basic layout and functionality of The Orange Rhino Challenge App! Just like parenting, my goal here wasn’t perfection, but rather progress and I continue to progress further developing this App and others. I hope you enjoy using The App as much as I enjoy looking at the screen shots and dream of using it (eh hem, I am an Android person!) You can download the app on iTunes

Happy Downloading!

“Yell Less, Love More” 30-Day Challenge Book Club Starts January 12th!

12When 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? 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 January 12th, I will lead a private, online virtual book club via The Orange Rhino Challenge community ( I have chosen this format because the community boards make it easy for you to:

  1. Connect and communicate with others
  2. Track your past entires
  3. Go back to days that really inspired you – or that you want to participate in
  4. Search for specific topics related to yelling (think online yelling encyclopedia)
  5. Privately post questions and receive nonjudgmental advice and loving support

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

  • 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 – a support network that will continue after the Challenge is over
  • And much more I am sure!

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

  • Share additional thoughts to support that day’s theme
  • Encourage connection (which really will help you succeed and not quit!) by posting discussion points
  • Respond to as many of you as I can, either on the board or privately via email
  • Post bonus inspirational quotes (time pending!)

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, picture of book, receipt, online confirmation) at If you remember, title the email Book Club so I can easily find it! If you don’t have the book yet, you can order it at any site listed here:
  • E-BOOKS count!!
  • I will reply with a temporary code for you to use to login into the Private Community (it might take a day or two!) You will then create your own password and change your login name if you wish. 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 January 12th and end on….February 14th, Valentine’s Day, the day of love!  Yes, this was totally planned! To allow people to catch up throughout the challenge, but also keep people focused, I will not post every day.
  • IF you did the last Book Club, then you do not need to send proof of purchase, just an email so that I can add you to the new forum (you will still have access to the old ones.)
  • You can start reading the book now if you want – or wait to read with us so you are at the same spot as others. If it were me, I would read the Introduction and then just flip through the rest to get a feel for the layout of the book and some of the questions.

I am really excited to do another online 30-Day Challenge as the past ones and the last book club 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!

15 Ways to Keep Your New Year’s Resolution to Stop Yelling at Your Kids

Orange Rhino YellingYou all know that in January 2012, I promised my four boys, then ages five and under, that I would go 365 days straight without yelling. I had just been caught yelling at them by the handyman and the disappointment in myself that I had become a yelling mom, a mom I so never thought I would be, coupled with the sheer embarrassment, pushed me to finally admit that enough was enough and that I needed to change.

After numerous starts and re-starts, I finally met my goal on February 6th, 2013 and well, I just kept going, and going. The upsides to not yelling, like less temper tantrums, tears (both my kids and mine,) and berating myself, along with more listening, enjoyable bedtimes, and laughter (just to name a few) made all the hard work so worth it that I had no desire to pull back my efforts! I have only had a few slip ups since that February day, but with new health concerns for my three year old, new parenting challenges and new personal struggles, I am finding that the increased level of stress is making it much harder, like, much, much harder, to respond calmly instead of yelling.

So, when December 31st rolled around, instead of sitting down to make a list of any new resolutions, I decided to make a list of reminders for how I could continue to succeed at my old resolution of not yelling at my kids. I hope my list helps you out as well because I know I am not the only parent struggling with this resolution!

Preventative Measures to Keep Yells From Growing in the First Place

  • Schedule a scream if you wake up on the wrong side of the bed or get a stressful phone call. Letting out a big ‘ole yell outside, in the garage, or into the closet relieves tension instantly and gets you to a less grumpy place.
  • My mom told me to rest because I needed to. Of course I said I didn't need to. I ended up not getting up for 2 hours. Mom was right - I needed the break! Loved this moment!

    My mom told me to rest because I needed to. Of course I said I didn’t need to. I ended up not getting up for 2 hours. Mom was right – I needed the break! Loved this moment!

    Take care of yourself. Prioritize sleep, exercise, me-time, and connecting with friends so that you are in a better place to combat personal things that can push you to yell like: hunger, exhaustion, feeling overwhelmed and experiencing any tough feeling of parenthood like loneliness or not-good-enough-ness.

  • Surround yourself with orange by sticking orange Post-It notes in oh-so-popular yelling areas and by wearing orange clothes so that everywhere you go you are reminded of your promise to be an Orange Rhino and not yell. That and well, orange gives off a warm and energizing vibe, a vibe desperately needed to keep yells away!
  • Laugh, talk and cuddle with the kids whenever you can because when you are all connected and regularly enjoying each other’s company, you all behave better! Seriously. Joyful moments breed joyful attitudes, remember that!

Tips to Stop a Growing Yell When Preventative Measures Don’t Cut it.

  • 279637_10150723865045004_5947675_oRe-tape newborn pictures that have fallen down off bedroom doors so that when naptime is a struggle or when some darling child needs one thousand and one cups of water to fall asleep, you are reminded how fragile your child was, and always will be, so that you are inspired to proceed with gentle and not harsh words.
  • Exercise to get your body, instead of your mouth, moving! Drop and do a push-up so you don’t yell a put down! Do jumping jacks so that you stop feeling so jumpy and irritated! Let the endorphins released from exercising (stretching included) bring you to a happier place.
  • Start vacuuming, scrubbing the floor, or wiping down counters to get the similar calm-down effect as exercise. Added bonuses? Also get a cleaner house, more sculpted arms and if vacuuming, a noise to drown of the yelling of the kids which you know can be a major trigger!
  • Say, “I love you sooooo much” so that the blatantreminder of how strongly you feel about one of your munchkins dampens the desire to yell. Saying “I love you” is like an elixir to stop yells, especially when it is said over and over again which lets be honest, will be necessary sometimes!
  • 72224_10150308214670004_6138642_nStare at a favorite picture in the room of you and the kiddo driving you nutso so that you focus on the positive memory you shared and not the current negative one you are experiencing. In other words, zone out for a minute so you don’t blow up for 10 minutes! Remember, if no picture can be found, staring at an inspirational quote or personal mantra also helps get you re-centered. One favorite mantra: “I can do this. I will not yell.”
  • Splash cold water on your face to cool down. Or put your head in the freezer, whichever. You know you can get hot when a yell starts to grow which can make you get irritated. And if you get irritated, then you will probably want to yell even more! And if you want to yell even more well…then literally cooling down is a lifesaver. Note: If you are in the car, open the window and put your head out like a dog. Just watch out for passing cars of course! Ha!
  • Find perspective by saying you are grateful for whatever annoying thing happened. For example, “I am grateful my son spilled his milk all over the floor because it meant he was trying to learn how to do it himself.” Or “I am grateful my son spilled his milk and not my coffee. That would have been a disaster.”
  • Sing out emotions or just sing for the heck of it because even though you have an awful voice, it gets attention! Plus, singing, “I am so angry I could yellll,” makes you laugh both at yourself at your kids (in a good way, of course) because their, “mom is a wicked awful singer” expressions are priceless.

Alternatives to Yelling When All Else Fails and a Yell is Inevitable.

  • Turn the yell into garbledegook (I am not sure that is even a word, but that is the entire point.) When a yell is literally on the way out and you are too late, jumble all the words and sounds up so that you sound ridiculous. This will not only stop the kids in their tracks, but it will also make us all laugh which is an instant mood changer. Likewise, talking like a robot or as if you have marshmallows in your mouth, also work.
  • Stress Ball 2Squeeze the nearest squeezable thing (and no, this definitely does not include kids!) Think Play-Doh, kitchen towel, cereal box, pillow, jacket, steering wheel, or seat of a chair. What also works is putting your hands in your back pockets and squeezing (the pockets that is, not your butt!)
  • Just let out a primal scream, but leave all words out. The reality is that sometimes it does feel good to scream; it just doesn’t feel good to yell negative sentiments at others. So if a yell is most definitely coming out, let it out but just save the words and aim it away from the kids. (P.S. I always follow this up with an, “I’m sorry I lost my cool.”)

And last but definitely not the least, the most important of all ways to ensure that you don’t slip into your old yelling habits, should you slip up–rather, when you do because you might be an Orange Rhino but you are still human–make sure to immediately forgive yourself. Remaining mad at yourself will just make you grumpy, angry, and disappointed which are three surefire ways to make it even hard to keep yourself from yelling when the next tough moment arises.

YLLMcrop2For 85 more ideas on how to stop yelling at your kids, and for a detailed step by step guide to further help and inspire you, check out my new book, “Yell Less, Love More: How The Orange Rhino Mom Stopped Yelling at Her Kids–and How You Can Too!” available in all major bookstores and online here.