Tips to Try

Below is a list of 100 things I have done when the urge to Yell is brewing. The key here isn’t to replace yelling – it is to start noticing in your body that a yell is coming and to then try one of these tips to bring you back to a more calm place so you can handle the situation or respond to the trigger in a warm, Orange Rhino kind of way. Be prepared – some are wicked goofy – which is kind of the point. Sometimes we need to lighten the mood, take ourselves less seriously, and laugh. Bonus? This builds connection with our children and calms us, and our nervous systems, down in the process!

And before you ask, yes, I didn’t yell into a dirty toilet 😉 I was in the bathroom for a moment of peace (to re-group instead of yelling) and realized how cathartic it would feel to “flush away my frustration.” So I yelled as close as I could to the toilet and flushed my frustration down. Honestly, it felt awesome. Don’t knock it until you try it. If nothing else, it will give you something to laugh about afterwards with your kids!

Happy reading and trying out these tips!

– Fun Alternatives
– I’ll look like a fool Alternatives
– I’ll be considered a bad parent Alternatives
– Preventative Alternatives (surround yourself with reminders) 
– You’ll think I’m Cheesy Alternatives
– Serious/Expected Alternatives 

Fun Alternatives:
1.  Run around the house – with or without kids!   (adrenaline boost)
2.  Start talking jibberish  (makes kids laugh & stop pummeling each other)
3.  Start blowing bubbles  (reminds me of childhood & that I should CHILL OUT)
4.  Get the camera  (forces me to see behavior wasn’t so bad)
5.  Laugh. Even if you don’t want to.  (laughter is good for the soul)
6.  Bang arms on chest like a gorilla  (a good release and a great entertainment for kids)
7.  Put hand in front of mouth and pretend to “toot” a horn  (great attention getter)
8.  Do Jump and Jacks  (releases positive chemicals or something like that!)
9.  Do push ups  (see above)
10.  Start clapping & go until kids have stopped annoying behavior (a good release)
11.  Start drumming on table/counter until rage is gone  (a REALLY good release)
12.  Start the Hokey Pokey  (silliness can snap anyone out of it)
13.  Start a Dance Party  (adrenaline + fun, what’s not to love?)
14.  Sing. I especially like “La la la, la la, la LAAAAA”  (it’s unexpected which works wonders)
15.  Pretend to have Laryngitis  (silence also works wonders)
16.  Play hide ‘n seek. You hide. They seek. For a LONG time.  (fun game can snap anyone out of it)
17.  Put funny glasses on and “look” through their eyes  (they laugh, you find empathy)
18.  Give a High Five  (The “slap” slaps you out desire to yell as does the touch of their sweet hands)
19.  Try to do a somersault (makes you laugh and maybe even pee your pants. Oh, but not me. As if).
20.  Speak in a Robot voice (makes kids stop and look at you and wonder, who is she?!)
21.  Start Playing with the kids (makes you realize how fun it is to be a kid!)
22.  Grab children and hug them (it just feels good all over for everyone!)
23.  Start doing “crab walks” (entertaining and exercise releases good chemicals or something like that!)
24.  Spray silly string (a fun diverter)
25.  Bang a pot or pan (releases anger & starts a music party)
26.  Start running in place (adrenaline boost )
27.  Tickle child you want to yell at (laughter does the body good, more good than milk!)
28.  Pretend you are hurt and need Dr. so and so, insert kids name (kids come running)
29.  Go read favorite page of 50 Shades of Grey (did I just write that?! Next subject. Blush. Blush.)
30.  Whistle. Loudly. (helps you focus on breathing and annoys kids so they re-focus on you!)
31.  Hum. Even louder than whistle (annoys kids & gets them to  stop behavior and tell you to stop!)
32.  Pop some orange M&M’s into mouth (chocolate is a great mood changer)!
33.  Eat a carrot or an apple. Just something hard and crunchy (crunch out stress!)
34.  Eat frozen grapes & pretend for a second kids are sleeping & the grapes are wine (okay, it’s a stretch but reaching into freezer snapped me out of my moods!)

“I look like a Fool” Alternatives:
35.  Yell into a Closet  (clothes don’t have feelings)
36.  Yell into a Kitchen Cabinet  (cereal boxes don’t have feelings either)
37 . Open up the freezer and put head in (it cools me down & makes kids laugh)
38.  Raise two hands in air (gets kids attention & warns that I’m about to blow)
39.  Go to the bathroom and scream into the toilet, then flush it away  (um symbolic?)
40.  Shake body, arms and legs  (like The Wiggles, Shake shake Shake your silly’s out)
41.  Get on back and put legs and arms in the air and howl like a Dog  (yes, I did this)

“I’ll be considered a bad parent” Alternatives:
42.  Put the TV on for longer than normally feels okay at really bad moments  (sometimes TV is better
than yelling, right?)
43.  Have ice cream sundaes together  (fun family activity makes me want to have fun, not yell)
44.  Start the day with Orange Yogurt  (A very small food coloring goes a long way)
45.  Sit down and “watch” the circus (gain perspective and laughter)
46.  Put ear buds in and listen to Radio! (ah, my kind of “noise”!)
47.  Close your eyes & put head in hands in disbelief. Nope I have NEVER done this either.
48.  Open a window and breathe in fresh air (kids laugh, what is she doing? Is she a dog?!)
49.  Close eyes and picture yourself on a beach, with a daiquiri in hand  (takes you to your happy place)
50.  Keep orange gum/tic tacs in purse (chewing /sucking sounds drown out whining!)

Preventive Alternatives (surround yourself with reminders that you don’t want to yell):
51.  Paint your nails orange (reminds you every morning to be warm and composed)
52.  Dress your kids in orange (a totally in your face reminder)
53.  Post pictures of kids in problem areas (forces you to fall in love all over again)
54.  Buy orange napkins and keep in the kitchen
55.  Buy (or receive for Mother’s Day!) orange kitchen towels
56.  Wear more orange (necklace, clothes)
57.  Put orange post it notes all over the house ESPECIALLY where one is apt to yell
58.  Print out Orange Rhino Logo, attach popsicle sticks and have Kids hold it up when crankiness starts
59.  Get kids involved! Have them yell “ORANGE RHINO!!!” when they sense eruption coming!
60.  Wear an orange hair elastic around wrist
61.  Place orange flowers in a vase in kitchen
62.  Serve Orange Foods/Drinks  (oranges, peaches, cheese, Cheez its, carrots)
63.  Drink from an Orange Straw (simply reminds you of the color orange, feelings of warmth!)
64.  Light a candle at known bad times, um, bed time? (Relaxes your mood)
65.  Use aromatherapy lotion on hands…instead of slamming a door in frustration (massage is relaxing)
66.  Say “I love you. I love you. I love you.”  (Hard to yell when you realize you love someone).
67.  Think things could be worse (yes he’s on table, but he isn’t swinging from the chandelier. Yet.)
68.  Grab play-doh or silly putty and squeeze (don’t forget to stop squeezing)
69.  Drink a glass of water (forces you to take a breath. Or two.)
70.  Splash cold water on your face (snaps you right out of bad mood)
71.  Put a warm wash cloth on your neck (ah…relaxation)
72.  Text a friend announcing you’re going to lose it  (hopefully he/she will say “don’t!!)
73.  Set up phone calendar to notify you every 30 min to not yell.  (annoying but helpful)
74.  Stare at something in room that you love.  (finding happy moments erases anger)
75.  Ask your child WHY are you crying?  (the response will make you give a hug instead)
76.  Ask your child WHY are you doing that?  (the response will make you go, duh)
77. Tell yourself “I won’t yell. I won’t yell.”  (Tricks you into believing you won’t!)
78.  Put a finger over mouth in shhh position (creates physical barrier to yelling)
79.  Ring a bell like pre-school teachers (casts a magical spell on kids)
80.  Look at this cheat sheet! (gives you ideas or makes you laugh?!)
81.  If help is around, tag out. (gives you a well-deserved break!)
82.  Go through yelling motions but don’t let voice out (shocks kids and yourself that you didn’t yell, releases endorphins from pride!)
83.  Go to  and yell at me (that’s what the page is for!)

“You’ll think I am cheesy” Alternatives:
84.  Say out loud “Serenity Now.”
85.  Say out loud “They are just kids and I love them.”
86.  Say out loud “It’s Gonna be a GREEEEAT day” (like the guy in Jerry Maguire)
87.  Call a family council meeting and have everyone sit criss- cross applesauce (forces kids to stop)
88.  Look at TV and pretend there is a hidden camera (fear of judgment works wonders)
89.  Smile (rumor has it if you fake it, you’ll feel it?)
90.  Cry. Yup cry. Show your kids you’re frustrated (brings out empathy from kiddos & new behavior)
91.  Say positive thoughts out loud (forces you to see good, not bad and forces desire to be kind)
92.  Pull out family photo album (takes everyone to a happy, smiley place)
93.  Tell your kids how you feel (gets love and concern and teaches them to express feelings!)

More Serious/Expected Alternatives:
94.  Count to 10. Or 100. Or 1000 until you calm down.  (forces one to regroup and get perspective)
95.  Walk away  (more opportunity to gain perspective)
96.  Take a deep breath  (if one is breathing, one can’t yell!)
97.  Whisper  (don’t know why this works, it just does!)
98.  Turn the Lights off  (the shocking factor stops kids in tracks and adds calmness)
99.  Keep a journal and write why you want to scream  (paper is a great listener)
100.  Grab your hands together and squeeze (a great release)

* * * * *
“Yell Less, Love More: How The Orange Rhino Mom Stopped Yelling at Her Kids and How You Can Too” shares more alternatives like these as well as a guide on how to set yourself up to remember to use them. It is due out September 2014 but can be pre-ordered now to get the best price. Order here.

220 thoughts on “Tips to Try

  1. I am going to try this! My boyfriend and I moved in together over the summer and things were great. I have a 8 and 9 year old in my sole custody. He and my children get along just lovely. He has a 4 and 5 year old that he did not have custody of and they lived 4 states away. Well in October, the mother of his children decided she doesn’t want to be a mom anymore and dropped them off and we haven’t heard from her since. Now I have been plunged into a family of six overnight and my patience is super thin. He just got switched to working overnights on weekends, leaving me with all 4 kids during the day trying to be quiet while he sleeps. My stress levels are high for so many reasons; having to retrain myself to deal with toddlers, my kids loosing their space and fending off toddlers with no boundaries that always want to play… the list goes on. Needless to say, I have become a champion screamer and I feel horrible and exhausted all the time. My kids avoid me and the little ones seem to get a kick out of seeing me loose my cool. I am printing out everything on this site and grabbing a highlighter!! I really hope this works because I literally try to take refuge at work and not go home because I’ve lost all hope of a peaceful evening. Its not them its me, I need to change and they will too. They are just kids right? Ugh we’ll see!

  2. My challenge starts now! Reading this after feeling completely and utterly miserable about today full of yelling at my boys. They deserve better than being yelled at every day. Ove the orange rhino

  3. Sat here balling my eyes out. I really shouted at my 2.5 year old daughter today. For just annoying me with constant whinging. How pathetic is that? She burst into tears, her little face and heart broken. It hurts so bad that I upset her.
    I’m seeing a female hormone specialist tomorrow anyhow as I know I have severe hormonal issues that affect my moods. But the way I shout at or near her is horrifying me. Even worse when she doesn’t sleep. I would go so far as to say I’m mean to her in those moments. 99% of the time she’s my best friend and by many people’s standards she’s a superstar. But I don’t cope sometimes. Whether hormonal or a true anger issue, I don’t know. But I will be reading this page every day until it bloomin well sinks in. I can be a better other than this.

  4. Thank you so much for this. I yell and scream at my 5 yr old to much. Most of the time it’s because I have to much to do or I’m upset at something or someone else. I’ve been looking for a way to help me stop for a while now, I’m happy I found this.

  5. So I’m about to start my first Orange Rhino journey. Three weeks is my first goal. A few weeks ago when I was loosing it in the car on the way to taking my 4 year old to preschool (a typical blow-up time since we’re often running late) she sang the Daniel Tiger song to me about wanting to roar and counting to four. 🙂 It’s time for this in our home. Here’s hoping I can be as successful as you!

  6. Thank you for this.

    And thank you for admitting to it. So many moms don’t and this has provided a platform, a great starting point for change.

    Orange. I love it.

  7. Oh, this is so helpful! I work in a kindergarden where we have kids from 8 months old until four years old! I try to do some of these alternatives when I get angry and I am about to yell at a kid, especially when this kid is only 16 months old! I feel so very bad when I yell at a kid so young because I am against the yelling and I try to yell as less as possible! This is so helpful for me that I work with so young children and it will help me very much when I have my own kids in the future! Thank you!

  8. As i read this i began to cry. I spend so much of my day yelling at my two year old daughter who is just as defiant as i was. I hate that i yell at her. It gets nothing done. And hurts her feelings. Im going to take this challenge. My daughter and i deserve to have a better relationship and i deserve to not feel so much guilt for it.

  9. Thanks for this. My yelling is new, like a few days old. I have a 2 yr 9-month old and until now I have had seemingly endless patience with him. This week I have yelled, made frustrated sounds, jumped right away to impatience…all because of his testing behavior, which is totally age-appropriate and yet no less upsetting. I have been crying on and off with regret for my responses, and am mostly afraid that I don’t know how to NOT make this a habit. How can I get back to my happy place of calm responses? How can I not make yelling my knee-jerk reaction? As you can imagine, I don’t want to yell into the toilet or anything because I don’t want to practice yelling. Any thoughts? Do I just need a vacation? Thanks…

  10. Orange Rhino,
    I am so glad I found this on pinterest of all places. My husband and I run a home-based business and on tip of that I am a stay-at-home/ homeschool mom of five children. Yes, I do have my hands full. Three little boys 6,5 and 2 and two little girls 5 and 13 months. I most definitely yell and scream way too much and always question my parenting skills after doing so. I love my kids with all my heart and do everything I can to keep our house positive and uplifting, but more often then not I find myself overwhelmed and yelling at them. I bought your book on my mobile book store and am on day two now. The first day was challenge of course. I want more than anything to yell less and love more for my families sake. Thank you for the inspiration and support group.

  11. The false believe in my mind always says that my 5 yo has arrived lil bit too soon. That I had to quit working full time and ended-up being a full time mom & wife. I even envy my husband who can work outside the house.
    I started to yell at my only son and did not even enjoy his funny story and everything else.
    Does anyone out there have something to share/advice? Thank you.

  12. I did a no yelling contract. I asked my five-year-old what I do before I start to yell; and wrote down the things he told me to “stop doing mommy, no one likes to be yelled at.” We went over the contract…I signed it and it is on my fridge, with his picture next to it. I have to purchase the book to help.

    I believe this is self control…I do everything I can at night (I am a working single mother) make the lunches, snacks, prep for the next nights dinner, make tonight’s dinner, laundry, clean, bath, book, bedtime…whew!

    it is a tough road…my child only has one childhood and I want him to come to me with anything. He will make a subconscious decision not to; if I keep yelling. I am wanting and willing to make to change…out lives will be sooo much better! So far 2 days in a row no yelling..hoping for a week.

  13. I´m making some progress now. I at least have managed to make self concience. Now at least I realize I´m about to yell or have started yelling. Then can do something really quick to stop it. I think this is not gonna change in just a couple months, but I´m alrady on my track!

    I´ve shared the list and the whole blog with my wife, and both have committed to take the challenge. Darn it´s hard! But now we are decided!

    Wish me success everyone!!!

  14. I’m a yeller. I grew up in a family of yeller, at least myself, my Dad and my brother. Mum just listened to everyone yelling! My brother and I primarily communicated as kids by yelling. I yell at my son. He’s 7 nearly 8. But I don’t jsut do a short, sharp yell, I do a yelling lecture that goes on and on and on. My poor baby!! I made the decision that it stops today. By pure coincidence I came across your site, while searching for something else….coincidence or the universe telling me something??? Anyway, I’m excited about your site and I’m taking the challenge!!

  15. I sometimes feel as if it’s too late to change…that I’ve messed my children up by yelling and they’ll never forgive me. My son is explosive just like me. My daughter just cries and wants it to stop. I need to take the challenge before I start becoming complacent about my yelling. Help.

  16. I am a yeller! I have yelled everyday since my sone was a year. He is now 5. I am reactive, not proactive. I am a single excuse. I love this website…it has inspired me to do a no yelling contract. I will put on my remind me how grateful I should be to have my son…a child entrusted to me by God. Thanks!

  17. Honestly, I don’t have kids. I have a yelling problem, when i feel hopeless or just angry I tend to raise my voice without even realizing it! It’s so frustrating to me, I’ve been struggling for a couple of months now. This isn’t something I want to be doing- I get pretty depressed with myself when I end up yelling. I feel like i’m stuck in a hopeless cycle. I really just want to stop with this problematic yelling, I realize that theres no need for it and I just can’t take it anymore! Yet it’s so hard for me to stop. Thanks for posting this, I hope i can help myself with it before I loose the person I love. I’m 22 by the way, young, but determined.

  18. I am so glad I found your expeiences through Deseret News. Then came across your blog. I am the dad of a wonderful 6 yo and a 3 yo smiley and quirky boys.

    I have a very loud and strong voice. People who don´t know me sometimes get afraid when listening to me talking seriously. It is a family joke to note that “we came with a loud speaker build-in”-as I say.

    It becomes no problem when cheering at a sporting event.

    However I have been unfortunate enough to watch my kids´ face when I yell at them while my angry moment peaks. I can intimidate adults with my voice, now imagine how my boys feel.

    I seriously will start with my own therapy. I really want to raise my boys in a love and armony environment. I don´t want them to remember me as the ‘big guy who can yell really loud’.

  19. I really have issues when it comes to yelling! I feel like the lowest poop in the world because I tell at my kids. They mean more than the WORLD to me and I feel beyond rotten when I yell at them. Ive tried to not raise my voice and its so hard. After reading this, I am for sure, gonna keep my mouth shut. Patience is something I need to learn to have more of, especially for my children. I have bookmarked this list of things to do instead of yelling, im gonna do it and enjoy my babies!! THANK YOU!!:)

  20. Thank you thank you thank you. No one ever admits this stuff! I read about the day you realised your kids were afraid of you and I am there now. I am having cognitive behaviour therapy which is helping but your perspective is almost identical to me which is more helpful than anything else as it helps me to appreciate that i am not alone.
    I have to try the orange rhino approach.
    Well done to you.
    – mum of beautiful twin girls (with attitude)

  21. This is such a fabulous list. I am not prone to yelling and when I feel like it (heh, I am human!) I have tried some of these. They totally work. Yelling. Does. Not.

    Would you mind if I posted an excerpt of this in my post about “Yelling” tomorrow? 🙂 I’ll steer my readers back here. 🙂 Love, Vidya. So glad I came over!

  22. Dear all,
    I am what should be a “perfect mom”.
    In a good relationship with the best supporting father, lovely home, 3 kids age 6-2 years old,
    cat n dog.
    Highly educated.
    Always supported the right ethical causes like Munks in Tibet, PETA, amnesty etc.
    Yet every single day I yell.
    I yell loudly, fiercly, too much
    it hurts my kids, it hurts me
    I never wanted to be that sort of mom.
    Just find it so incredibly hard not to.
    No excuse.
    Never yell normally, always the super mom to other,
    who is hosting not 1 but 2 gigantic Easter Egg parties – me
    there will be 35 for one – 50 for the other
    Always me, me, me doing things (seriously a party every month)
    My kids are not bad kids
    but they are and can be so extremely noisy it gets to my nerves
    that I feel it is never quiet here, so much mess to tidy up…
    I cannot wait till my youngest goes to school from September
    (we live in France hence kids start when they are 3)….
    I feel I will gain my personal space and freedom
    a thing I so long for to be honest
    (I know some people out there are childless and probably hating me by now
    but honestly before I had children I had no idea how mentally and physically drainign they can be.
    I had 2 shops at the same time for 5 years, so worked 24-7 yet having kids is noting in comparison)
    I am constantly tense and alert
    Constantly affraid for my kids
    I am worn out
    All this middle class suburbian “perfect” life
    we do not drink, smoke, do drugs – so very lucky there too
    Excellent health
    I do count my blessings.
    Yet why is it so hard for me to stop yelling – exploding?

    Love to all us struggling moms out there and our beautiful children


    • You are not alone. All the similar things apply to me too…except that I have only one lovely son. I don’t know how horrible I can be at times and when i reflect on my behaviour, I seriously hate myself I came across this very useful book called How to talk so children listen and how to listen so children talk. Believe me, it’s been slightly better since. Try and get it. Tell me what you think and how things change for you. It’s written by 2 ladies who both are mother to 3 kids each. All the best. Take care. XOXO.

  23. Thank you so so so much for this! I really needed these fun and useful tips to stop the yelling in my house. Which can get bad, I am a single mom to a very rambunctious, far too intelligent and slightly manipulative 6 year old boy.
    I recently found this blog and I have cried so many tears reading here, as I see that I am not alone and that plenty of other moms have the same exact problems I do. I am crying right now thinking of all the horrible things I have screamed at my son, which makes me feel absolutely terrible…I have sooooo much guilt about almost every aspect of his life. Like how his dad lives in another state, that he (dad) is a drug addict (why couldn’t I see it BEFORE I got pregnant?). B has a half sister (through dad) that lives in yet another state that B hasn’t seen in over two years! How I work constantly but never seem to have ANY money (let alone time) to take him to do ANY of the things he wants to like basketball, karate lessons, learn to play the guitar, new shoes (other then when ABSOLUTELY required), a kitty or puppy, …The list of things I cannot give him goes on and on for what feels like forever and that guilt feels like it is crushing my soul.
    But now I know I can stop yelling and feeling guilty, I CAN be the mom I want to be, and I will…I just have to try every day to be aware and to respond to my own needs instead of only his.
    Today is Day One
    So far so good, B is at school now, and we made it there with no yelling!!
    I can do this, we both deserve a rewarding relationship with one another.
    Thank you again for giving me a place to find other moms like me, I desperately needed this!

  24. Wow, I didn’t know there was such a place to go! After reading this blog I realised I’m not the only one out there who yells. I have been yelling for the past year all the time to a point where I feel I need help. I get so frustrated and its like I am this calm calm person and then I just explode. I call myself 0 to 100 in 30 seconds. I can’t stop. And the guilt that I hold is so amazingly intense it’s crippling. After reading some posts it brought tears to my eyes, I too want my 3 girls to think I’m wonderful and not be cringing everytime I yell and look at me like here she goes again. It’s an amazing feeling though when you come across a site like this and you feel empowered that hey I am normal and we can do this. Being a mother is the hardest job in the world and the only job with so much responsibility but you don’t need a uni degree or get a text book to get it right. Thank goodness for Orange Rhino because I was at my wits end and I only googled ” how do I stop yelling at my kids” shows where I’m at……but NOW the challenge begins. I can do this.

  25. I love the honesty in this. I find myself yelling and losing patience way more than ever did before. I use to be a pretty good mom, now my daughter (8) is at a difficult age and with a difficult pregnancy and a difficult baby I find myself yelling and annoyed more often then I should be. And I go to bed with guilt and feel worse about myself which in turns makes things worse. I find with the stress of life I’ve forgotten how to enjoy motherhood. I’m going to try these approaches, I’ll start with trying to get through one day and hopefully that one day will turn into a week and then a month and maybe just maybe a year.

    Thank you for sharing your experience

  26. Like every other woman who has come across this site I thank you. I feel I hit an all time lo w the other night with my daughter (who’ll be 4 in April) and myself. It hurts to yell – hurts all involved. I don’t want to be that mum. I’m going to try those ideas. Thanks again. 🙂

  27. One of my girlfriends posted a link to this website before Christmas and after reading one of the articles I started immediately taking the suggestions and using them. After yelling at my daughter the other night for not being able to turn the shower on or off (I was actually mad at the customer I had, had on the phone at the time) I decided to really take this Orange Rhino Mommy thing seriously. I just ordered some things including two bracelets for myself and my daughter and honestly hope I can stop yelling. I hated being yelled at as a kid and feeling like I was a disappointment to my parents and I do NOT want my daughter to feel that way AT ALL!!!

  28. I just came across your blog through a dear friend on Facebook. Thank you for this great challenge. I live in Peru and I’m a mother of 4yr old twin girls and a 2yr old boy. My name is Melany and I yell. A lot. It is heritage but I want to stop the tradition and parent my kids with a yell-free approach. Your tips are hilarious and totally effective. Day one – things are working ok.

  29. I know exactly how you feel- I apologize over and over. But can’t seem to change my behavior. It takes time and everyday all you can do is your best. Good luck!

  30. I just cannot seem to stop yelling. It’s an impulse, reaction, I don’t even see if coming till its out of my month. If I’m not yelling I’m talking “horrid” to the kids. Its stress, so much to juggle and feeling like I have know one to talk to EVER. My boyfriend of 5 years is such a blessing but he’s a brick wall when it come to listening. He thinks I should just stop and decide and then do!! If ONLY it was that easy! It’s to the point he is so done hearing me yell or speak in the ‘tone’ he said if I don’t stop it’s over!
    Grrrrrrr…I grow up around yelling it was horrid. I hated it!!
    I even at times call my kids names. It’s TRUE when she is acting like a ‘bitch’ I tell her!! but I see her eyes and face change and it breaks my heart that it came out!! All the sorry’s in the world will not change how she felt at that second. And I cry about it often. 3 of the kids are also starting to scream. We are all LOUD talkers but truly it’s out of hand. I want to stop and I am going to start my trigger journal tonight! It’s embarrassing that I have this issue. It’s hurtful to my being and to my kids and boyfriend and I HATE IT!!!
    I read this about 2 years ago and didn’t think much about it but these last 2 years when it’s been bad all I can think its where is my RHINO.
    My kids desire the best of me not some days but EVERYDAY!.
    Thanks so much for making a place for us all to talk.

  31. Well…I haven’t made it EVERY day. But I am getting closer. Stress seems to be the secondary reason for my yelling (not feeling heard being the first). When I have so many things going on that I can barely keep myself straight even a simple request for milk seems outrageous. Now that I have identified that maybe I can lessen the yelling by another 25%. Eventually we will get it. Just always happy to know I am not alone on my quest! Thank you!

  32. This was very inspiring, thank you. Although I strive to be a peaceful parent I didn’t think not yelling for a year was possible. I’m going to make a sincere effort, thanks to you.

  33. Im actually crying right now, sometimes i feel like the worst mum in the world and that I am all alone 🙁 its so amazing to read comments from mothers who feel the same. All you see is “perfect mums” talking about their wonderful lives and it makes me feel even smaller. I love my boys so much and every time i yell i feel like a die a little inside but i get so frustrated and it just comes out 🙁

    • I totally know how you feel. I just feel like I have reached the end and if I don’t do something now it will be too late and my relationship with my girls (8 & 10) will be permanently damaged. I don’t know where to start but I’m going to give it a go!

    • I feel exactly the same way, like a little bit of me (and my son) dies when I see that look of pain on his face after I yell at him. My own mother was quite abusive (90% verbal) of me (and just me for some reason, I guess cause I am the oldest and she resented me for ruining her life, she said that once) as a child, and I swore I would never EVER turn out like her. But despite my childhood vow, I am becoming more and more like her…I scream, I yell, I say hurtful things, I smack walls counters tables…I hate the mom I have become…

  34. Hi there. I am trying to become a better mother and stop yelling and spanking my son. I only spank once in a while, when I have had enough, but I want to stop completely. I have tried being nicey-nice, but my son takes full advantage and just misbehaves worse and worse each time. He doesn’t give two shits about consequences or why he cannot steal applesauce and pour it all over his room. I put him in time out, he behaves, I let him up, he gets right back to what he was doing (things I cannot prevent by just putting the thing away, such as him talking mean). His behavior was SO much better when I was stricter with him. I am at a loss. I am setting this post as a webpage to automatically open when I open my internet, so that should help.

  35. Thank you for this site and to know that the orange Rhino Challenge can change the impossible to the possible. I shared the same sentiment with susan on may, 23 that what i am facing now thinking there is no hope for me and helpless until i found u The orange Rhino challenge, my helper. Please dnt stop your sharing and thank you from the bottle of my heart (:

  36. Today, it was a bad day. From the moment I woke up, until my 4 and 5 year old went to bed, I yelled and screamed at them. Clean your room, knock before coming in the bathroom, flush the toilet, eat your lunch, eat your dinner, and the list goes on! As I sit here and read these stories, from real mom’s, saying they admit they need to stop, I find myself in tears. I am taking this challenge! I have to, for my sanity, and for theirs! I love them more than anything I’m this world yet, I wouldn’t treat a complete stranger the way I treat them with this yelling. Thank you orange rhino for inspiration, I’m desperate and can’t wait until they wake up tomorrow!

  37. Today is going to the start of changing my life and my daughters life. I yelled this morning and seems like our morning car rides are her re-grouping from me yelling and me saying again & again. Stop crying. She’s crying b/c I yelled at her. I damaged her soul this morning and i felt it. Now whose crying…. me. Stop crying I say… But I can’t b/c I hurt the person I love the absolute most. I yelled and I felt her cringe. I still yelled. No more. I don’t like people yelling at me and like so many people have said why yell at the person i care the most about. I am taking baby steps.. 30 days of no yelling.. then 30 more days and then off to what I hope will be best thing that could possibly happen for us both. I don’t yell at people at work,,,,, why do i yell at my poor child??? I make this promise to myself and to her that this morning episode was the last. I will find my own happiness (probably most of the i yell at her) so she can find her’s.. To her I owe the world and I will love and cherish her so much that she will never feel the hurt of me raising my voice again. I can only hope my damage is not permanant and I can change this before she gets any older. Here we go on our new journey!!!!!

  38. Today is the day I start the Orange Rhino Challenge after having a huge breaking down with my 5 year old son today and I yelled at him and probably scared him, I sent a sad child to school and came home and cried my heart out, I love him dearly and I don’t think he knows that because all I do is yell at a child..him…which isn’t fair. Today that stops when he was younger he was spoiled rotten by me and I turned him into a difficult child and in return he got a difficult mother and today that ends..

  39. Okay, just took the challenge tonight and was reading through these tips, and had a moment where I realized, I can do this, because I have used some of these strategies (or something like them) in the past. I just quit doing it. I lost who I was for a moment. And, I want to share a moment that happened last week when I wanted to yell, thought I might yell, and normally would have, because this moment is one I need to hang on to as a reminder that the things my son does are not the end of the world, and are often funny if I would just step back for a second before I freak out. So here’s my quick angry turned funny story:

    Last week, I was lying in my bed taking a moment to just rest with a hot pack on my back. I had turned on the toons for my son, and explained to him that I needed to rest for a moment because my back was hurting (thank you sciatica and SPD during pregnancy). This has become our routine if I am having a rough day with the pain and have been on my feet a lot during the day, My bedroom is only about five feet from the living room so I can hear him and know what he is up to. Usually, I stay in my room for about 20-30 minutes, and he comes in after about ten and plays on my floor or runs between my room, his room and the dogs room playing.

    During this particular day, he stayed in the living room for the entire time, and was fairly quiet with an occasional comment to the dog. With him, unlike most children, this isn’t something to worry me, because it usually means that Caillou was on TV and he was really interested, or he got involved with his trucks or a book. Not this day, however. Just as I got up, he was coming to me. Butt Naked. Okay, not unusually. Why my three year old won’t keep his clothes on, I still can’t figure out, but from the day he could first get them off, he has preferred to be naked. However, he was not just butt naked. He was Butt Naked and COVERED IN MY GOOD LOTION!! and I mean COVERED, I could see the globs on his skin. And then…I saw the lotion on the floor…surrounded by cars…and a TowMater Garage…and everything was covered in lotion…including my carpet.

    I wanted to yell so badly. I took a deep breath, and then it hit me. Duh, of course he played in the lotion. I had been putting it on my very dry legs while he was at school and left it within his reach. He LOVES lotion. And, then I caught sight of the cars again. There they were, covered in lotion, surrounding the bottle of lotion like cows clustered around the feeding trough. My son looked at me and said “I sorry mommy, help me. I all icky”

    And, I laughed. In that moment, I realized that the situation was just so ridiculous that there was no need to yell at him. He knew he had made a mess, and he was uncomfortable from all the lotion and just really wanted some sympathy and help. I sent him to my bed, grabbed a towel and wiped him down. I made him put all the cars in a tub and take them to the kitchen to get cleaned.

    That night, as I recounted the whole episode to his dad, I was really glad I didn’t yell. Because in retrospect, it was the most hilarious thing that had happened all week. In fact, by the time I was done telling his dad the whole story (including the part about my son sticking to my blankets and that one of our blankets was currently off the bed because it too was covered in lotion from the whole ordeal) I was laughing so hard I was crying.

    Today, after yelling at my son, finding and reading this blog, taking the challenge, and reading some of the suggestions for not getting angry, I realized that remembering things like this story will definitely help out. Because, while not everything that kids do is funny, often the things they do that set us off would make us laugh if it was happening to someone else, or we took a step back to look at it from a different perspective. So, I will be writing this story down and carrying it with me as a reminder to step back and look at everything differently.

  40. Wow… Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I seem to yell at just about anything and I dont want to be feared by my children. My son is almost 3 and daughter is 10. They fight constantly! After reading this I feel so much stinger and know know if many ways to hold my composure. I try to remind myself tht they are in fact just kids and I would never tolerate someone else speaking to them in that tone. Whispering I find works wonders, usually makes them stop fighting so they can hear what I am saying. 🙂 Also a favorite if mine that I read. “At least”. So many times I will use this as my son offered spills entire drinks, rips my new wall paper etc. Again… Thank you!

  41. Friend of mine told me about The Orange Rhino (I have 3 kids between 2.5 & 4yo). I decided that if I could come up with a list of 50 practical alternatives to yelling then I would try 30days no yelling. Just read this list … So criteria met! So 1 Jan 2013 my challenge starts (although I’m sort of trying already). Thank you!!

  42. I’m going to work on this. I (like many others out there) am a full time working mom, we leave the house early and get home for supper late. I know the girls don’t get the sleep they need at night and as a result, we have very tired and often challenging kids in the evenings. I’m well aware what the problem is, but It’s so hard sometimes to see the light when I’m fighting for them to eat, bath, get dressed for bed and so on. Going to wipe my tears and try some of these techniques tonight – glad I was directed to this page today.

  43. WOW! Thank you! A few weeks ago, I started by having a “yell free” day (neither my older son nor I were to yell), and then another, and another. The yelling was getting out of control, and my younger son was starting to yell too! now we say “yell free home”, and we are happier. When i hear myself starting, i still say what i was going to say, but I manage to change the tone and volume. i just came across your blog today, and felt so much relief. I wasn’t the only Mom having this yelling problem! The weight was lifted so soon after starting our “yell free…”. I’ve still slipped, but my son says “that’s ok Mommy, I’m sorry too” instead of yelling even more. We are just all in a better place. Hubby is slowly coming around-lead by example, right?! But thats hard itself-I feel like I’m often “repairing” damage done when Daddy yells. And our son is coming more and more to ONLY me for the day to day needs. BUT, your posts are so helpful, I’m going to print your alternatives, and hopefully we will be on the same page sooner rather than later. Thank you!!!

  44. Thank you for these! I have definitely gone to bed with the guilty knot in my gut. These are great! Sometimes I stomp loudly like a giant – it makes them giggle madly and dash off!

  45. Thank You! I needed this! My mom was a yeller, and I remember being 12 and picturing myself jumping out of a two story window just to get away. I NEVER wanted to be like that! And I admit I am- I yell too much, and I don’t want to do it anymore! I am taking all of this into consideration-and am putting a plan in motion TODAY!!! I don’t want to receive a card from my daughter like the one I made for my mom, which says-
    “I love you, love you, love you, even when you yell, yell, yell”. Yes I actually made a card that said that. My goal-starting NOW! Is to not yell for a whole week. Wish me luck!

  46. I sure wish I had seen this years ago. I have a 16 yo daughter that has felt my wrath most of her life. At one point I started medication. That helped but I still had outbursts. I also have an 11 yo that has seen it all. Now I have a 1 yo boy and lost my job. Now that I am not working all the time I have not been taking the meds. I do OK most of the time but I still have triggers. I didn’t think anyone would understand this. You gave me hope that I can “fix” this and without meds. And that I won’t have to put my son through what my girls have dealt with. Thank you. PS. If you have any ideas of alternatives that won’t make a 16 yo just think I have fallen off my rocker I would love to hear them!

  47. I want to thank you 100 times…every night I tell myself tomorrow will be a better day and now I know it WILL be because of this blog xox

  48. Thank you so much for your explanation and all these alternatives. I’m both a “yeller” and what my husband terms a “sniper”. I don’t even necessarily know I do it, but I find a person’s weakness and I use my words to snipe at them. Nothing I am proud of, especially in seeing the hurt in my kids’ eyes when I snap back to my senses. I love this idea and now is a perfect time to start – with the holidays looming and all the stress that accompanies it – I think my pantry and I may become good friends very soon. Again, thank you for giving me ideas and realizing that I am not alone!

  49. I just want to thank you for this post. I’m trying to make changes in my life to be a better person and to break a cycle for my children. After reading this and the morning I had yesterday. I decided I was going to take the challenge. I sat my children down last night a told them I’m no longer going to yell. I told them my expection of them in the morning. I told them there would be a reward or a consquence. I would reward them a allowance at the end of the week if they did well Otherwise they owened me their allowence if not. Then at the end of the month I would have a date with each of them and they can spend their money how ever they wanted to. So, this morning as my daughter was brushing her teeth she says, “mom I don’t like this agreement, but I’ll do it, because I love you.” Now I would have never hear that if I was yelling. So thank you.

  50. I have not read anything that has been so relevant to my feelings ever. Thank you for the ideas and coping skills. I am up for the challenge!

  51. Dear Orange Rhino,

    You, my dear, are an early X-mas present to myself. I just happened upon your blog today after reading a shared post on FB, which had a link to your challenge. Once I began reading some posts, I have to admit, I could identify in ways that seem almost scary – at least, to admit these feelings out loud is perhaps what’s most intimidating. It was both reassuring and validating to know that I’m not to only mom out there plagued with feelings of guilt for yelling at my daughter, compounded by more feelings of guilt when I cannot stop to recognize all the other moments that are not “triggers”. I’m inspired to take the 365 challenge. Thank you for your courage and honesty and most importantly, for lending your voice to this issue – it’s a huge gift to your readers.

  52. I have read all of these comments and I soo see myself in lots of these comments. My daughter is 6 and struggling with Math which makes me angry…I find myself yelling at her for stupid stuff..and it makes her upset in turn…:( It makes me so sad because she will constantly write me “I LOVE you Mom” notes all the time…breaks my heart that I am constantly yelling at her 🙁 Makes me feel like a horrible mom! Lately she has been doing lots of things and getting negative attention for us…:( but doesn’t see it as a bad thing…cuz she is getting our attention…UGH!!

  53. Hey “Orange Rhino”,

    I love article – well the one explaining how your challenge went. I’m not a mother but I’m an aunt. I am 22 years old but my 5 siblings are at the age of 35 and older. The eldest, my sister, she is in her late 40’s. They all have kids except for my brother (second youngest) and I. I am an impatient person especially when it comes to kids. I seem to get along quite well with my nephews (9). It could be because I get along with my brothers really well but my sister and I never really had “sisterly” moments because she already started her own family by the time I was born. But I don’t seem to get along with my nieces. I have 4. I love the eldest as my own little sister (took years lol). She is 4 years younger than I. I don’t really know my second and fourth niece, never really got the chance to (going by age here). But the third, argghh! She’s spoiled and she gets on my nerves!! And I wanted to get a few tips on how to be calm. She’s the youngest and the only girl. She gets away with a lot and because she hasn’t seen my ugly side (although it’s slowly starting to show) she is really pushing it with me especially when her parents are around. I don’t want to be violent with kids though because I do not want to get into a disagreement with her parents and because I know no good will come of it (that’s from first hand experience). So I want to thank you for your helpful article. I’m looking at her tucked in bed right now saying to myself, “Yeah…it’s not you it’s just me. Kids will be kids”.


  54. This is great! I want to not yell. But I honestly feel like they don’t listen until I do yell. I can be so patient and ask several times nicely, and get nowhere. But then finally patience wears thin from no one listening, then I yell, and they listen and do what I asked.

    How do you go 365 without yelling and actually get your kids to take you serious? I have 2 toddlers age 3 & 2.

  55. I feel sometimes I am the worse mother in the world. My daughter is only 6 months old, and although I never yelled at her, I did raise my tone of voice with her cause I was so frustrated. I suffer with bad PMS and only feels that way when its around this time. Other than that, I am pretty relaxed with her….
    Can this possibly happen to anyone else? I feel I’m the only one who is crazy enough to loose temper with a baby! Feel so bad.
    I def going to use some of your suggestions when times of stress hits me again.
    Thanks so much to share

    • You are not the only person to lose your temper with a baby, there are many more people they just don’t admit it. Using Orange Rhinos “at least” technique at least it was verbal and not physical, it happened, don’t beat yourself up, learn from it and move on hun babies are the most gorgeous things around but they are the most frustrating at times too. I remember yelling at my 11 year old as a baby when I was frustrated and I feel very guilty about it. I was better with my now 4 year old and am doing very well with my 4 month old. Be kind to yourself and let it go, I’m sure you are a great mother.

  56. I SO needed this today. I’ve felt all day long like I just wanted to scream and yell. These are WONderful ideas. I look forward to trying them. Thank you for sharing!
    My eyes get misty as I read the comments left by those before me…I’m so glad to know it’s not just me. We all share a common struggle; the details are different, but the plot is the same – we want to do better!…and we will!

  57. I love your page and the challenge! I’m working on it too and it really is such hard work. I have another alternative, if somebody already suggested it, i’m sorry.Playing the air guitar and headbanging is very good for cool down my daughter loves it and makes me laugh too :-). go on orange rhino mama!

  58. Starting this first thing in yhe morning with my 22 month old daughter. I have one question, how are you teaching right from wrong? I knowbyelling isn’t the only possible way to do it. I’m wondering are you still telling them to stop doing it? She’s only two and it is gonna be hard for her to comprehend I guess. I don’t want to yell at her. Like last night I yelled “hot” while she was in the bathtub becayse she shut the cold water off and went to touch the water.

    She burst into tears pointed to the door and screamed “go”, “go”!!!!!! I was so heartbroken I wanted to bawl my eyes out. And cry and cry and cry. Where she learnt that from idk. Maybe me. I just don’t know. I don’t want her to think it is acceptable to yell at us. And it shouldn’t be acceptable for me to yell at her then. 🙁

  59. I’m so glad I found this article.. 99% of what I do with my 21/2 yr old twin boys is here.. I always feel I’m being punished.. I keep yelling at them for no reason and when they cry I yell some more.. I’ll start tonight and keep reminding myself that I’m an orange rhino.. thanks so much for sharing this.. I’m really grateful. .

  60. Thank god I just found this site!!!! I had a particularly bad session of yelling tonight and have had enough! I have no idea where my anger comes from, I’m a teacher, I deal with little kids all day and I never shout, everyone always says how patient and lovely I am and yet for some reason my own children get the grumpy, quick tempered cow! I feel constantly guilty especially as I know deep down my eldest (5) is a sensitive soul deep down, he has struggled with the addition of his two siblings and lashes out because of this! Yet despit y being able to analyse this situation in the cold light of day it does not click in during the heat of the moment. He just gets more and more upset aaaaahhhh just writing this makes me feel depressed! I am going to try my very hardest to start tomorrow! Fingers crossed!

    • How is it going now? I’ve noticed a change in my super sensitive yr old> he too has had to adjust to a sibling (who is noe 21 months old). i felt like i was losing him or something. We still have moments where i just want to SCREAM like i used to, but it seems to get easier. In the heat of the moment, I do sometimes start to yell, but i am managing to get that yell under control, and finish whatever I was yelling as a calm, controlled statement (or whatever). Good luck-it is so worth it!

  61. Thank you a million times. I have six boys ranging from 4 to 16 and I only wish I had read this years ago. I will be looking for you on FB!

  62. I cant find you on facebook. I’m starting my challenge tonight. I am a mom of 5. Girl 20 (in college), girl 17, girl 13, boy 7, girl,6. Lifeis always hectic. My sister her fiance & her 13 yr old girl live with me. I feel like the worst mom ever every night. I came across this blot by accident andam thankful.

  63. Im starting my challenge for 1 week. Im starting with an empty tank, a 5 year old, & an 8 month old, boys. I do have an amazing partner who works away so is usually the good cop, but i dont take it personally. Ive got to fuel up and take ownership of my job. I want to so bad & everyday that I squeek by, telling myself tomorrow will be better, it gets worse. So no more. I need to take time for me & that just might mean working out. (gag) But I want to show my sons Im willing to do the hard work to give them the life (with a peaceful home & great parental relationship & someone there to keep them on the right track) they deserve. One I never had. I want to be their soft place to land when life gets tough.

  64. Hi! Thanks a million for this so very meaningful, realistic, thoughtful, approachable and human website help for a world full of troubled parents! God bless. I had a brief phase where due to other pressures I was a horrible parent and it haunts me so much that I forget to live and wallow in guilt. I try and make up for that lost time but still cannot get over it. Many thanks for your noble thoughts on this practical issue. XX

  65. Just stumbled across your blog. I want to thank you for having the courage to tell the world you are a normal, overstressed woman! Oftentimes, we just want everyone to think we’re the best at everything, but that is so fake! I am a grandma raising my second family (twin 5 yr old boys). The story behind this is too long, personal to get into. It is so much harder than with my first kids. I don’t have the patience I had then, & physically, of course, it is challenging. Thank you for your blog, and list. Definitely will use this. I intend to share this list with my kids, too. They will appreciate the humor, and will help me along.

  66. One thing I like to do…not really in the heat of the moment but just when i feel upset or stressed…. is watching babies laugh on youtube.

  67. I believe that finding this website was a God sent, I have been struggling to not be a yeller, anymore…… I have decided to take on this challenge. I have 3 boys 9 , 7 , and 5 my Dad was a hitter and I didn’t want to follow in those footsteps without realizing it I became a yeller instead but come to realize that they are both equally destructive to my children. I love them so much and I am going to succeed at this challenge, My children have joined the bad wagon and they love the idea of saying Orange Rhino when they think Im going to lose it. My reality came when I yelled at my oldest son and his face crumbled and he started crying it broke my heart and at that moment I saw the sadness in his face that I caused………;( that was when I decided that the change has to be now…. and I thank God that he led me to your website…. thank you thank you thank you I cannot thank you enough..

  68. Well…I THOUGHT that I had started this. Epic fail. I am almost certain someone told my kids so they worked extra hard to push my buttons. As if I were a video game controller and if they pounded hard enough they would level up. I know it isn’t true. But it sure has felt that way. It isn’t helping that it turns out my support people need MY support with other issues right now. That’s right. You heard it here. I yell because I feel like I am not being heard and my feelings are hurt because I feel like no one cares and I am a martyr for helping everyone else but myself. Can I get a stomp and a hand on the hip for that (amen!)! Well now that I see that my inner child is throwing a big ole temper tantrum I can address that and restart. But I am going to start with today. Actually I am going to start with an hour. At 7 am. When dd and ds rise and shine. DS is currently “finding emo”. His moods can be anywhere on the spectrum. I guess giving him a label with the word spectrum in it should have tipped me off to the tween years.. but…it didn’t. I am going to renew my challenge every hour. I have printed and posted the wonderful alternatives to yelling.. though I suspect I should have recorded them and started playing them as a loop. Thank you Orange Rhino! With out you I would have never recogonized my own tantrum and would not have ways to handle it!

  69. I am in. all the way. My initial goal is to get seven days in a row by my 30th day. I want my home to be a peaceful haven.

  70. i have 3 sons, 5, 3.5, 16m and it gets really hard sometimes not to yell. my eldest, i’ll call him b1 😛 has an attitude atm but usually he is very much the same way you describe your eldest though adding in a distinct dislike for ANY change or anything out of the ordinary, he just cries and cries at the simplest of changes like going to a different shopping centre just because i need a new location. b2 though usually he is sweet and kind he struggles with hearing and we are in the process of getting him (hopefully?) diagnosed with something as he shows a lot of autistic/ADD signs. 🙁 and he is extremely stubborn. my 16mo is well 16mo curious and cute as a button and cheeky as anything but loves putting the most random of things in the toilet, i have found clothes and thankfully toy, tongs and books and food in the toilet o.O and giving things to our dog who destroys things.
    my man seems to require a lot of nagging too so i’m hoping to use the ORC to curb my yelling at him too lol.
    i think i’ll use an orange hairband on my wrist to help remind me, i think i will be snapping it a few times in the early days though lol.

    • Sounds like everyone is overloaded. I’m just saying, something has to give. Watching Supernanny has helped me with techniques, too. Just reading this blog has helped me, too. I know I can do this! And so can you! We just have to stay committed, and focused. I like the orange band idea. Think I’ll copy it!

  71. I just woke up from a nap with a deep sadness, bloody nose and what felt like a scream stuck in my throat. I googled it. First hit was your page. And yes…I am a screamer…and yes, I have tried to stop…but have never quite been able to do it. I am restartibg today. With some added encouragement, a lot less self loathing and a ton of new tools to use. And the screaming feeling is going away..Thank you!

  72. Thank you so much for this particular post, for your blog, and for all you share. I am doing my best to yell less – though I haven’t achieved anything like the momentum you have.

    I have a blog called Beyond Gold Stars that offers free resources to child-centered homeschool teachers and to parents (like me) with children with High Functioning Autism or Aspergers. One kind of free printable resource that I include on my blog is visual aids to support routines. One way that I find it easier to yell less is to have a visual on hand that I can silently point at for my child. It helps prevent the exasperated yelling that would otherwise come from having to repeat directions a zillion times.

  73. wow! it is so nice to stumble upon this and see I’m not the only “monster mommy” I call myself. For a month now I’ve talked to my dr, a councillor, EAP for help with my “temper” I didn’t even know I had and really haven’t gotten much help at all- get more sleep, get out more- but even when made possible- it doesn’t help when I just “lose it” . I’ve been searching all over the internet for some form of “anger management” and reading all these positive parenting and attachment parenting sites that have just made me feel even worse about myself and shown me how far away I am from how I WANT to be- but just wanting it doesn’t make it happen. I have a 2 year old girl and am home from work on maternity leave with a 3 month old boy and absolutely HATE myself and have to FORCE myself not to just leave because I honestly feel they would be better off without me. I have an amazing, wonderful husband but he works during the day so I have to handle my own kids alone for an 8 hour day – imagine! Like my life is so hard…it seems so ridiculous in the evening when I tell him or am running it over in my head why I lost it today- such stupid things that don’t matter, but I can’t seem to stop myself! I feel like there is actually something WRONG with me b/c my daughter really is really good and from what I have been reading very well behaved- I’m SURE I am the problem and SO feel like a monster and a bad influence but when the baby is crabbing and I’m TRYING to get lunch in the 2 yo- which seems to take an hour, I just SNAP! The things I say and how I say it—– there is no way you could not HATE yourself if you were me. From what I’ve read so far this all sounds light hearted and like an easy cure- but I find it SO hard to control myself it’s utterly ridiculous! I guess all I can do is try- man I hope it helps some!!! I really feel like this CAN’T keep going on – that I am severely damaging my children. My few friends are not much support b/c they think I’m just beating myself up over nothing- that I’m no worse than anyone else so I don’t have anyone i can do it with….but I really feel like I need help! I really feel like it’s serious and hate myself. I’m not very optomisitic apparently either but have to start somewhere I guess and I can’t seem to find any other help 🙁

    • Kym. you are not the worst. you are the best mommy they could have! don’t listen to the same Liar that says the same thing to the rest of us. he is not very original actually. keep working at making each moment a better one.

    • Your not alone. I was hard on myself before i had kids, now i really let me.have it. Before i had kids I was the best parent in the world. Now I pray there are no open windows so that passers by dont call 911… Lol.. I do. Its terrible.

  74. Wow, this is an amazing challenge! So glad I came across this! I look forward to taking this challenge and it feels good to know I am not alone in this! What a great thing you have started!

  75. As parents our most important and rewarding job is to shape our children’s little minds to enable them to become mature, respectful, thoughtful individuals in their own right. How can I do this if I constantly yell at my two beautiful gifts from God. Yes, I am a ‘yeller’ and not very proud of it! I know they are my biggest and most precious “investment” and yes, God has chosen and honored me with their birth. I know I can and need to be better, I have a responsibility to myself but MOSTLY TO THEM. Thank you for letting me see that, and reflect on HOW I need to spend precious time with my children. They grow up too fast and we can never get the time we lost back. They need and deserve better !!!

  76. I thought it was a long shot, but I typed in google “how to stop yelling at my 5year old” and there you were..thank you for this post, I plan on using many of these tactics and sharing them with my husband… nice to know I am not the only one who has bad moments..thanks again

  77. Thank you for your ideas and your wit! I too, am a yeller in recovery. I have two boys aged 10 and 6 and will post your list in my kitchen for our mutual benefit. My 10 years old has Asperger’s; we attend counseling sessions together every other week to help him manage some of his social and emotional difficulties. The most compelling thing the counselor told me was, “You need to respond to him, not react to him.” Your wonderful list of ideas will help me step back and respond to my children and the situation – rather than reacting.

  78. We need help all I hear I my husband yelling don’t o this don’t do that we have a 6 year old little girl and 3 year old twin boys one of the boys is very hyper pos has ADHD I do yell but not like my husband he won’t listen to me when I tell him that it makes it worse I don’t know what to do

  79. I am so excited to have found this page!! I have been struggling with yelling at my kids and I HATE myself for it. I try soooooo very hard to stay calm and compassionate but I feel like I’m running on empty pretty much everyday. I have a 7 year old son with ADHD, a 4 year old who thinks he’s 24 and a 17 month old daughter who has 6 hands (I haven’t been able to catch more than 2 yet but I know she’s hiding them somewhere and one day I’ll find them!). I am a stay-at-home mom married to a wonderful man who works 40-50 hours a week (plus work time at home) so that I can go to school full-time. I am in my 4th year of college and will have my Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education by November. I’ve decided to go for my PhD in History but I’m a few years behind on preparation so I’m playing catch-up. We are in the process of buying a house from our landlords who don’t seem to be in a hurry to sign a contract and my husband just started a new job with a boss who likes to make up new rules concerning payday (like leaving town on payday and not knowing when he will be back :/). I keep telling myself that things will calm down…they have to…but right now I am so overwhelmed that sometimes I feel like I can’t breathe. Oh, I should probably also mention that I, too, have ADHD which can make keeping normal life in order pretty difficult so keeping this mess in order is turning out to be pretty impossible. Unfortunately, I take this frustration out on my kids. I work REALLY hard not to, I really, really try not to yell but sometimes it’s like the top just pops off and I can’t stop myself. I am so, so, so very glad to have found this page! You have given me so many ways to help calm myself and to keep from hurting the only ones who truly matter. I can’t thank you enough for speaking out about something that most of us really want to hide so that you can help others get through their rough spots.

  80. It is incredible how honest you are about the behavior you used to have. That takes alot of courage to admit to. I am struggling with not yelling at my children so much as I feel that’s all I ever do. And now my daughter is starting to yell back. But I feel confident that after reading this and commiting to this wholeheartedly, both her and I will see a change. Thank you for making me feel that I am not the only one going thru this and reacting so poorly. Starting today, I vow to change, for nothing less than a better relationship with my children.

  81. I love this site, it has given me so much inspiration to make sure my boys have many fun filled, happy memory’s of their childhood. Shouting only ever makes me feel guilty and more stressed out! Day one tomorrow! Can’t wait to see their precious faces. Thank you so much 🙂

  82. I learned by observing a British mom leading her daughter into IHOP one day to say “Excuse me, Madam, I need your hand while we’re in the parking lot.”. So, now when I address my son I say “Excuse me, kind sir, where are your shoes? (or where does this article of clothing go? or whatever…). It really helps keep my voice in a serene, gentile tone. I consistenly do it with my younger son, I need to work on doing it more with my 14 yr old.

  83. I love this sheet food ideas….I try to set my goal for 10 days but I could not wrap my head around it so decided 365 days one. It seems it works better with my mind. Whispering helps best right now

  84. I just came across your site via pinterest. As I do nearly every night before I go to sleep, I browse for DIY projects and distractions and always find myself reading articles on parenting, that are always the same and quite nonsense to be honest.
    I have tears just streaming down my face, as I have right now just truly realised that I have a yelling problem. I have always thought “I’ll do better tomorrow ” and “tomorrow is a new day” but tonight the penny’s dropped! And now I can clearly hear my 3 year old son crying as he tells me “stop yelling at me like that” and “stop talking to me like that” and even “stop smacking me.” Yes, I’m a smacker too. Feeling like THE WORST MUM EVER!!
    It all changes now. Tomorrow truly will be a new day, the beginning of a new life, surrounded by orange visual reminders and more patience and love in my home.
    Thank you so much for your honesty in your own struggles and giving others the inspiration and tools needed to make a change.

      • I fear im a hands on yeller too, how is it going? I am starting with 30 days tomorrow because I have to. I cant end each day telling myself I’ll do better tomorrow. Its in my control.Not my kids. I cant start each day with nothing more than a candle wick for a fuse. If my husband knew how bad it was he would leave me. (i think)

    • I went through a face very similar to you when my son was 2 and he is now nearly 5! Looking back I still have tears streaming down my face as I write to you that he is the sweetest little person but i was so horrible that when I smacked, yelled or was cruel to him, he would cover his beautiful eyes with his hands and it makes my heart go in a million pieces just remembering that each time even now. But I can assure you, if I can do it, you can do it too. Have faith in yourself and set goal only for each day as it comes. God bless. XX

  85. PTL! A facebook group recommended you. I yell, it was exponentially better treatment than how I grew up. Every year I get a little better at yelling less. It’s been a hard battle and it goes up and down. This blog is really a fun way to handle a bad character flaw in a positive way. Thanks .. It’s like AA for yellers 🙂

  86. Thank you so much for this!!!! I really needed it. I have always struggled with yelling at my children. I have also felt guilty about it for years. I want to change but I needed some ideas for ways to help me implement change. Thank you for the ideas!

  87. Thank you for doing this. For starting this. I think it’s kind of impossible to do it alone. I truely appreciate you providing the place to share and find support.
    Thank You. I’m taking the challenge starting today!

  88. Whenever I feel yelling at my sons in unavoidable, I try to calm down by reminding myself that I am so blessed by GOD for having such wonderful children. Then only my anger vanishes.

  89. Thanks so much for the advice & ideas. I’ve been looking for books to help me keep my cool & not yell at my three girls (all under four years old). I read “Buddhism for Mothers” & “Peaceful Parents, Happy Kids” which helped some. I found the most important thing I learned was that children cannot be controlled, only coached & it’s more about my connection to my kids that will help them behave better. But I just haven’t had a handle on yelling as much as I was hoping to. But now with your tips, I’m refueled with new ideas to help me & I’m ready to start again.

  90. I’ve had type 1 diabetes since I was I was 10. I’m now 28 and have one son and a girl on the way. I know that my anger issues and yelling started after I my diagnosis. I’m doing my best to not yell at my son but it’s hard, especially when I’m having blood sugar issues. You know you can’t make the diabetes go away, as much as you want it to. And it sounds like your kids are almost all adults. They now have to work on it themselves. I know my mom was scared for me when I went out on my own, but I had to learn sometime. Trust in God. He’ll help you through the yelling and their transition to adulthood. 🙂

  91. My husband and I have just read your blog. We looked at each other with overwhelming guilt followed by a commitment to a 30 day challenge! We are going to give it our best!
    Thank you,
    MandM 🙂

  92. I just found this blog tonight. I have older boys – 20, 18, 16. I don’t know why I yell at them – I guess I think it will make them listen to me. It really doesn’t. Two of my boys have been Type 1 diabetics each since age 2. It has been a long road filled with worry and a lot of work. Maybe I yell because I’m angry about the diabetes. Maybe I yell because I’m worried about them all of the time. Maybe I yell because I don’t think I should have to work this hard to keep my boys safe and alive. I guess it doesn’t really matter WHY I yell…..I just need to STOP. Friends and acquaintances ask me if I drink, and when I say “no,” they tell me I should start. I disagree with that. But I don’t think yelling is the right way to handle all of my stress either. I hope it’s not too late for me and my family, but I’m going to try it anyway. Thank you very much for posting your very honest journey.

  93. I just stumbled upon this site after another crazy night with my kids and letting out a scream so loud my throat hurt! I typed, “patience when kids are really bad” as my search and this site came up. I have been browsing the site and responses for an hour or so and I am so touched and inspired. I haven’t come across any “spew.” Every post seems to be from a genuine parent that just wants the best for their family and some support to do better. I look forward to trying the challenge with all of you, myself. Here’s to more love!

  94. I am going to try to put some of these in place(the not little kid oriented ones), and get my husband on board as well. We recently got custody of his now 13 year old daughter. She did not have the best behavior coming from her moms and also had to adjust to no longer being spoiled and getting whatever she wanted from her dad. She did alright at first, and so did we, but before her first summer with her mom, she completely flipped and was constantly talking back, acting out, and not listening because she did not want to go. (Not sure where the logic of “make dad angry and he will want me to stay here and not go to my moms” came from.. lol) When she got back, we had to try to get her back on track, but after being used to the quiet for 2 months, the edge seemed to be a little closer for us and found it harder to keep from getting angry. It has been harder for me, I say its because I have not had my own, and have not gone through the younger stages that lead up to this so I don’t have my mommy mode yet. lol. So the things just stack and escalate things more than they should be. (Already working on the other side of the issue-my husband. He had weekend dad syndrome and felt like he had to make it up to her for not always being there and has a hard time with any punishments or sticking to them. He lets her talk back and argue and whine, until he gets super angry and yells, instead of telling her at the beginning not to argue and to go to her room or something if she starts bugging him.) It all has gotten tiring and has taken its toll on all of us. my husband and I have both addressed other issues we both had to get our life happier and better with less stress, this is the only big thing that is left. And while she will still be a teenager, we know life will be better if the way everything is handled is more under control… Easier said than done, I know.

  95. I so need to start this challenge. I just found this today. Half the time I feel like a horrible mom because I yell at my 2 and 4 year old. I just recently decided I had to stop when I had buckled my kids in the car and had to run back in to get my keys that I left on the table. My 4 yo had unbuckled himself and was punching the 2yo in the eye. I yelled so loud that I couldn’t talk for 2 days and my 4 yo was screaming and crying saying he couldn’t breathe because he was so scared of my yelling. This is not the mom I want to be:( I’m just not quite sure how to deal with his aggressive behavior towards his sibling…we tried time outs..taking away toys..doing something nice for the injured..praise for good just seems like nothing works. I’m sure I’m just encouraging aggressiveness by yelling also…help!!! I can’t wait to try this!!

  96. I just found your blog today. I must have been living in a box. I’m the mother of 3 & 5 year old girls and I am becoming a yeller. Forget it. I am a yeller.

    I LOVE the color orange and lately have been practicing #27. I’ll be back quite often. Thank you for putting yourself out there.

  97. I’m going to start the challenge…actually started yesterday. What I’ve come up against already is a hubby who doesn’t see any problem with yelling, or spanking or hitting, but has an issue with my “firm voice.” ?? I hope there are also tips here to help us not yell at our spouses (lol) and how to navigate this journey despite the non-support of the other parent. (I am firmly against spanking or hitting and don’t see that line of discipline as viable. Just my opinion. I do yell a lot, and that has to change.) My kids are also special needs – which bumps up the stress-o-meter by about 100 and the likelihood of yelling increases. So this is going to be a REAL challenge for me. But so necessary.

  98. I also have 4 boys ages 8, 7, 4 and 7 months. We have moved twice in the last year and although the big stress is over, my husband and I are still yelling. We have great kids, but they are kids. My husband and I both need to take this challenge.

  99. WOW How I NEED this !!! I am Australian married to a Croatian living in Dubrovnik. Growing up my parents YELLED a lot, my mum was a screamer along with the hitting, my dad never hit but could cut you down with words. I vowed I would never “be a hitter” and I really have done well with that 🙂 My husband is a seaman and is away for 3 to 4 months at a time home for 2 months. He yells at the boys just as his father yelled at he and his brothers, by nature most Croatians are loud even by my families standards. So now my boys are 13 and ¸12 and THEY YELL !! So I am hoping with ALL my heart and soul I am NOT TOO LATE !!! I really know I have to change this now I just wonder if the damage has been done 🙁

  100. Im so happy I found this site. Someone posted your link on facebook. As a mom to 7 kids….everyday is a struggle. We are at a difficult stage with constant arguing, fussing, and tattle-taling. Driving in the care is the WORST for me. Arguing about things like ‘he is sitting too close to me’, ‘her breath stinks’, ‘she is sitting too close to me’, and on and on. Do you have any suggestions for the car(van in my case) specifically??

    I am so excited to take this ‘challenge’. I know I wont regret it and neither will my kids!! Thank you for sharing such an important story and lesson!

  101. ‘My’ color for the past couple of years has been orange. I’ve been slowly changing things from red and green to orange and teal. Orange. My girls’ bedroom is two shades of orange. My boys’ bedroom has a bright orange stripe all the way around. My bedroom now has an orange duvet cover. I have an orange juice pitcher. Now the word “rhino” pops in my mind every.sing.time. I see my orange things. I needed this. Thank you for sharing it.

  102. For Mother’s Day my son filled out a fill-in-the-blank form for me. One of the fill-ins was “Sometimes my mom” and he filled it in with “yells”. Ouch, happy mother’s day. I don’t feel like I yell that often but it was apparently fresh in his mind and definitely a wake up call. Thanks for these great tips. I might add -say a prayer out loud- to your list: “Dear Lord, please help these children to start listening to me so that the Orange Rhino will go away.” That has two benefits, the kids know you are on the edge and you realize that you always have an audience. Thanks so much for sharing your struggles and offering help to others.

  103. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this site. I’m a single working mom of 2 and I really really reallllllllyyyyyy needed this. My 5 year old killed me when she said “I still love you mommy, even when you yell at me”. Time to change.

    Wish me luck for one week!

  104. THese are fun alternatives for when I am stressed out. I look forward to reading the website. I really need help with how to get things done with kids when there is no time left and no options for safety reasons. Like when a kid goes speeding off on their bike to a busy road. The whole neighborhood knows I am a yeller when I yell but of course they dont see the quiet moments of patient explanation, totally lost on how to raise independent thinkers and when to be the authoristy that they know to listen to.

  105. Seek and you will find… comes to mind-
    as I’ve been thinking of hypnosis as a possible cure.. Thank you
    this is a god-sent… an answer to Oh so much!

  106. I just wanted to say Thank You!!! I keep saying, “that is the last time I am going to yell!” and then it happens again! I have the sweetest boys anyone could ask for, but I find more and more I am too uptight about things and yet I want nothing more than for them to enjoy their childhood. I told my husband last night that what I needed were “alternatives for when I get mad”. I know what I don’t want to do, I just don’t know what to do instead! These tips are great! I stayed up way too late reading this, but despite it I start the challenge TODAY! Thank you for helping me and so many others on our journey to being the best Moms we can be for our kids! You have made me cry with a newly found hope!

  107. I have just found this page after typing “how can I stop yelling at my kids?” into google at the end of yet another day that has felt just too hard and I have yelled and yelled. The look on my sons face as my husband carried him out of the bathroom after I blew up totally crushed me and I realise (not for the first time) how desperate things have become. My son is 4, my daughter 2, and I am 3 months pregnant. We live on the other side of the world from our families, have just a small group of friends, and next to no support with our kids. I find it hard, no impossible, to have any time for myself and I realise this is a problem but I don’t know how to remedy it given our situation. My mother was a ‘yeller’ and i dont remember much else from my childhood in fact. I know the problems, the reasons i yell, are mine and not my kids’. I love your ideas and I want to do this but deep down I don’t really believe I can. Can you help me get started? It all just seems so overwhelming but I am truly desperate.


  108. I came online to look for a remedy for this deadly behavior. it seems I cannot stop this from eating me and my kids.
    I know my problem : I am ALWAYS rushed. I ask the kids to do something and automatically an alarm is triggered inside me and it keeps tickle louder with every moment the kids are late fulfilling my request and when the alarm gets louder than I can handle, I start yelling. I hate this look of INSECURITY I see on their faces. I am destroying them.
    I will try your tips for 1 week- 7days without yelling if I succeed I will make a plan for 30 days. wish me luck.
    Do you think that talking to them that mummy has a problem and they can help me getting rid of it will help or not?

  109. Im so glad i found this web site…i yell at my kids all the time just like my mom used to yell at me . I ALWAYS feel horrible afterwards of course but what breaks my heart even more is that my 6 yr old son is reflecting off of me and looses his temper with his little sisters the way i do…i know this is my fault because i have taught him to react with anger. Is there any way to break the “yelling cycle” or is my son doomed to be a “yeller” for the rest of his life? Please help

  110. I just love you! I absolutely hate myself for yelling at my kiddos…4 boys…so I’m really grateful to have found this. I’ve already started 🙂 Thanks so much!

  111. I’ll look like a fool: talk with an accent. “Why is there paint on the dog?” (Sounding like Forest Gump).

    I was referred to you today and I’m very thankful for it. Never stop.

  112. AHHHHH! I’m so, so, so, SO glad that I found this article! I need this. My son needs this. I hate that I yell at him, he hates that I yell at him. The neighbors probably hate that I yell at him. (Ok, it’s really not that bad but it feels like it sometimes!) I work in pre-k so I’m surrounded by 4yos all day long. And I manage to keep it together around my students (even when they’re putting rocks up their noses or trying to feed our class pet finger paints). But when it comes to my own 4yo, the sunshine of my soul, I feel like I lose it constantly. These suggestions are going up all over my house. I’ve already put an orange hair tie around my wrist and the nails are getting painted tonight! Thank you for your inspiration and your insight. Serenity NOW!

  113. Just read these tips. I am going to try the challenge starting today. I haven’t yelled yet so I’m going to continue that. I just talked to my 4 1/2 yr old (who is my challenging child) about not yelling & she gave me a big smile & nodded. Can’t wait to see how she reacts the 1st time I yell into a closet 🙂 Thanks!

  114. I have a 5 year old step son, who is set on the fact that I’m taking his moms place and making it where she won’t come see him. (She comes maybe 3-4 times a year and fills his head with nonsense) and we now have full custody of him, but he makes it a point to push my buttons and do everything in his power to push me over the edge. I also have a 7 month old and I’m so tired of yelling around her day in and day out (unless dads around) its not the kind of enviroment I want her growing up in and I miss my relationship with my step son. I’m definitly going to try this. I don’t have a printer, so ill start off by writing parts down when I do feel like yelling. Too bad I won’t be able to get dad on board. But the least I can do is eliminate 70% of the yelling in this house.

  115. I have two beautiful girls. My husband works evening and I work days. Not much parenting as a team. My youngest is in preschool and another mom asked me if I have seen the challenge on FB. I had not but was glad she asked. I am on day 1 and so far so good. Bed time is the time that usually goes bad for me. I am going to do it this time and stick with it yelling is no longer a way to do things. Yelling makes me feel like a bad mom. It only makes them laugh because my face gets red and I look like a crazy person. I think I would laugh too.

  116. My Dad used to yell A LOT. I default into it. My little one locked us out of the house and I was so angry and yelling at her her so much that my older daughter looked at me and said “Mommy, calm down.” Your thoughts about the guilty feelings that come at night when I look back over the day and think of how many times I got mad and yelled at them, well, spot on. I really need to take this challenge. Thanks for this resource!

  117. I just wanted to say thanks you a million times over. Before I became a mom I babysat and nannied and I was good at my job so I thought hey I’ve got this parenting thing in the bag! I will not be like my mom, I will have patience, and my kids will be perfect angels 🙂 (maybe not angels but at least respond to my disciplinary techniques) but having your own kids is so much different especially when you don’t get the breaks you get when u nanny or babysit. Your either at home with them 24/7 with very little time to yourself or you are a working parent and when you get home you are exhausted and don’t have the patience you should. Anyway I can relate and am so thankful to have this site and list of things to help me with! Is there someplace I can vent my frustrations or ask for advice on how to deal with certain behavior? I have two daughters ages two and a half years and the other is two months so I’m starting to find new behaviors cropping up with the little one in the mix and I’ve started watching other kids in my home which I think has changed her behavior as well. Anyway there are many times lately where it is hard to yell so thank you for this list and this website !

  118. Two questions. First: Is it any easier, now that it has been a year? Second: apparently my voice goes funny when I am angry but not yelling…I speak slowly (I think, patiently), but there’s an odd tone (like I’m talking to a rather young child). Maybe it sounds condescending? My son tells me he would much rather I yell than have “that” voice. Suggestions?

  119. I know this has been said by all the other comments left before mine but thanks for putting this out there. Totally inspirational and doable(eventually!) so nice to know that I’m not the only one and like yourself can keep it together in public, making me feel even more the evil mummy when I do rant and rave at home. Going to get some orange things together tomorrow to begin the challenge. Xxxxx

  120. My 4yr old woke up this morning giggling “mommy, mommy say ORANGE RINOOO!!” Thanks for some realistic ideas on how to stop yelling. My dad was a yeller and I have fought the yeller in me (unsuccessfully) for years. This seems much more manageable. Day 3 bring it on… :-/

  121. Love these ideas! I would love some cute printables of these to put around the house. I may have to make some (although I am so not good at that stuff) to help remind me of my alternatives when I really need them!

  122. I’d say that especially as your kids get older, it’s perfectly fine to let them know that you’re a living, feeling human being with real emotions and that what they do can and will negatively affect you.

    I know that sometimes we toss our crap onto our kids with yelling or snapping or not having the mental fortitude to use mind over matter to be more calm. But that’s part of being a human…practice as much as we want, but we will have days where we can’t be our best selves.

    And even days when we are our best selves, sometimes our kids need to know that they are going to be dealing in worlds full of people who won’t have the same unconditional love and patience with them.

    So, as kids get older, I think it’s perfectly fine and healthy to say things like,

    “I’m really angry right now. I rearranged my schedule today to drive you to where you needed to be, and you didn’t hold up your end by being ready.”

    Or, “I’m getting very frustrated by coming home every day and dishes not being done. When chores don’t get done, I feel like my time isn’t being respected.”

    After a certain age, kids should be able to handle hearing negative emotions expressed and parents should be able to “use their words” to cut to the chase and get to the heart of a situation. Time is precious in busy families.

    There are definitely times to walk away and cool down, but this shouldn’t mean that parents have to swallow all their emotions. That’s not healthy either, and another kind of resentment will build. It’s okay to be angry. It’s okay to be frustrated. And sometimes, even when the world is going well, older kids use their freewill in the wrongs ways and actually are the source of frustration. They need to be able to own and know that what they do and say has emotional consequences for other people, mom and dad included.

    Anger in and of itself is sometimes justified. It’s just an emotion, and it’s okay to let kids know we have that emotion. Showing them constructive ways to express it through language – as well as “cool down” and redirection in the moment – is appropriate. I know a lot of people who squash down the emotion and do all the work in dealing with it, and let the other person off the hook for their part. That’s okay with little kids who are just being kids and who need more habit-forming discipline and teaching. But doing all the work to keep the peace is not appropriate in our relationships with older kids. Building empathy comes from knowing exactly all the emotional impact their actions have on other people who are and will be forever imperfect in their dealings with emotion, no matter how much practice.

  123. This is a fantastic site. We are an active duty army family with 5 children between the ages of 6 and 15. I never used to yell. Unfortunately my children are yellers and now we all yell. I think maybe they picked it up at school. We have a hard time with bossiness and children trying to parent each other, which makes me a little batty. I am considering printing out this list and challenging all of us not to yell. Do you think these will work for 6 and 8 year olds who scream like they are dying because someone won’t play with them? I feel like I have tried just about everything and I would like to stop the vicious cycle. Thanks so much for sharing your story and experiences.

  124. Thank you for writing this. I know from the few comments I read that I’m not the only one. This is something I’ve been struggling with for a while and it seems to just be getting worse. I am definitely going to try many of your suggestions. Like someone else mentioned, I was yelled at as a kid and I didn’t like it any more than my kids do. I know, for me, I need to work pro-actively at getting to bed earlier because a tired mommy is a cranky mommy. On that note, I think I’ll take myself off to bed right now. Thanks again!

  125. I have 5 kids.. Ages 4, 4, 5, 7, and 8. 1 is mine and 4 are step. I yell all day long. It makes me crazy!! And u know the kids hate it! I’m going to try this stuff! Thanks for sharing!

  126. Thank you, thank you, thank you so much. Until I discovered your blog I thought I was alone. A lonely yelling mum 🙁 I will be trying out many of these over the next while. BTW – I realized that we have a lot of orange in our house. I think that will come in very useful 😉 x

  127. Thanks for sharing this. I am going to try my hardest at doing this. I hate the feeling I have after yelling at my kids. I snap easily at them and I’m sure it’s not even really their fault. I often wonder if there is something wrong with me. Why can’t I handle it better? I will take all your suggestions and put them to use, starting today! I find the hardest time trying to be patient with my kids is in public. It is very stressful when they act up and everyone is staring. What do you find is the best ways to calm them down and yourself? I usually want to just leave and go home. Maybe if I had better ways to deal with their behaviors, it could make for better outings. What do you think? Thanks!

  128. I relate to EVERYTHING in this article…I have a 3 year old and a 3 month old son..My son just doesn’t listen. I yell constantly and have been told multiple times by him – Don’t shout at me! Makes me feel like a terrible mom.

    I am going to print this and read it everyday if I have to, and I WILL stop yelling.

    Thank you for the inspiration.

  129. Hi ,

    This is all very awesome advice, I wish I had read all this before my youngest was 12 and my oldest was 18!! I really think you have such good ideas! Do you think this works with Teens? How about with husbands!! LOL.


    • Totally works with husbands 🙂 And as for teens, I have no idea but I know they all help me to calm down so I am thinking they would work?!

  130. Thank you for your honesty and help. Being a mum of a 5 yo boy, and 2 girls aged 1 and 2 is not always easy. Highly educated, always been calm, good partner yet I yell. Frequently every day. I hate myself for doing so. I do not recognize myself. Sometimes I manage to give them quiet time out on the stairs. Other times I explode. I am a vegetarian, support the monks in Tibet, tend to spread a lot of love. Yet I also see a tired out aggressive mother, an image I despite. I grew up with a loving mother, and an angry father. Time I change into the role model I want to be for my children. Time to stop. Time to enjoy them and not just feel worn out constantly. It is a vicious circle. Only I can stop it with the help of a website like yours. Time to live life fully and happily. Hugs and thanks xxx a desperate mother

  131. You, my friend, have made my life a lot easier the past two days from trying. I never realized how many times I used a “stern/yelling” voice until I stopped and tried these tips and my child said to me “oh mommy you’re so nice” wanna talk about a rear jerker?!?!? I have a copy of these steps in each room. I have a journal I’ve been writing the frustrations down in. One day, we will both be able to sit down and read it together and laugh at the small things I got mad about it and wanted to yell at him for.
    Single mom of two boys! 3 years old and 8 months. You have become my new favorite person. Thanks you!!!! ❤❤

  132. My sister has just recommended this site. I yelled at my 4 year old daughter. It was so loud I’m sure the neighbours heard me. My husband who was at the other side of the house heard and thougt it was the neighbour who had gone mad. I told him that it is me that has gone mad. I feel terrible now. Like the worst mother in the world. I’m prepared to try anything and am definitely going to try the alternatives suggested here. Day 1 of no yelling!!!

  133. I have laugh and cry.
    I knew that I had that problem and was thinking that I was the only one. I have a lot to write
    Thanks and I will accept the challenge now that I know how to start.

  134. I wish that this list (and the original blog article) had been available to me 25 years ago, when I was expecting my first child. As usual, the solutions I need show up long after I need them. *wry grin* Besides a short temper, and plenty of bad examples in my past, I have a partial hearing loss, and oftentimes I truly don’t realize how loud my own voice is, which triggers the kids to yell because it sounds like I’m yelling at them, and then I find myself yelling back and getting angry, even when there was no anger involved at first. I also know that if I try to repress my emotions, I’m setting myself up for a bigger explosion later on. But here’s what I just thought of doing. I’m just starting to learn ASL, as my hearing is getting worse and eventually, I’ll probably not be able to hear at all. I plan (when I get a large enough vocabulary) to try to use sign language to express myself instead of yelling when I’m feeling angry and that I’m about to lose it. I will be able to express my anger instead of trying to squash it (which almost never works for me), and yet provide a quieter environment for my kids. I figure that it can’t hurt, and even if it is too late for my own children, I can learn not to yell so that my grandchildren won’t learn to fear grandma.

  135. I am very excited that I found your blog and am looking forward to taking the challenge! It is a change I’ve wanted to make, but sure is easier said than done, especially in the heat of the moment! I’m actually looking forward to tracking my triggers. 🙂

  136. Thank God I found you via Pinterest. I have ONE 3 year old daughter (I can’t imagine a bunch of little boys!) and feel like I’m about to go out of my ever lovin’ gourd! Why, why, why? Oh why can’t they just LISTEN???? I’m going to print this out and put it on my fridge. And b/c this is the first thing of yours that I’ve read, I’m not sure what the scoop is about an orange rhino, but orange is my favorite color, so I’m up for adding more orange to my life. 🙂 (Don’t worry, I’ll research and figure out what it’s all about.) Again, thanks for all the ideas and just for sharing your experience so I know I’m not alone!

  137. I love how you have used a weakness of yours and made it a strength. Something that I am trying to focus on is making my weaknesses strengths. Not as easy as is said.

  138. Just wanted to say that I wish you were around when my kids were little! I yelled too much, but also realized I was doing it and tried to do alternatives. Vacuum, run up and down stairs ect. On Days when the kids were just monsters, I found that putting them in a bath and using food coloring in the water would wind things down. Instead of fighting, they would have a good time and if there was a bit of a mess on the floor, so what.Easy to wipe up.Eventually they would ask to do it when they got bored or whatever. When they got too old do do this together(boy and girl) I just put swimming suits on them.

  139. My husband just sent me this link. And it couldn’t have come at a better time. We have a 15 y/o girl and boys ages 5,3 and 2. So I have my hands full. We are in the process if moving to a bigger house abd stress has been very high between my husband, myself and the kids. I keep telling myself that yelling has a trickaling affect. (Dad yells at daughter, daughter then yells at boys and so on). So this is a challenge he in going to start at the new house on April 1st. What a day to start but I figure new house new life time for a new chapter! Thank you for posting this article.

  140. I am soooooooooooo glad I found this blog! I constantly have guilt after my 4 kids are all tucked into bed and I start thinking about all the yelling I did throughout the day. Starting tomorrow, I am not going to yell anymore. Like you’ve mentioned, sometimes the things they do that make us yell make perfect sense to them in their little world, yet we are so quick to be impatient and yell at them. Thanks so much for sharing your journey. You are an inspiration to me. I read your post, “10 Things I Learned From Not Yelling” to my husband tonight, and it was just so inspiring. Thank you so much.

  141. I was with my nephew one day he is now 6 he was 4 at the time and he was just full of energy and was told to calm down… Needless to say he was a 4 year old boy… Calm HA!! I just started humming in a mediating mode and he stopped and looked at me and I said woosah and I told him to calm down with me woosah an just did some silly movements with my arms calmly and he calmed down and since then all I have to way is WOOSAH and he stops, takes deep breaths, and says Woosah! Then he is good!

  142. I love this! And I love you for writing all these great ideas on how to stop yelling at my family! I am a yeller and I don’t want to yell anymore! I have created 4 little monsters who yell to get attention too. I am going to take your challenge to change into a calm and encouraging mom that doesn’t overreact to stress instead of a psycho, enraged, out of control freak who poses as my children’s mother. 365 days is a pretty lofty goal so I am going to start with today and add another day when I can successfully make it through one without yelling. (I have a 13 yr old, so 1 day at a time is all I can muster the strength for yet)

  143. Stumbled across your list and I have decided to give it a bash. I have a 3year old daughter and a 2 year old son, she is so stubborn and thinks she knows best(wonder where she gets that from) and her brother is her shadow, monkey see monkey do. I knew i yelled sometimes but realized i must be bad when she starts yelling and her brother calls her mummy Mia. She is really moody and says that she’ sad quite a lot but her nursery teacher says she’s a pleasant happy girl there so now i feel even more guilty and sad myself, i want to be a fun mum and have a good relationship with them before they become teenagers. But as of today i WILL try harder and then we’ll work on daddy’s patience. Wish me luck

  144. it feels nice to know i am not the only mom who yells so much. this is going to sound terrible but last spring it got so bad a cyst developed on my vocal cord (this was in part due to yelling at my daughter 2 blocks away on her bike that she was too far ahead and needed to come back, when she was 7 and trying to be independant, but i went into a minor panic attack of bad things that could happen). i had the cyst surgically removed and could not even whisper for even a week. I feel i am doing better than yelling at every little thing now, but i have a lot of weak moments. I have an 8 year old and an almost 3 year old (both girls). i dont have anyone that is a good friend that i call on any regular basis though. i moved cross country 8 years ago and lost track of a lot of people. thank you for being brave enough to put this out there for people like me who think i must be the most terrible parent in the world. funny thing is my favorite color is orange. so maybe there is hope.

  145. This is a wonderful idea and I would love to do it but I have teens and none of these ideas are gonna work for them. They are all geared for smaller kids. Please help!

    • Stay tuned – soon I will be posting on FB about that exact issue as I know it is a subject many people hope to take up!

  146. I have a 7.5 year old and 2.5 year old. I’ve tried repeatedly not to yell but keep falling into the same cycle. It makes it harder not to get frustrated when my husband doesn’t back me up and gives into their every tantrum. I’m constantly “the bad cop”. I cry because I feel like no one else has this problem but I know I’m not alone now. Will give it a shot again trying some new techniques

  147. Thank you, THank you, Thank you for doing this. YOu give moms hope everywhere. I have been trying hard in the last 3 months to not yell, but it still gets the best of me often. I come from a family of yellers (well mostly my mom and her family). It is so hard to stop. It really helps me have compassion for people with other addictions! Mine is yelling. Although I don’t think of myself as an angry person… but I just tend to explode. I am doing better I do believe, though. I am so excited to start this challenge. I believe I can make this change and then my kids won’t grow up to be yellers–this is probably my biggest motivator!

  148. Thank you for posting this. I have 4 kids and man do I yell, my husband is so sick of me yelling he tells my kids that if he has to come home and listen to me yell all night they are grounded. I am so sick of yelling and I try so hard to just walk away but my kids just keep pushing my buttons until I boil over. Sometimes I yell so much my heart hurts and I feel like my brain is going to explode. I going to give this a try starting right now because my kids are fighting and throwing things at the wall as I am writing this. Wish me luck

  149. I’m so glad I found this website! I have a 2 year old boy and am 4 months pregnant with a girl. I also work from home and it can be really difficult to focus, so I find myself yelling to try to gain control. Ridiculous, isn’t it? How can I gain control when I’m not in control? I’m definitely going to try these tips! I had another tip that may help some moms. One day when my son was screaming/fussing and my dog was going crazy howling because he didn’t like the noise, I plugged my ears and just watched (which is similar to #45). By plugging my ears I escaped most of the noise and I began to laugh as I was able to see the situation without the frustration of the noise. It worked great for that moment! Thank you for your website!

  150. Great resource! Thank you for sharing your personal journey! My first little one is only 6 months old, so i haven’t really had opportunity to yell yet, but my mom still beats herself up over yelling at us, so I figure it’s never too early to get in the right mindset!

  151. Thank you so much for sharing your personal challenge and establishing a network where we can helping another. My recent technique is telling my kids that my behavior is going to be really bad so I need to take a timeout. My oldest will follow me when she is pushing me over the edge so I need to distance myself and this is the only thing that seems to work. They think its hilarious and I can address their poor behavior after I’ve gotten away a few minutes and calmed down.

  152. Recently, my two-and-a-half-year-old daughter told me, “Don’t shout at me!” I cringe every time I think about it. She had unrolled the toilet paper (again). Who cares, really? I want so much to stop yelling before she has any clear memories of it. I’m really glad I found this blog. I so hope I can keep up with this challenge. And I’m glad I’m not the only one who struggles with yelling.

    • Oh man, your comment almost made me cry. A couple of days ago, my 15 month old was fussing non stop after keeping me up half the night just refusing to sleep (not crying, just wanted to hang out apparently). My temper was short and I was getting irritated at him for throwing his lunch on the floor. My older son, almost 5, was watching me get more and more impatient with the toddler and told me to stop being so mean to him. I was horrified and just wanted to cry. I was being mean to him because I was exhausted and couldn’t solve his problems which made me feel like a crappy mom but what really pushed me over the edge was being told to lay off by my older son. Your comment brought it all back. I need to do better. No yelling and I have to back off my kids. They’re kids, I have to let them be kids, fussing and all.

      • Thanks for your honesty. Really inspiring- I see my 6 year old watching me and I know he’s thinking what yours said. You have really given me new motivation. Thanks for that.

  153. OMG! This is exactly what I needed! I feel like I am drowning with a two and a half year old at home on top of working full time as a middle school teacher! It seems lately all I do is yell and complain! It ends today! Thanks!!!

  154. I just found your blog and am so relieved that I am not the only yeller ! I have a 6 yr. old daughter whom I homeschool and some days are horrible. I find myself yelling a lot more than I realize. I’m going to try the 365 day challenge. I love the idea of using orange as a reminder ! I’ll probably have orange toenails for the rest of my life ! Thanks again.

  155. I just found your website and I love the idea. I have a 9 year old and a 7 year old both girls. I am also 8 months pregnant with a little boy. I have had a lot of issues with his pregnancy that I didn’t have with the girls and need a lot more help around the house. My husband works nights which leaves me alone with the kids a lot and doing everything myself. After yelling at my kids this morning again because their bathroom, rooms and my kitchen were distroyed again after just cleaning last night we walked to the bus stop both kids crying and myself on the verge of it. I have had enough. I read your list of alternatives to yelling but I have a problem it seems like the list to stop yelling is great but then what do I do after that. I don’t want to just make them laugh because I’m being silly and not taking what I’m saying seriously. Do you have a list for how to not yell at older kids that doesn’t make me look like a clown that the can still take seriously. Thank you so much for your time.

    • got this from a co-worker..pull hands toward yourself as you say in with jesus …hands out as you say out with satan…..after about 3 times ..what ever is triggering me doesn’t seem so bad…also is a signal to kids ..I better listen…Know it seems corny but it really helps me..Kids even get it if you only say the words in your head

  156. I think I’m going to buy orange post-it notes and write these down on them and post them all over the house! I’ve been doing a month long no-yell challenge, and thus far (11 days in), I’ve only yelled 3 times! I cannot thank you enough for this challenge, your webiste, and all you’re doing to help! My daughter’s loving it, too 🙂

  157. I read about your website in a newspaper article and figured that I might as well try it. I am a mother of two children, ages 8 and 12 (more like 12 going on 30!). In addition to the everyday stresses of life, I am going through a separation. Unfortunately, this has brought my patience level to an all-time low, and I find myself yelling…a lot. I think the biggest challenge for me is how to handle the argumentative, oftentimes disrespectful attitude that I receive from my teenage daughter. I am going to try some of these tips and see what happens.

    If anyone has some helpful hints, please let me know.

    Wish me luck!

    • I’m a single mom with two boys (ages 6 and 3). I have no family around and my ex has only taken them 3 days so far this year so I’m doing it 99% on my own. I also work. My 3 year old is extremely difficult and cries and has meltdowns over every little thing and it really tries my patience. I also don’t get enough sleep. I yell way more than I care to admit and then I hate myself afterward. I hate it and I want to stop. I’m so glad I found your site! I’m up for the challenge, I need to print all these tips and post it on my fridge and bathroom mirror!

    • something that helped with my teenage daughter…we wrote out how we felt…instead of yelling….if she felt that I wouldn’t listen of I felt she wasn’t listening we would pull out a notebook and write….deliver in silence and give time to read and process…went a long way towards undrestanding ..both…at 17 we have a much better relationship and we both listen better..
      this works because you can’t argue with paper…lol

  158. I love this list!! I think I will print it out and post it on my fridge…wonder if i can find orange paper? (I LOVE the idea of orange nail polish as a reminder) 🙂

  159. This list is amazing. I had such a good laugh and am going to print it out and put it in the kitchen, where it is visible. I’m doing the 30-day challenge and w/o knowing it, I did #82 and did not yell. YAY! Celebrate success!!

  160. I am so glad I found this site. I just yelled at my kids and felt sick afterwards. My kids were upset too and I know they hate it. I am going to print out your suggestions of things to do instead of yelling. I am going to try this. Thank you.

    • Hi April! Thank you for reading and I am glad that you found this page. Here are the 5 steps that helped me get going: 1) Tell friends and text them when you want to yell! (2) Track your triggers. I have an example under resources. This will help you focus on hard times (3) Start yelling away from kids to learn to not yell at them (i.e. a closet, cabinet, toilet!) Soon you’ll feel silly 🙂 and will not want to tell at all (4) Know that it will be hard but that it is worth it! (5) Ask me for support along the way. Good luck!

      • I love this!! I’m sure I can pull it off. I would like to join the Orange Rhino FB group. When I typed it in & bunch of Orange Rhino’s pulled up. It looks like there is a FB page which I liked but their are tow closed groups which one is your group? I’m assuming the one with more people nut I just want to make sure. Thanks for putting this valuable life changing info out there.

    • Dear Danielle – You are most welcome. I think the most effective for me in the beginning days were yelling in the closet and the cabinets. It first taught me to yell away from my kids. Step 1. Then it made me feel silly and helped me to stop! Good luck! If there is anything I can do for you, let me know!

      • I just now saw this. I love your blog so much I feel like you are a celebrity responding haha! Still struggling but getting better since I started barking like a dog when I want to yell or get a little forceful with him. Have a friend that wants to take the challenge with me. Do you do any personal help like one on one accountability emailing like bi weekly or something? I always do better when I know I’m going to have to give accountability for my previous weeks work lol such is being raised in a home with conditional love, healed but still working out the minks 🙂

        • Ha! Hilarious! I’m not stylish enough to be a celebrity 🙂 Getting better is great! Any progress is progress. I love that you bark like a dog and i love that you have a friend you should take the challenge with. Having someone to commiserate with and get support from is a huge. Having my friends I texted in the first two weeks was a big asset in breaking the habit. Checking-in with progress also helps. Tuesday nights I have a “Toot your Rhino Horn” night when people can say how they are doing. Also, you can email me ANYTIME you want to check in. I will do my best to email within the day or within a couple of hours. Good Luck!

          • I am a newbie and this is where I belong. trying to be the best mom I can be but struggling. when i first started this i thought it was like no yelling. no raised voices, no stern talking. come to find out its the hurtful yelling, this isn’t the quiet rhino. kids are noisy, just noisy and i was trying to figure out how to get over it. well the barking like a dog, tarzan yell, do something to get their attention is what I am going to use.
            THank you for having the courage to write this blog and book.
            keep it up
            Cannermama aka Charney (Char-knee)

    • Hi,
      How fortunate that I came across this wonderful website. I read about another Mum that took the challenge and she put this page up for motivation. I have two boys and they are 8 and 3. I do a lot of yelling and feel so bad afterwards…..
      I think I’m ready to take up this challenge. Thanks so much for the tips and motivation.
      Wish Me Luck :-)!

    • Amazing amazing!! I have three young sons – I’m going to try really hard to break my bad habits. You’ve expressed this so well. Congratulations x

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