My Staycation, Your Questions

 418 days of loving more, Day #2 of my Staycation!

Hello Orange Rhinos! My family and I are taking a much needed “staycation” this week so I will be disconnecting until Monday, April 8th. I know many of you have just recently discovered The Orange Rhino page and blog and are starting up your own journeys to yell less. Yeah! I also know how hard the first days and weeks can be so I wanted to make sure that in my absence you were still supported because I want everyone to succeed. Why? Because I know how crappy it felt to be a yeller and because I know how great it feels to now be on the other side. I wish that I could be online everyday with you all (and that I could catch up and respond to all your questions and comments and emails) but I need to take this time with my family.

I am very curious to see how I do without seeing The Orange Rhino logo daily J I must admit, seeing it, sharing posts, writing blogs all keeps my promise top of mind. And I must also admit that reading your comments and seeing your enthusiasm for the Challenge has brought me much needed strength and inspiration to keep going during this more challenging time in my life. All that said, more than ever my family and I need this break, together. My boys miss me greatly. I haven’t been as present as I wish due to that “Boulder” in my marriage I spoke of earlier this week. This week is my chance to re-connect with them and show them how very much I love them. I am looking forward to the much-needed together time, to slowing down, and to getting the grumpy out of my attitude that has moved in recently!!!

(Okay odd moment. You know you are a parent when…you write Grumpy and think you are a Care Bear!) That said, after this week I hope to act a bit more like Sunshine or Funshine (whoever the yellow one is) and a bit more like Tenderheart because as my 4 year old just informed me when I asked who I should be, he said “Tenderheart because he’s always nice!”

Keeping with the Care Bears comparison (why not, right?) I have put on my Cheer Bear attitude and lined up Facebook Posts and Blog posts for this week to keep The Orange Rhino on top of mind and keep you inspired. I hope they help! What I love about our growing community is that I know that you will all comment and support each other all week along until I am back up and running. Thank you in advance for that! I am really excited about the guest blog posts as they are beyond honest, beyond brave, and very inspiring. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

Also, since I haven’t been able to respond to all your questions and I won’t get to them this week, I wanted to answer some here briefly that keep coming up!

1. I am NEW to the Challenge, what is the best way to start?
Read 12 Steps to Stop Yelling At Your Kids and the two posts linked in it: Forget 365 Days and Tracking your Triggers. Tracking your triggers is hard and time consuming but a really, useful tool. Then check out the Resources page and print The Orange Rhino sign. Make one for each child and ask them to hold it up like a stop sign when you are getting cranky! And SPREAD the word. Seriously. Tell your friends your family and get them involved. Get accountable by starting on the FB page what your goal is. Comment on other people’s posts to give and find support.

2. Did you tell your kids when you started?
Yes I did. They were my biggest help! They were constantly reminding me of my promise by holding up their signs and saying “Orange Rhino mommy!”

3. Is your husband on board?
Here is the funny thing. When I started this, he didn’t yell or rather he rarely did. Maybe once a month? So I didn’t need to get him on board. But now that I don’t yell when he does the kids go ballistic at him saying Green Turtle!!! (That is the name he gave himself.) So now he is on board and is trying hard to embrace it because he has seen that yelling really gets us nowhere except a more challenging place or a longer tantrum!

4. Is there any official Orange Rhino gear?
Not yet but I am working on it! I am hoping to have that taken care of in a few weeks so that we can all have Orange Rhino bracelets, keychains and more.

5. I keep failing and am back to day one. This sucks, what should I do?
I suggest doing what some others have done. Stop the counter on the day you yell, say day 2 and start it up again when you don’t yell. This way you focus on the positive. Also, reconsider your goal. Perhaps choose one moment a day to master, ie. bathtime and add moments on once you get one under control. Also re-visit your triggers. It isn’t easy. I know for me when I am trying to lose weight and I feel like I am failing the best way for me NOT to lose weight is to keep telling myself I suck (which by the way, I am uber good at!) When I tell myself I can do it, I want to do it, and I will do it, the weight comes off. It is hard to constantly work at something when the results aren’t immediate but I know it is easier when I stay as positive as I can and when I am as honest with myself as I can be as to why I am struggling, read Truth or Dare? To see what I mean!

6. Your alternatives are great but don’t necessarily work for me. Thoughts?
Read this post “Do I Really Want to Yell.” My alternatives work for me because they calm me down and help my kids calm down. So the question is, what calms you down in the hear of the moment? I had no clue what worked for me until I started this Challenge and had to find a way!!!

7. What defines Yelling?
If you read my Challenge Details, you will see how I broke down my yelling parameters. Basically, I defined a non acceptable tone of voice (ie. yell) as one that had venom in it, one that was intentionally mean and non-loving, one that had great potential to create tears or to tear down my child’s confidence. I still snap on occasion, for example a quick “OUCH” when accidentally hurt or a quick “Enough!” but it is more a slip of the tongue and not a “I’ve totally lost my cool and I am being mean”. The truth lies within – I know when I crossed the line in the beginning because my gut felt awful! Another big distinguisher is yelling to vs at as I discussed in The Emergency Yell. I am okay with the occasional yelling to in emergency or if I am upstairs and they are in the basement and I need something. That said, if I do it too much then they tune me out!

8. Why were my first few days easier than now? I went several days without yelling and now I can’t go one day?! Help!
I went seven ish days without yelling and then I just snapped for the silliest reason; so silly I don’t even remember it! And then it took my three ish tries to get going again because I spent so much mental energy thinking about the fact that I failed and because I didn’t have all the original adrenaline that got me going. The first seven days I succeeded I put all my mind and energy into the process. I think I got cocky after such a successful start and I took my eye off the ball so to speak. My suggestion would be to surround yourself with orange reminders, to talk about your successes so you feel confident, to start each day telling yourself you can do this and to make sure you have a support network to help get you going. I texted my “Orange Rhino” friends constantly my first few days and tries to keep me going.

I hope this all helps some – have a great week and thanks in advance for supporting each other while I am staycationing!

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