370 days without yelling! Republished since I literally, can not speak. At least I know it isn’t from yelling! (First Published November 13, 2012 when I had gone 280 days without yelling and had 85 days of loving more to go!)
Help! My throat really hurts. It’s been throbbing for about three years actually and some days I can’t even speak. I wake up fine but then within ten minutes of the kids waking up and arguing with me about their clothes for the day, it flares right up. It settles down when they are watching their morning T.V. show but then oddly enough it starts scratching and pulsing at breakfast time, normally right around the time someone throws his food or complains that he didn’t like what I served. It’s the oddest illness I’ve ever had. It comes and goes all day and on the worst of days is accompanied by a throbbing head ache and a massively aching heart and tears. Lots of them. Taking deep breaths and telling myself it will go away isn’t helping. I’m at a loss. Please help me. I haven’t reached out to you before because some days, the really good days, I have no symptoms at all, and others well other days I don’t think the pain stops from the minute I open my eyes in the morning. Well and to be honest, I am kind of embarrassed about my problem. None of my friends seem to suffer from it, or at least they don’t say that they do. Please don’t judge me. Just help me!
A frustrated parent
Dear frustrated parent,
Based on what you’ve described it sounds like you have Parental Laryngitis, more commonly known as “Yelling at your kids too much.” The defining symptoms are: that it goes away when kids are sleeping or at school then comes on quickly, sometimes with a warning and sometimes not, and immense guilt. The good news is that you are not alone – at least 80% of parents suffer from this. Personal, marital, family, and social stress set up any parent to feel crappy and tired, two known causes of this condition. Children also experience extreme exhaustion and crappy moods further on setting the symptoms. Take two of these Orange Rhino “pills” that I created as an alternative to yelling and read about The Orange Rhino Challenge, a community to support people like you, and then call me in the morning.
Dr. Orange Rhino
Dear Dr. Orange Rhino,
I looked up Orange Rhino pills online for the first time ever. I like to understand the medicines I am prescribed. I found “as of 2009, orange rhino are ecstasy pills.” Um, hello? Doctor? Are you an idiot? Did you mean to prescribe me that? Don’t you do your research?????
A frustrated, and now questioning, parent
Dear a frustrated, and now questioning, parent,
Well, well, well. What a funny Freudian slip, eh? And a wee bit embarrassing Yes, I did mean to write The Orange Rhino. I specifically chose the name because Rhinos are calm animals except when provoked which I think is how most parents truly are. We are calm beings but when triggered by our children’s actions, or in-actions we charge or scream. And I intentionally chose orange to inspire the sense of warmth we as parents want and to give us energy and strength to not yell.
I actually think it is kind of funny that I missed this tidbit of information when I did my research naming the prescription. Oops. But the thing is, in a way, MY Orange Rhino prescription is like an ecstasy pill (I’m guessing here, not based on my personal research!) MY Orange Rhino prescription is also about feeling happier, lighter, freer, more confident, more loving. Not yelling will induce these feelings. So while my name was indeed a slip, I am okay with that.
Again, take two of these and call me in the morning.
Directions: When cranky and feeling your throat start to twitch, your hands start to sweat, and your eyes start to pop out of your head, take two “pills” and remember what The Orange Rhino stands for: a promise to your kids to be more warm and loving.
Then logon to the www.facebook.com/TheOrangeRhino and yell there via typing. You do not have to store in a cool place. Simply store in a place where you are most apt to yell. Additionally, for more alternatives to help reduce your parental laryngitis, read this document: 100 Alternatives to yelling at your kids. WARNING: You may look like a fool trying some of them.
SECOND WARNING: It can take more than 10 days for the laryngitis to lessen. Please keep trying all alternatives until you are at a place where you feel better. Don’t give up.
Best of luck,
Dr. Orange Rhino
Dear Dr. Orange Rhino,
You were right. My throat isn’t scratching as much. I feel happier. I feel better. It did take a while but that’s okay. Well worth it.
An ecstatic parent
Note: This post is intended to be sarcastic and fun. I am not way endorsing illegal drug use. It is also not intended to make fun of anyone who does suffer from real, chronic laryngitis.