15 Ways to Not Yell When Noise Triggers You

{sometimes} Noise Makes Me Yell at My Kids.
This post I wrote last week, well, it struck a really big chord with a lot of you. It seems that I am so not the only who struggles to stay calm and quiet when overwhelmed by both loud noises (kids arguing, argh!) and annoying noises (lip smacking while slurping cereal, double argh!) So, I thought I would share with you all how I handle this trigger that constantly screams in my ear, “Neener neener neener, you’re gonna explode!”

Here are my top 15 Ways to Not Yell When Noise is a Trigger, grouped into three levels, depending on severity of the noise!

Cool faceWhen I am feeling Cool and not close to yelling…I aim to keep it that way by doing these preventative measures.

  • Use a quieter voice throughout the day.
    I quickly learned on my journey that the quieter and calmer I am, the quieter and calmer the kids are! The challenge? I don’t naturally have a quiet voice! It is actually loud and intimidating (or so I’ve been told.) So I have actively had to teach myself to change my tone, which has been hard, but worth it! My new tone has definitely lowered the loud, gonna-put-me-close-to-the-edge, if not over it, outbursts!
  • Walk to closer to my kids so they can hear me without my loud voice.
    One day I “yelled” down to my boys to come up for dinner. They all starting “yelling back;” in other words, they matched my voice level. 5 people at that level made me batty!!! At that point I started trying not to “yell” (use a loud voice to get attention) to my kids when they are outside to come in or to “yell” come up from the basement because doing so just creates an immediate upswing in the noise level in the house, which means an immediate upswing in my chances of losing it! (Let’s face it though; this one is hard to execute! I can be lazy and not want to walk the extra 10 steps to use a quieter voice!)
  • Practice with my boys how to take turns talking.
    For real. Sometimes I feel like a schoolteacher, as I ask my boys to raise their hands, but it is a necessity with so many munchkins who are still learning patience! I also remind them that don’t yell at school or talk out of turn which means they are capable of doing the same at home!
  • Prioritize Sleep and Minimize Caffeine.
    Ugh. I can’t stand this preventative measure but without it, noise, all kinds, just gets to me faster and more furiously. Less sleep, more caffeine = more edge, less calm. More sleep, less caffeine = more loving, less yelling. It’s that simple and yet so stinkin’ hard!!

Warm FaceWhen things are Warming up and my desire to yell is growing…I pull out some of my creative alternatives to yelling to block out the noise or help me to relax (or both.)

  • Wear earmuffs or put my fingers in ears.
    Yes, I am for real. And yes, my brown furry ones make me look like Princess Leia (which my boys think is so cool) but they block out the noise and help me stay calm. I also put my fingers in my ears if I feel I am agitated and pre-disposed to be extra on edge. This not only helps with the noise level, but it is also a superb signal to my boys that they need to quiet down or mom’s going to go apeshit.
  • Turn on my favorite music.
    Okay, this is a tricky one. I like to put music on to calm me down when noise starts getting to me. Sometimes, I put it on loud to drown them out my boys if they are the source of the noise (awesome in the car) or sometimes I just put on a favorite song to sing along to so I find noise I like (Journey, “Don’t Stop Believin’). The challenge though, is that this can backfire! If my boys are loud because they are in an over stimulated state, the noise can agitate them even more and push them to really start yelling. I tread carefully with this one. Sometimes I read the situation right, sometimes not so much.
  • State the problem.
    My boys are at the stage right now where they still think I am cool and want to hang out with me (and on me.) So, when their noise is just too much, I simply state that I need it to quiet down or I’ll being take a mommy break. This works like a charm. And if it doesn’t, leaving the kitchen to sit on the stairs does!
  • Light a candle and pretend I’m at a quiet spa.
    Ahh, the silence of a spa. I’ve only been a few times, but it was bliss. I now have a few candles strategically situated in areas where I find I get stressed by noise (oh kitchen, why doth you create such noise?) and I light them (especially my orange one!) when I need serenity, like now!
  • Run the faucet to drown out the noise.
    You know why I love the shower? Because it’s quiet. All I hear is running water. Nothing else. I can’t stay in the shower all day; that thing called wicked cold water that comes when all the hot is gone gets to me. So instead I turn the kitchen sink or bathroom sink on for a quick bit to drown out the noise. This sometimes leads to the boys wanting a water fight, which is a mess BUT it does get them to take the noise outside! Speaking of which…
  • Ask them to take the show on the road.
    A lot of the parenting tidbits I got from hours waiting in OB/GYN offices went in one ear and out the other (pregnancy brain + sleep deprivation + overwhelmed with info!) But this tip: “Tell kids to take the show on the road when too loud” stuck and I use it often. It encourages them to keep having fun making noise, just in a different room.
  • Join the circus.
    Okay, I guess I kind of already have and I am kind of already the ringmaster, but I try to stay out of the chaos as much as I can. That said; sometimes when I can’t escape it I just join it. This way I get to let off some steam and connect with my kiddos, which generally leads them to more readily quiet down when I’ve run out of steam and ask for more quiet.

Hot FaceWhen I am too Hot to handle (and not in a good way) and yells are at the tip of my tongue…I have three go-to strategies.

  • Take deep breaths.
    I can’t stand taking deep breaths. I just can’t. In fact, when my mom tells me too, I practically explode! But, I learned on my Orange Rhino Challenge that they actually work. Three big deep belly breaths help me chill out so I can try some of the cool/warm approaches.
  • Walk away.
    This is totally a traditional alternative, but it also totally works. Does the noise sometime follow me? Eh hem, do the kids sometimes follow me and open the door to the bathroom? Yes. But I just keep trying until I find my peace. The good news is that if the noise bothering me isn’t from the kids, I can literally walk away from it (like the constant buzzing of a Hex bug stuck in some small place that we can’t figure out! Oh. My. Gosh. Totally Annoying. Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!)And lastly, my favorite,
  • Let the yell out into a freezer, or any inanimate object. I can keep myself from yelling all I want when noise triggers me, but sometimes I just have to let my annoyance out with a yell. So I do it somewhere safe, like the freezer, a cabinet, the car, the garage, the closet or the bathroom. Once calm, I try the “warm ways” and then hopefully, the “cool ways.”

Block out NoiseThese are just 15 of the things I try to do to manage my noise trigger. I hope at least a few of them help you if you struggle with this same trigger. If not, just admitting to yourself that noise is a trigger, and a real one, is a huge step towards kicking its ass and managing it. All you need to do next is practice different alternatives until you find what works best to “block out the noise so you can block out the desire to yell.”

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Find a list of my Top 10 Triggers and How I Manage them, as well as simple steps to help you learn to yell less, in my new book, “Yell Less, Love More: How The Orange Rhino Mom Stopped Yelling at Her Kids, and How You Can Too!” You can pre-order it here. 



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5 thoughts on “15 Ways to Not Yell When Noise Triggers You

  1. This is so awesome. I felt like I was all alone in this. I hate that I yell and most of the time it’s my problem not my kids. It doesn’t make my daughter better, she shuts down. I want to do this for her and my other daughter who is 2. How do I know the damage will be undone from my 6 year old. I just feel so bad for the yelling I have done. And everytime I yell, its nothing shes done wrong, almost like I am yelling at myself. I hate it, but I do it anyway. I am trying a 100 day challenge and I wrote down some of your tips and I am going to read them every morning. Thanks so much for this site. It gives me great wishes that things can change.

  2. This has been on my “need to read” list for weeks. Glad I finally did, noise makes me crazy and quick. Somehow you always know what the rest of us are feeling and you put it into context. I dont know if you realize what an amazing, helpful tool you are to your readers but I couldn’t thank you enough!

  3. I love the playing your music suggestion. I love my favorite types of music and will play them, often, but have found that to backfire sometimes as well. When the noise level starts together a bit high, I have found that harp music is amazingly calming for all of us. It has to be solo harp, because a lot of instrumental (classical) selections can be loud or fast and not help (Flight of the Bumblebee is a good example of what not to play). But the solo harp is instantly quiet, calm, and soothing for all who hear it. Try it!

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