50 Alternatives to Yelling at your Kids

99 days without yelling, 266 to go!!

Dear Orange Rhinos,

Let’s face it. I am no expert here. I don’t have a PhD in parenting. I don’t have a PhD in childhood behavior. I don’t have a PhD in therapy. The only PhD I have is that I am a Parent Holding Determination to find solutions to not yelling. On the eve of the 1st Orange Rhino Challenge Day ever I thought I would share a list of the top 50 fun, silly, serious and other things I have done the last 99 days to keep from yelling. Consider it a cheat sheet for not yelling…or a source of entertainment. Either way I hope you enjoy it!

50 Alternatives to Yelling at your Kids:

Fun Alternatives (Added bonus: I don’t yell and kids start laughing and changing behavior):
1. Run around the house  (adrenaline boost)
2. Start talking jibberish  (makes kids laugh and stop pummeling each other)
3. Start blowing bubbles  (relaxes me, reminds me of childhood and 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 and keep going until the 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)

“I look like a Fool” Alternatives:
16. Yell into a Closet  (clothes don’t have feelings)
17. Yell into a Kitchen Cabinet  (cereal boxes don’t have feelings either)
18. Open up the freezer and put head in  ­(it cools me down and snaps me out of my mood and makes kids laugh)
19. Raise two hands in the air (it gets kids attention, like a warning signal that I’m about to blow)

20. Go to the bathroom and scream into the toilet, then flush it away  ( um symbolic?)

21. Shake body, arms and legs  (like The
Wiggles, Shake shake Shake your silly’s out)

22. Get on back and put legs and arms in the air and howl like a Dog  (yes, I did this, read here)

“I’ll be considered a bad parent” Alternatives:
23. Put the TV on for longer than normally feels okay at moments that are especially dreadful  (Sometimes TV is better than yelling, right?)
24. Have ice cream sundaes together  (Fun family activity makes me want to have fun, not yell)
25. Start the day with Orange Yogurt  (A very small food coloring goes a long way)

I don’t know how to categorize Alternatives:
26. Go to The Orange Rhino Facebook page and yell there…   (that’s what the page is for!)
27. Text a friend announcing you’re going to lose it  (hopefully he/she will say “don’t!!)
28. Set up phone calendar to notify you every 30 min to not yell.  (annoying but helpful)
29. Stare at something in room that you love.  (finding happy moments erases anger)
30. Ask your child WHY are you crying?  (the response will make you give a hug instead)
31. Ask your child WHY are you doing that?  (the response might make you understand behavior and make your desire to yell decrease)
32. Tell yourself “I won’t yell. I won’t yell.”  (Tricks you into believing you won’t!)
33. Say “I love you. I love you. I love you.”  (Hard to yell when you realize you love someone).

More Serious/Expected Alternatives:
34. Count to 10. Or 100. Or 1000 until you calm down.  (forces one to regroup and get perspective)
35. Walk away  (more opportunity to gain perspective)
36. Take a deep breath  (if one is breathing, one can’t yell!)
37. Whisper  (don’t know why this works, it just does!)
38. Turn the Lights off  (the shocking factor stops kids in tracks and adds calmness)
39. Eat  (Food in mouth, mouth can’t yell. major pros, major cons, um hello 5 pounds)
40. Keep a journal and write why you want to scream  (paper is a great listener)
41. Grab your hands together and squeeze (a great release)

How I remind myself not to yell:
42. Buy orange napkins and keep in the kitchen
43. Buy (or receive for Mother’s Day!) orange kitchen towels
44. Wear more orange (necklace, clothes)
45. Put orange post it notes all over the house ESPECIALLY where one is apt to yell

46. Print out Orange Rhino Logo, attach popsicle sticks and have Kids hold it up when crankiness starts

47. Get kids involved! Have them yell “ORANGE RHINO!!!” when they sense the volcanic eruption coming!

48. Wear an orange hair elastic around wrist

49. Place orange flowers in a vase in kitchen

50. Serve Orange Foods  (oranges, peaches, cheese, Cheez its, carrots)

So there you have it. 50 things I have tested in order to keep myself from yelling. Clearly, it has taken  A LOT of creativity. And A LOT of patience. And A LOT of self control. But hey, my kids are worth it. They totally deserve to be raised in a more loving environment.

ORANGE you glad you read this post? Sorry, couldn’t resist. I hope so. Good luck tomorrow!!! it’s just one day. You can do it.

“The Orange Rhino Challenge: I can’t yell for 365 days…but I can still pick me nose!”

For more details on The Orange Rhino Challenge click here. For more details on what The Orange Rhino is click here:

Remember, here is how to participate in the 1st Orange Rhino Challenge Day on May 17, 2012:

1)      “Post” your name to show your participation on the morning of May 17th in one of four ways: Post at The Orange Rhino Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/TheOrangeRhino) , Comment on Thursday mornings Blog Post at www.TheOrangeRhino.com , Email me attheorangerhinochallenge@gmail.com, or Tweet me at ORchallenge. At the end of the day, Post AGAIN to say how the day went.

2)      Find Support and Give Support  throughout the day by logging on to your method of communication. Feel like yelling? Yell at me. Need advice on how to survive the day? Ask the community. Want encouragement? Seek it from us. This is a day for all parents who want to be Orange Rhinos, who want to be parents who have the energy and determination to forge ahead and parent with more composure and warmth and without the yelling!

3)      Get 3-5 friends to take this ONE DAY challenge with you. Why? Besides the fact that it will help you make it through the day if you text each other and support each other, instead of throwing a 100 day party for myself (and using the money I have saved from future therapy bills for my children!) I am going to DONATE $1.00 per person up to $200 to Habitat for Humanity for every person that participates. Why a charitable donation and why Habitat for Humanity? Well, truthfully, I feel like giving back. I’ve gotten so much out of this Challenge that it is time to give back. As for Habitat, well, if it weren’t for my being able to do home improvements to my house, I would never have had the Epiphany (https://theorangerhino.com/the-epiphany/) that started this Challenge in the first place.

4)    Change your FB Profile picture to The Orange Rhino Challenge image to spread the word and to get people asking you about what you are doing further getting you support! It’s amazing how people rooting for you can really help. Save this image below and upload to FB. If this doesn’t work, then this image is also on my blog. Go to www.TheOrangeRhino.com. This “button” is on the right. 







5)      Read the Following Posts about what defines yelling and some ways I have learned not to yell to help you

https://theorangerhino.com/the-challenge-details/ (definition of yelling per this challenge)
https://theorangerhino.com/you-never-know/ (inspiration to try)
https://theorangerhino.com/orange-rhino-mommy/ (my favorite source of help not yelling)
https://theorangerhino.com/three-fun-alternatives-to-yelling-at-my-kids/ (self explanatory!)
https://theorangerhino.com/sing-my-emotion/ (way not to yell, inspiration)
https://theorangerhino.com/why-the-big-tears/ (way not to yell, inspiration)


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10 thoughts on “50 Alternatives to Yelling at your Kids

  1. I’m part of an awesome mommy group and we are starting the challenge together today. We are going to make some orange art work to hang around the house and brainstorm. Thank you for the enthusiasm to kick yelling to the curb!

  2. So you can still yell. Just not at the kids. In to the cabinet and drawer and closet. Sounds good I can do that

    • Yup. You can do this. My whole thing was that my yelling was mean and hurtful and scary! So as long as I was venting (not saying mean things) into the cabinet and it wasn’t scaring the kiddos (actually made them laugh) then it was cool. Interestingly enough after about three episodes of such yelling, it lost its appeal. Yelling truly lost it’s appeal. Hope the same happpens for you! Thanks for reading 🙂

  3. Another great way to not yell:  Pretend you have an audience, 24/7.  Whether you imagine Oprah and Dr. Phil sitting there watching you on hidden camera, or your mother and mother-in-law….!

    • YES! I have a post half written about that. It is so true. That is kind of what got me started. I had workers in my house for 9 months and I didn’t yell once because I was “on the stage performing.” When they left is when I screamed horrifically and that is when the light bulb went off!  

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