A Promise to my Boys

54 days down, 311 to go!

Dear Readers, myself included,
Here is something I wrote on Day 1ish that I never posted. I guess I kind of forgot about it. (If you are new to my blog and want to know what made Day1 even an idea, read The Epiphany) Anyway, I stumbled upon it this weekend and was glad to have re-read it as it reminded me about not only about why I am doing this Challenge in the first place but also and  powerful feelings related to yelling – both in yelling and more so, in not yelling. It re-inspired me and gave me the extra push needed to make it through a very difficult weekend. I hope it helps you too!

Thanks for reading and for all your support,
The Orange Rhino


January 22, 2012 (about 70 Days ago…)

The Birth of The Orange Rhino Challenge
(before it even had a name, the name came a few days later thanks to my son, read here: About The Orange Rhino)

Dear Husband,

Wouldn’t it be cool if I made a promise to not yell for 365 days straight? Better yet, what if I blogged about it and made my promise public? That could really force me to stay on the ball. What do you think? Do you think I even stand a chance of making it that long? You don’t? Yeah, me neither but wouldn’t it be fun to try?



Now mind you, I don’t even know what blogs are or how they work. So I was surprised when this idea popped into my head (both the idea of going 365 days, HUH?! And blogging, double huh). I tried real hard that Sunday to see if I could do it. The whole not yelling for a day thing. It was hard. Really f’n hard.

But I did it.

I found sweet, calm, loving, empathetic tones and voices I didn’t know I had.

I found strength and impulse control I certainly didn’t know I had.

And by the end of the day, I was wiped. Wiped wiped wiped. I was physically spent. I haven’t felt so tired since the early days of having a newborn. WOWZA!

It had taken so much energy to keep myself inline. I love my four boys, don’t get me wrong, but as you can imagine the endless and pretty much all at the same time chorus of: he called me a poopy face, he touched me, he knocked over my tower, he took my toy, I’m hungry, I didn’t want water I wanted milk¸ I’m not listening, I don’t care, no I won’t do that, …. can well, kind of get under your skin after a while!

But not today. I managed to rise above it. It felt SOOOOO good to not yell. NO, not just good, IT FELT GREAT. Absolutely fantastic. I felt totally invigorated and in control for once, two feelings which parenthood had kind of sucked out of me. Maybe this was worth a try? Because I DID IT. I went the whole day without yelling. I CAN DO THIS.

I woke up Monday morning and went downstairs to find a note from my husband. “1 Day down, 364 to go.” Well, I guess he took me seriously. Alrighty then, game on.


Not sure what I like more...the love and support or the use of color?

January 23, 2012

Dear Husband,

Thank you so much for drawing that cute little countdown note yesterday encouraging me to go 364 more days without yelling. It was really sweet of you and oh so supportive, exactly what I needed to get going! I never really say thank you to you for loving me, for encouraging me and well, quite frankly, for putting up with me! So thank you!

And #1, #2, #3, and #4, thank you for being so patient with me. I am a work in progress! I know sometimes, well, okay much more than I, and you, would like, that I yell too much and too loudly. I know it hurts your feelings, makes you sad, and scared too sometimes.

I want you to know that I ALWAYS feel dreadful when I do yell.

I never feel better.

I just feel embarrassed, disappointed, and angry that I lost control and made you cry, especially since it never solves anything, it just creates a huge feeling of guilt. So I’ve decided to change. I’m going to work really, really, really hard to stop yelling all together.

I promise you, no matter how long it takes, I will go 365 days without yelling at you. Because I love you. I love you in a way that I can’t even put into words. I love you so much that I don’t just NEED to stop yelling, I want to stop yelling.

Will you be patient with me along the way? Will you help me learn along the way? Will you love me along the way? Will you do all these things…even if I make a mistake?

I guess those are the exact questions you ask of me, daily, aren’t they? Because just like me, you too are works in progress. And you deserve the same patience, help, and love that I am asking for. All the more reason for me to stop yelling at you…all the more reason for me to be more patient, to give you more help, to love you more. Even when I really want to yell. Because it isn’t fair of me to ask things of you that I often forget to give you. So I’ll start.

I promise that I’ll start giving you more love, more help, and more patience when you need it…instead of yelling at you. And maybe you can give me a little back, okay? Deal?

I love you boys, all 5 of you. And that’s why I am willing to take on this Challenge. Let’s kick some no yelling a*s together, shall we?


Are you taking The Orange Rhino Challenge with me? What was your first day like? How did you feel? Tell us. ALL of us. The good, the bad, and the ugly. You’d be surprised how many people you’ll help and inspire.


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4 thoughts on “A Promise to my Boys

  1. I too feel so dreadful, awful, guilty and sick after I have (all too regularly) shouted and screamed at my daughter (10)..I pray everyday and ask God to guide me…found you 🙂
    Thank you , I am going to try to do your challenge xx

  2. Pingback: “Daddy yell. Daddy not nice.” | The Orange Rhino Challenge

  3. What an awesome idea–and with four boys! I’m wiped out just thinking of it! I have 2 boys and 2 girls and know how hard not yelling can be. But it makes such a difference, doesn’t it? I’m cheering you on!

    • Thanks Amy and thanks for the support! Yes, not yelling is INSANELY hard but it dos make a difference. Somedays my boys behavior is better because I am calmer. Somedays it isn’t because well, aren’t we all allowed to have bad days? But every day I feel better (well most days) because I feel if nothing else I do right, I am at least not yelling at my kids. I think I’ll get you some orange pom poms 🙂

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