The Orange Rhino story

It all started Friday, January 20, 2012. After our handyman busted me yelling at my 4 boys, I had an epiphany; I yell at my kids much more than I like. The next day I committed to going 365 days without yelling.  And to boot, I decided to keep a public blog to help keep me on task. A few days later, my 5 year old was yelling at me for something I did wrong, again. I calmly said, “Now, if mommy can’t yell what does that mean for you?” Finger in nose, he looked me right in the eyes and replied: “I can’t yell…but I can still pick my nose!”

Awesome. Purely awesome.  My son’s response was honest and witty, exactly the tone I hope to embrace in this blog. It was the perfect byline I had been searching for all week.  With the by-line done, the rest fell right into place. I have decided, at least for now, to be anonymous to protect my children’s privacy. So I needed a moniker. I typed “nose” into Google and “Rhino” popped up as the Greek meaning. I could be a Rhino. Rhinos are strong and cool, right? This was promising. Further research about Rhinos confirmed that I was already, indeed, a Rhino.

Rhinos are tenacious and vigorous animals who are naturally peaceful, but display aggressive behavior when provoked.

Wow. That’s me alright, minus the vigorous piece. I definitely don’t have the mental strength or energy. If I did, I wouldn’t let myself charge with my “words” so frequently!  I am totally a Rhino. But I don’t want to be aggressive; I want to lose that and gain the vigorous part. I need more warmth and energy. Clearly, I need a little more of the color Orange in my life especially since it also conjures up feelings of determination which I am most definitely going to need more of in order to conquer this challenge.

So there you have it. I want to be The Orange Rhino.

I want to be a mom who has the energy and determination to forge ahead and parent with more composure and warmth and without the yelling!

Want to learn about the real mom who calls herself The Orange Rhino? Click here. 

41 thoughts on “The Orange Rhino story

  1. Hi Orange Rhino,

    This is the PERFECT BLOG for this mommy of 2…
    My girls are aged 3 and a half and 16 months.
    Oh boy!! I’ve made SOOOO many mistakes as a mommy!!! But, the one thing I’m totally OVER, is YELLING at my children. I’m sick and tired of myself, and you put it soooo perfectly!!! You want composure and warmth. I want to be their “safe place”. I want to be the one that makes them feel that although the world is against them at times, MY MOMMY has got my back!!!
    Your blog is a total inspiration, and I want to commit to the challenge, as I am soooo tired of my behaviour. Where did all this ANGER come from?!?!?! I would’ve never thought that THIS would be the way I would react to my children. And you put it PERFECTLY!! It’s always when I have deadlines with work, or I have a to do list, or a late night, or little sleep. Then I SNAP, and they have to sit with my immature response to them. I can’t stand it anymore!!!
    Thank you for the challenge!! And as it is now the very end of 2015, I’ll take it on from today for the next year until the end of 2016.
    I appreciate your realness!! Can I also be an Orange Rhino?!!!!!
    Best regards,
    Erika, a stay-at-home, working-flexi-from-home – Mommy

  2. I talked to my son about his yelling and reacting harshly with his children. He read your blog and was challenged! Thank you

  3. This is fantastic! I have been searching for ways to stop yelling at my kids and help them to learn to stop yelling at each other. I cannot wait to start using these steps. I will be joining your facebook group. Thank you!

  4. Thank you for this blog! I need this challenge. My daughter is only 13 months old, and I’m already yelling at her… and the dog… and my husband… and myself…

  5. I just found this website and have been visiting for several days. I feel like I’ve been reading about me. I grew up in a home where yelling was just what everyone did. I so wanted to be a different parent to my own children. I did OK when my first was born, but when my second came along life became more hectic. I started yelling more and more…just like my parents. In public I am calm as can be but in my own home I spend more time yelling at my kids than enjoying my kids. I have been so ashamed and filled with guilt. I have finally started my own challenge to myself to be better for my kids. Today was my first day and so far I’ve only yelled in the closet twice…but today was a good day. I have found this group of fb also and can’t wait to prove to myself, my husband, and my children that Oi can change and we can have a better future because of it. Fortunately I already keep a journal and have for years. And today I hung lists all over muy home as reminders. Thank you for being so honest and creating a blog that has helped so many moms and dads learn to be better parents for our children’s sake.I know I really needed this challenge in my life.

  6. I just want to say THANK YOU! I just found this page, thru Pinterest, and I’m so happy I did. I have had arguements with my husband over me yelling so much lately. I have noticed my oldest daughter recently yelling at her 2 younger siblings ( and normally that never happens), my middle child acting out more and being extra whinny, and my toddler screaming to get everyones attention! I’m a mother of three beautiful children, 2 girls and a boy-6.5 yr old girl, 4 yr old girl, 1.5 yr old boy, and have been married over ten years to my husband. I was a preschool teacher for a total of 9 years until I had my last child, then I was fortunate enough to be a SAHM since my last child was born. I have lots of schooling for teaching and plenty of experience with kids, and I noticed that towards my end of teaching that I started to yell more than redirect, or handle the situations calmy. I thought it was just my time to get out of the field, and It seemed to be perfect timing since I was due with my youngest. Well, until tonight….my habit of yelling just increased, and I realized it is out of control! I cried reading your posts and im bawling now typing this, because what you wrote….and how it described ME! I looked back on my children’s little lives, and I feel terrible that yelling has been a major part- for NO REASON! Im greatful that I have realized it now, and can change, and enjoy them more! Plus, I know my relationship with my husband has suffered as well because of my yelling. But the yelling has to stop, and stops NOW! Thank you for sharing your struggles, and triumphs…. because it shows me that im not the only one feeling/acting this way. It also shows me hope, and that I can stop! I look forward to reading this page OVER and OVER to help me in this habit I intend to QUIT! My family and I are soo lucky to have you as an example. Thank you again for sharing your story, it just saved me!!

  7. We start today!! We have our list of yelling alternative s and our 5 day first goal!! Small… I know… But I am a huge yeller… And I am gonna have a hard time making a week!! I’m a working mom of 3 girls… 8,6,& 5 months. I am exhausted all the time and that’s the reason I yell more than anything. I have VERY well behaved girls, and sometimes I forget that they are still just babies and that I have way to high expectations for them 🙁 they are going to help me change… And just maybe Daddy will see the difference and get on board too!! (He will like the idea if he sees the difference instead of showing him some wacky orange rhino word website! ) thanks again!!

  8. Wow…I am not alone!!! Thank you!!! I have prayed & prayed for someone to talk to about this yelling business. I guess I have found my “someone”. I am going to find a picture of a rhino and color it orange and hang it on the wall. I’ve felt like I’ve led a double life for several years now, in house behavior & out of house behavior…but that will end with the help of the orange rhino. Some days I thought I was going insane & loosing my mind with all the yelling I’d done – after reading this, I think I am ok – but the yelling is not so I am going to strive to be an orange rhino!!! Good luck to everyone on their quest!!!

  9. i wasn’t going to comment on here because, well, i’m embarrassed. i’m embarrassed that i yell terribly until i feel like an out-of-control toddler. i step back and say to myself ‘what the hell just happened to me?’ i honestly wonder if i’m possessed. i joke, but seriously, this mom is outta control sometimes. i yell, they cry, i feel like crap, i spend the next few hours making them (2 & 5) think i’m sane, then, i cry. as i was walking into work this morning, the thought “i need to stop yelling” came into my head without warning. then, while on pinterest, i saw this. i’m inspired to be better. not the best. i’m not trying to be a rockstar or anything. just better. i want my girls to be like me, but not this me. thank you for this.

  10. Thank you so much for your blog. I too needed to see this today. As today is Fathers Day, I yelled at my son in the park because he was not following my “advice” on a batting stance. I am so ashamed of my behavior, my lack of patience, perfectionism and demands that I place on my two sons. I realize that I am continuing a cycle of dysfunctional, chaotic communication, if it really is such, and I want to be more loving, kinder and gentler with my two sons. Both are on the verge of their teen years, and by yelling I am stripping them of their needed confidence, and in the process, creating chaos in my family, and marriage. If I can show care with my patients, I owe my family the better side of me, when I am spending time with my son’s and wife. I want to follow your lead, and make it a goal “one day at a time”. Or if the situation calls for it minute by minute. Thank you so much, I will be following the blog. Thanks!

  11. I am so pleased I have found your website, I seriously thought I was alone in the world, being the only imperfect parent who yells at her kids. Everything you say and all the comments above say so many of the things I have been thinking, it really brings tears to my eyes that I’m not alone. I have 3 boys, and as delightful as they can be, I find them hard work, I always assumed I would have girls, being a girly girl growing up, so I am learning the ways boys are different as I go on. I guess I am hard on them too, as I find give them an inch and they take a mile, they would gladly sit and be waited on, but I don’t think that will make them very good husbands later on, and I’d really like some nice daughter inlaws one day! So I am in the habit of jumping to yelling, and I hate it! My husband can yell too, I guess not so much as me though. I also lost my most trusted confidont last year – my mum, so I feel like I have no one to ask for advise or to reign me in. So I found your web page on Friday night, and you gave me so much inspiration, this weekend was the calmest it’s ever been, there were about two minor yells, but nothing compared to what it’s normally like, I’m going to print out your tips too, thank you so much. I started my goal with an hour, then a day, now I’m onto a week, I have joined your FB page, I still find the scary thing is sharing my problem, that will be a big step. But thank you thank you so much, I do believe I can change, I just have to break that habit…..

  12. Hi! I am so glad I found your blog. My mom was a violent person and a yeller and I always promised myself I would never be like her. Until I had children who started to push my buttons. Then it all spiraled and I became a yeller. And I realized my relationship with my oldest was slowly getting different. He lies to me (probably scared I will freak out) and hides stuff from me. So, inspired by you, I decided to start with a 30day challenge. Thanks a million for the inspiration. And congrats for the 399 days!!

  13. I stumbled upon your challenge about 2 wks ago via a mom friend on FB and have been reading up on it and gathering the conviction to do this challenge. I just ‘came out’ on FB so it’s ON!

    Below is my post to announce my yelling problem to the world —————-
    Orange Rhino Challenge

    I feel like a failure as a mom and a wife. There, I said it out loud, or at least wrote it! You are probably saying to yourself, “what? She looks like she has it so together!” Well, this is my coming out party, my documented accountability to get me on track to becoming the mom and wife that I’ve always wanted to be…there is no turning back now!!!

    I don’t know how I got here but I know I don’t want to stay here and I’m going to work my tushy off to change this. Why do I feel like a failure, you ask? Because I’m a yeller! A spitting, writhing, seething YELLER! And as I am progressing through the ages it is getting worse instead of better.

    I have tried so many different things from surrounding myself with friends, to reading up on dealing with grief to counselling to being extremely active to yoga to meditation, etc. Still, I yell.

    I came across a challenge via another mom on FB called The Orange Rhino Challenge. A mom to 4 boys felt very lost like me after her epic screaming bouts followed with a sore throat and shame, oh the guilt how it consumes you! So she started a challenge for herself – to not yell for 365 days. It worked and she’s on her second yr and is now sharing her methods with others so they can ‘come out’ and learn to love more and yell less too. She has tools to help get you on your way and they appeal to my Engineering mind so I’m going for it!

    Yep, I’m doing the challenge!!! 365 days seems horribly insurmountable though, so I will be setting smaller goals at first and expanding until the guilt eases and I feel I’ve reached a good point mentally. First I aim to map out all my triggers and track my episodes and study ways to divert my frustration so as not to take it out on my precious loved ones. They are my world and they deserve sooooo much more than what I’m giving them.

    I’d appreciate everyone’s support while I’m on this journey as I know it won’t be easy. This has taken immense courage for me to announce this and I will be using FB as one of my conduits for public accountability.

    I turn 40 in August and it feels right to be embarking on this journey. I may end up uncovering many demons and skeletons but it will be soooo liberating and most important for the health and well-being of my family, my reason for all seasons!!!

    To Mako, Monica, and Ahmed: I love you more than the sun, the moon and the stars and my oath to you is to yell less and love more, starting NOW!!!!

  14. My wife sent me your post on the 10 things you learned from not yelling at your kids and it really touched me. I’ve been struggling with the thought that I yell too much at our kids and have been trying to be more patient, but the points you brought up really hit home. Thank you for sharing this. I will be giving this a try.

  15. Here is how I see it if you are yelling at your kids you lost control. Not sure when parenting became such a challenge. If you have rules and give kids not only responsibility but the freedom to screw up you don’t need to yell. I have two kids one seven on six months old and have hardly had to yell. I have a seven year old who is smart caring and saved enough money through chores and such to buy a TV. My six month old is starting to crawl because fusing for a pacifier is not causing me to run to her. She is even feeding herself because we did a shocking thing, we handed her a spoon. Our grandparents did it right, you can be nice without being a friend and you can be caring without coddling. We don’t have to do it for our kids just show them what needs to be done. Kids are smart if we let them be.

  16. I love it! I love everything about it. You seem “real” and honest and not “I’m so perfect and no yelling is really quite easy with my perfect kids” :). Ok, here’s my question…. The yelling to get attention. Is that only emergency yelling? See, my house is “roomy” ;). Not humongous, but definitely more rooms and floors that are necessary!! (If only I’d known that a bigger house holds more junk. Which, in turn, gives me reason to yell at people for not cleaning up!) My kids are 6,5, and 2 and mornings are crazy. I feel like I just don’t have time to run up and down stairs gathering everyone and everything. I’m always yelling, The bus is coming!, Grab your library books!, Get dressed! I guess that counts as yelling, huh? It’s not exactly mean, but I imagine its not pleasant :-0. Do you have suggestions for that type of thing? Oh, and changing a 23 month old boy?? Can I still yell, “BRING ME THE WIPES!!”?

  17. OMG!! You are just what I needed. I found your blog through Pinterest and I am now following you through Blog’lovin. I yell all the time and have so much mommy guilt about it. I need to figure out ways to get my kids to do things and listen with out yelling. Everything you just said makes sense. I want to be an orange rhino too!!!

  18. A friend forwarded your article and it was probably one of the best reads that may change the direction of my home and family life. My husband and I are working so hard on no longer yelling at the kids and at each other (its been daunting on our home life). Your words are both inspiring and helpful. I want to be an Orange Rhino and my motto with this challenge is “Better Mother, Better Wife, Better Person, Better Life”!! Here I go!!

  19. I found your blog on pinterest. I’m very into peaceful parenting but lately I find myself becoming more overwhelmed and raising my voice. So far I’m loving your blog! Thank you for sharing!

  20. Hi. I am beginning a new journey of no yelling. I think this is a wonderful idea. It is nice to know that I am not the only one who has bad days as a mother. I have two children, a boy and a girl. Some moments get very hectic in our household. I look forward to the challenge.

  21. I love to read a blog full of honesty about the difficulties of being a mother. I have five. 10,8,6,4,and 4 mo. I am crazy I think and decided to homeschool this year. I know I know. I can’t just keep my life simple. I love it but it’s difficult with one especially. He just pushes my buttons and I am ashamed how much I yell and freak out. I have been praying to have strength and some way to help me stop but I felt powerless. I think this blog is exactly what I needed. One so I know I’m not the only crazy mom 🙂 and two to give me resource. I love my children so much. Now they are getting older and my bad habits shining through and then I yell at them for talking that way when I know how guilty I am. So I will take on the challenge! Starting tomorrow. I am a strong rhino that can do hard things. Thanks for the support!

  22. I love your post, I wish more mother would take this challenge because it is the truth our children are little people and you will be surprised what you will learn if you step back and look at what your children are doing in that crazy hectic moment…I have three girls I totally know what you are talking about I myself used to yell at my girls because I didn’t understand them or allowed them to “share” and one day my cell phone recorded our “yelling match” and that 2min recording frightened me, and all I could hear was my daughter crying and saying “I am a child”..

  23. Thank you so much for this. #1 it’s kind of nice to hear I’m not the only one at the edge of my rope. #2 I have tried to stop yelling and I can’t seem to do it. I think this Orange Rhino thing will really help me out. I’m going to buy orange nail polish ASAP and get an orange bracelet! I think knowing I’m not alone out there will really help me stay on track, also knowing that someone has done it and it can be done…it gives me hope. I just want to say thank you so much for all of this, you are amazing.

  24. Oh my gosh. It was such a blessing that I just found this blog tonight from Pinterest, where else!? I have three boys, 5 and under, my husband is in the military overseas for almost 9 months now, and my yelling has gotten out of control. Oftentimes, when I’m holding my baby, and yelling at the top of my lungs at my oldest, I look at that baby, and think, “how sad that he is so used to my yelling that he doesn’t even cry!” That’s a sign right there! I’ve tried starting days here and there with a resolve to not yell, and I go to bed guilty every night for all of the times I wasted that day yelling at my sweet, but crazy boys, when I could have been laughing with them, and having teaching moments. Thanks for this, I’ll be pouring over it all night, now!

  25. You may have just changed my life! I SO needed to find this blog today! Thank you thank you thank you! My twin boys have brought me here 🙂 And I will.not.yell.anymore….

  26. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! Just heard you on the radio. What a wonderful idea this is! You’ve inspired me. I don’t have kids yet, I am a newlywed, and although I haven’t started yelling, I do snap at my husband. He hates it. I hate it. My goal is no snapping for 90 days. Everything (almost) can be said in a calm and nice tone of voice. Much better results when you say it that way! I hope you are planning on writing a book on this!!!!! Diary of The Orange Rhino–How Life Got Better After I Stopped Yelling at My Kids. God Bless!

    • Thank YOU for reading and in this case listening too! No snapping for 90 days sounds great. You might like my post “Forget 365 days” it shares lots of ways to take the challenge and lots of different goals. Good luck and welcome! If you have any questions or want support, email me or even follow along on the Facebook page. Good luck!

  27. Hello and thanks for reading!! Sorry for my delayed post of comment and response. I was off line and then having problems with the site. I hope the donuts were good btw! Here is a post you might find useful – it has lots of smaller ways to do the challenge which might be easier given the hormonal shift! When I was nursing and my hormones were all over the place I couldn’t keep it together to save my life!!! Good luck!

  28. Pingback: 50 Alternatives to Yelling at your Kids | The Orange Rhino Challenge

    • Awesome! Welcome Kim. I am still in shock so many people heard about it on the radio and looked it up. Yeah!!! Good luck and thanks for checking it out. Means a lot to me. Truly.

    • Thanks Val…and GREAT name, Mom Gone Mad. Is it ever on loan??? It is a good experiment and I must say, I am learning a lot, mostly that turns out, I can be a non yelling mom. Never thought I could. It is very cool. Do you yell? If not, please share your secrets!!!! 

  29. Pingback: A Promise to my Boys | The Orange Rhino Challenge

  30. Pingback: The Birth of The Orange Rhino Challenge | The Orange Rhino Challenge

  31. Thanks Danielle…I would love to say yeah that was totally planned but it wasn’t. Nice find. That is certainly a future blog inspiration and when it happens, I will dedicate to you! 

Leave a Reply to Crystal Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *