Book Review and Blog Post by Melissa L.
As a mother of four young boys, Sheila McCraith found herself becoming the parent she never wanted to be: one who privately struggled with yelling at her own children. After a humiliating experience where she was overheard by another adult during a yelling episode, McCraith started her journey to becoming an Orange Rhino by starting her own personal 365-day challenge to stop yelling at her children. Along the way, she documented her experiences, personal revelations, and strategies on her internet blog titled “The Orange Rhino Challenge, My 365-Day Challenge to Yell Less and Love More.” McCraith developed the Orange Rhino as a symbol for her challenge; she explains that a rhino is a peaceful animal that, when provoked, displays aggressive behavior and charges. The color orange, symbolized warm and loving energy. On her blog, as well as in her book, McCraith provides many examples of how she uses the color orange as a visual reminder to curb her yelling and to use appropriate coping strategies. The blog took a life of its own as it resonated with many parents who found themselves struggling to curb their own yelling issues. This led McCraith to writing a book that offers struggling parents a doable 30-day program that offers realistic strategies on coping with anger and stress while parenting their children.
McCraith’s book, “Yell Less, Love More” is not a thick novel that parents have to spend hours pouring through before considering a program with the goal of yelling less at their children and building better, loving, and positive relationships with them. An approximately 200-page book, it is laid out in an easy to read format with chapters broken down into daily sections that are not long; averaging about four pages, which is perfect for the parent who can spare five to ten minutes to read per day. Each section has a theme of the day, starting with a personal experience provided by McCraith that most parents will certainly relate to, and the section ends with the day’s revelations that provide a way for the parent to become more aware of their own anger issues and reactions. In addition to providing revelations at the end of each section, McCraith also provides action strategies, and tips of the day for the parent to use in order to develop better anger management and coping skills. In various sections, McCraith provides opportunities for the parent to journal their thoughts, feelings, and emotions as well as trigger tracking sheets at the end of the book. The book’s pages are attractive and colorful in fuchsia and two shades of orange which is consistent with McCraith’s Orange Rhino symbol.
Instead of doing McCraith’s daunting 365-day challenge, this book offers a flexible 30-day program that the parent can use as a guide. The program is flexible; the parent can choose to proceed with it however they want. They can reset the yell counter back to Day Zero if they yell OR just stop the counter on the day they yelled and restart after a successful day. Also, it does not have to be a rigid 30-day program; some parents can just read through the book or just review the revelations, action strategies, and tips at the end of each section to gain ideas of how to manage their anger and stress. Other parents can choose to read each section on a daily basis if they want to follow a structured 30-day program.
I discovered McCraith’s blog through another parenting self-help blog and as a parent who struggled daily to curb the yelling, I was immediately inspired by the personal experiences that she shared as well as the strategies she used to yell less. As I read about her experiences and sharing of her own painful emotions when yelling at her children, I felt like I was reading about myself. The various revelations she provided at the end of each section were common sense observations which resonated with me, especially the revelation she made about parents who tend to avoid yelling at their children in public because there was an audience watching, but the most important audience were the ones inside of our very homes: our children who are the very things we love the most. We are their role models and we need to show them appropriate behaviors that we want them to use. I believe many parents will find this an easy book to relate to and be able to use many of the easy, common sense strategies and tips that are offered to help them “Yell Less, Love More.”
“Yell Less, Love More: How The Orange Rhino Mom Stopped Yelling at Her Kids–and How You Can Too!” releases October 15th but is available now for pre-order! Click here to pre-order it at your favorite store!