Forget 365 days.

90 days down, 275 to go!

Dear those who WANT to take the Orange Rhino Challenge, but are unsure…

When I started this little challenge of mine, a friend said he didn’t think he could go 10 days. I laughed and said yeah, I don’t think I could go 10 days either. I didn’t believe in myself. I was sure I would fail since I was a huge yeller at that point and I was MASSIVELY intimidated by the whole 365 day thing. That was January 24th ish. Fast forward to February 8th  ish. I started writing this to my friend:

“Holy sh*t! You were right, I couldn’t make it 10 days without yelling. I made it only 8 and then it took me 9 more friggin’ days to go one solid day again. But I don’t care, I finally made it through an entire day without yelling. And let me tell you, today was a sh*t show. It is a miracle I didn’t yell and that I made it from 5:30 am until 9:30 pm. 5 seconds before walking out the door the baby pooped. Everywhere. Once that diaper was clean and a new outfit put on him and me, #3 pooped. Everywhere. So it literally was a sh*t show. Even though we were late, I didn’t lose it. I’m so pumped. I’m back in the game and I’m feeling good. That 10 day bet? Kiss it good-bye. You’ll be bringing me beer. I am so gonna kick some Orange Rhino ass this time. Thanks in advance for the vote of confidence and the 6-pack you’ll be giving me. But seriously, should we be putting money on this instead of beer?”

The difference between January and February? Confidence. In January, I didn’t think I could go more than 10 days because I had no basis for comparison. I hoped I could, but I didn’t truly believe that I could. Come February, even though I struggled to get one new day under my belt, I KNEW that I could do it so I kept trying. I knew I was capable of not yelling because I had done it. I had gone 8 days. So now I believed in myself. It took 8 days of success for me to believe in myself that I could change. That I could become a non yeller. It took 8 days, not 365 days, to feel enough success, enough benefits, to keep going.

So if you are intimidated by my crazy 365 day goal with resetting to 0 if I yelled then adjust the rules for you. Adjust the rules so you can get some success under your belt and can begin to believe in yourself.

This Community is about inspiring each other to yell at our kids less and HELPING each other to yell less. It does not have to be all or nothing. Any improvement is progress. Any improvement is better for our kids. Any improvement will be appreciated by our kids. Any improvement is awesome and will keep you reaching for more.

I’ve come up with some easy ways to start The Orange Rhino Challenge so that you too can hopefully find success and believe in yourself, so that you can believe that you can learn not to yell.

Instead of starting trying to go 365 days straight…

1) Pick one problem time a day and conquer it (ie. bath time, meal time, homework time). When you conquer that, add another one, and then another one. Before you know it you’ll have 50% of the day not yelling and I am sure you’ll feel great. Mine was getting out the door for school. So I started singing and telling myself “in just 5 minutes, if you don’t yell, you’ll survive the day”. Break it down. It becomes less daunting.

2) Give yourself a short goal l did 365 days because I need all or nothing goals to be motivated (yes, I know, personal area of improvement!). Adjust it for yourself – maybe 3 days without yelling or 1 week or 10 days. I suggest at least 3 because you need a groove and after 3 days you’ll feel the difference and want to keep practicing. (Or so I hope!)

3) Track the # of Times a day you yell and try for a week to yell less and watch the number go down.

4) Commit to 365 (or any other motivational number) but lose the re-set If you yell, stay on the day you are at. Restart when you go a day again. Or, commit to 365 moments. Instead of not yelling for 365 days, keep track of when you don’t yell and try to get to 365. That would probably be a month for me. Or a day!

5) Make it Fun with Games Create an age appropriate game with your children. If you don’t yell in a particular moment, you get a point. If they listen when asked (ie. at a normal moment when you are going to yell), they get a point. At the end of the day whoever has the most points gets a reward, maybe an ice cream cone? Or maybe there is some silly trophy. Or maybe Orange Rhino Bingo. Create a card with 25 spaces. Randomly fill it with Mommy Didn’t Yell and Kids Listened. Whoever gets Bingo first, wins. I don’t know. The point here is to be creative, to make it FUN, and to involve your kids! Mine are my “yelling sensors” and since they are everywhere I am…they are reliable! They are my built in alarm system – always going off when I am starting to get cranky. Trust me, IT HELPS.

6) Have your kids “Grade You” Stealing this one from Tracy! Lose the numbers all together! At the end of the day (or at each meal so you have more opportunities!) ask your kids to give you a thumbs up or thumbs down, or a smiley face or not.

The bottom line is:

It’s not the numbers that counts. It’s the yelling less that counts. However you get there, you get there. Any moment when you chose not to yell is success.

The Orange Rhino

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29 thoughts on “Forget 365 days.

  1. Feeling inspired to take up this challenge. I yell a lot, especially at my family – my mum, hubby and occasionally at my 14 month old when he is screaming badly. I understand that most of my yelling have underlying issues – my incompatibility with my husband, my father’s sudden demise (I went to celebrate my son’s birthday with him and he had a sudden cardiac arrest), yet to come to terms with that. My husband lacks in shouldering responsibilities, though lately he is trying at least but some way or the other past issues come up and I end up yelling, fighting etc., for which I really feel bad later and then think of not repeating my behavior but to no luck. Hopefully with this challenge I can become a better person for myself and then surely for my family. I need to be at peace with myself before I can venture to keep my family at peace. wish me luck 🙂

  2. I really needed this. I am away at the moment on a “retreat”, leaving my husband and 3 kids for a week for the first time. And the overwhelming thing that I know I need to fix is my yelling. It has gotten out of hand and I really despise myself for it, but have been too ashamed to talk about it and didn’t know who I could talk to. I am so glad I found this site. I just turned 40 so I am going to set myself a 40 day challenge. And reset when (if!) I fail.

    • Happy belated birthday! You can do it! 40 day challenge-love it! And please, don’t feel ashamed. We have ALL been there. Parenting is tough!!!

  3. I noticed most comments are from moms with younger children so I wanted to put in my 2 cents. I have a 13 and 15 year old and I used to yell at them all the time. Its inevitable..they’re teens and everything is a battle with them. So it has now been 150 days on the challenge and my relationship with my daughters have improved. I am not a yeller anymore…instead I give them choices calmly. And I calmly explain now why its a “no” instead of yelling “no you can’t go out with your friends” or “go clean your room NOW. My daughter Ashley hates cleaning so most of our battle is about her cleaning her room…so now I’ll go into her room and get her started…once I get going…she gets all psyched up and takes over…it works out well. Sometimes they just need the push. Yelling is not a solution…calmness gets results!!! Thank you for starting the “Orange Rhino Challenge”…you’re changing the lives of mothers everywhere. Its May 9th today so wishing you few days early: Happy Mothers Day to moms everywhere. God bless u all <3

  4. Day 1 and I nailed it! Setting 6 month goal here. Ican and will do this for myself and my family it is hard and I am sure I will have bad days but I know I can break the cycle of yelling. I love the idea of having the kids say orange rhino to help me keep my composure. Good luck to us all

  5. I NEED to do this!!! I have even spoken to my kids and they love the idea of Mummy not yelling. I think that speaks for it self. My daughter is 7 and my son is almost 6, they are really good kids and I’m so proud of them. When they look back at their time with me I want them to remember fun happy loving times, not me yelling and screaming at them all because I’m tired and they want to be kids. So I’m committing to a 30day challenge and will have to start over again if I yell. Once I reach my 30 day goal I will set a higher goal.
    Thank you so much for this inspiration 🙂

  6. I randomly came across this blog and OMG… very inspiring ! Im 27 with a beautiful 4 year old boy. Ive been brought up with only yelling and see my learnings be now be learnt and displayed very well from my son :-(. It breaks my heart! I haven’t been able to stop reading this blog .. Its obvious that me randomly coming across this blog, was meant to be! I want to break the cycle and I want my son to feel nothing but loved, heard, cared for by his mummy, I plan to take on the changelle. Take 1 day at a time. Wish me luck! THANK YOU

  7. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for all your posts. This is going to be the beginning of a new, yell-free me. My kids and husband deserve better. Period.

  8. Wooow i have been reading and reading i will love to try it but am too scared that i might give up
    Am a mother of 3 kids aged 12,8,3
    I feel that am not a good mother because i allways yell screem and give them orders to clean yr room do this do that,i really need big help to change my self please helpp me :-((

  9. I’ve been reading about this for three days after accidentally discovering you on face book. I want to take the challenge but am very scared. I’ve been trying to stop yelling for 6 years. I have influenced my whole family to yell – yep husband and mother in law. I feel awful, my self esteem is so low, I am so disappointed in myself for how I treat the children that I really really wanted. I love them but treat them like I hate them. I’m so scared I will utterly fail but I’m willing to try. I don’t wear nail polish but I’m going to soon, orange too. I’m planning some things to help the kids and me get through mornings and things. I think I will be a regular to your face book site, I’m going to need the encouragement.

  10. I had saw a friend of mine talking about this and that she had started the challenge. I then I started seeing others using it. So now I have decided to do the challenge. I’m going to start with the 30 day challenge and continue from there 🙂

  11. I’m not even sure how I came across your blog but I love it. It’s come at a very timely moment with working on building my marriage and everyone deserves the same treatment and respect. I haven’t actively started the challenge but I’m already trying to stop myself yelling – quite successfully at times. I want to start and I need visual clues to help me so think of printing your your orange rhino to stick on cupboard doors!! Nuts but if it helps subtly remind me then it has to be good, right?? Thank you so much!! Xxxx

  12. This blog is very encouraging and I look forward to starting the challenge. For me I think i’m gong to try to do 30 day increments at first, well maybe one day increments. lol. I have a 9 year old son with learning differences and ADHD and an 11 year old son. I am a yeller. I have felt the same rage you were talking about and the shame that comes after it. I tried to say that yelling was okay because at least i’m not hitting them, but I’ve seen that look in their eyes that tells me I did just hit them, but with my words. My 11 year old is also now picking up my bad habit and I find him yelling at me and his little brother. Now is the time to stop the cycle. I’m going to talk to the family about it tonight and maybe create a board game, I get to move a space if I don’t yell and so do they etc. We’ll see how it goes, but i’m looking forward to being successful. I also really like the yell scale!

    • Love the board game idea! I’m going to try it with my kids! Thanks! I have found that Love and Logic books help me a lot with yelling. When my 8yo son won’t get dressed before school, I put his clothes in a bag and we all load up, dressed or not. The kids know when the momma bus leaves. When we get to the school parking lot I say, “you have 5 minutes til school starts. Do you want to go dressed or in your pajamas?” He gets dressed in one minute flat. It’s all about taking loving action and avoiding repeated warnings and lectures. Love and Logic books have helped me a ton to stop getting angry.

  13. I have to do this. HAVE TO! I am letting my own stress and depression drive a wedge between me and my beautiful, smart, happy little girl. I yell at her for touching me, for wanting to be on my lap while I want to ignore her, for talking or “noising” while I’m trying to focus. She’s 3 for heaven’s sake, this is not fair to her. She deserves nothing less then my undivided attention. She does not and never has deserved being flat out rejected when all she wants is to sit with her Momma.

  14. I have 3 boys (4, 2, 1) and a very large 7 month old puppy I yell. a lot. To much infact. I feel like a horrible horrible mum and it breaks my heart. a friend was telling me about this post and I am going to take your challenge! ! so many things you wrote were right out of my life. thank you for sharing

  15. LOVE this idea and seeing I’m not the only yeller out there…as camille said, amazing what the power of suggestion can do to ones subconscious….I have twin 3.5 yrs olds (boy and girl) we had a great night tonight and my daughter who is usually the more defiant out of my two was wanting to do everything I asked right away because she loved the praise and attention she was getting from me

  16. I found you through Pinterest. I haven’t looked at anything since. It was 2:00 in the morning, and I read and read until I finally fell back asleep. (Too bad there is some really good info on here, because boy am I going to be dragging today!) Yelling was brought to the forefront on a recent vacation my husband, two boys and my mom all went on together. My mother told my sister that we were a really loud family and that my husband and I were the loudest. (Aha moment!) And my response to company being in my house has always been “I’m a yeller. I know it. But that’s all my boys will listen and respond to.” What makes it worse is my husband is a yeller, too. My poor kids. The loves of my life. How am I ever to show them how find a woman if they cannot say someone just like their mom? I want them to have better. A better mom is the beginning. Thank you. Sincerely, thank you. You have given me just what I have been looking for, with no excuses. I cannot use the “you don’t know my boys” excuse. You have four. I am certain they are some how a commutation of mine. Even the extreme ADHD, I can handle. I just needed your insight on how to approach it. So, again, thank you! And I’m staring TODAY. I cannot, nor do I want to, wait for a new 30 day to no yelling session to start! My marriage and family are in a desperate need and this fits the bill for making a huge impact for the better!

  17. I am a strong believer in no yelling, but it is my default setting from my own childhood so it comes back frequently. We are under a fair bit of stress with a lot of life changes, but with s new little one yelling seems all the more ridiculous. I started the 365 day challenge, but failed this morning when my daughter held up the school train by packing doll toys she didnt need. I think it will be better for me to take the 365 days in 30 day increments so i dont get discouraged. Thanks for help holding me accountable to my beliefs.

  18. Thank you. I needed to read this. As the only parent (and therefore, ALWAYS the “no” parent).of a brilliant child with learning disabilities (and potentially, Asperger’s), I find myself short tempered and struggling. I can hear my late husband’s voice saying “Can you ever imagine being the reason this child cries? Can you ever imagine yelling at him?” But he died before my son’s second birthday, and I am doing this without him. And I know I didn’t want to be like this. I come from a family of yellers, and it’s my default position. And my son can’t/won’t hear me, whether it’s my volume or his sensory issues, or both. I am taking this on. Thank you thank you.

  19. count me in… the 365 day challenge. this has been on my heart for a long time, but I just didn’t know where to start. thanks for breaking it down and giving suggestions. it is always great when someone breaks things down into baby steps for you when you are totally overwhelmed. I have 2 girls- ages 2 and almost 4. both are beautiful little firecrackers, with enough energy and spirit to rival any other, including me on any given day… and I have to admit, they come by this quite naturally, probably something to do with genetics (ahem, def more than 50% from me in this department). I always thought I was a very patient person when it came to kids. I have worked with kids for years and was pretty confident about this…. then I had my own kids, 24-7-365, and higher expectations for my own gene pool than someone else’s I guess. I need to do this for all of us… to model that behavior that I expect from them, to not feel like the worst mom ever at the end of each day, to grow confident and secure children who know and feel that no matter what happened their momma loves them and we can calmly work through anything together… oh, and equally important, to never ever have to see that look in my daughter’s eyes again that she has when I am freaking out at her. Here we go…

  20. Just today I read about The Orange Rhino Challenge. Without even making a commitment, but just having it on my mind, I found that I didn’t yell the rest of the day! (and I have five kids between 2 and 9!) It’s amazing what just the idea of suggestion can do to our subconscious! I’m totally inspired by this and am going to talk to my husband and kids and create our own goal for this. LOVE IT!


      • I did the same thing! I found this blog last night, after having a really bad day yesterday, and just had it in the back of my head. I didn’t yell today (until bedtime) actually very early morning time. We are having issues with my youngest (3-1/2) staying in her bed at night. She used to be such a great sleeper, and we don’t sleep with our kids except on special occasions. She especially won’t sleep if you are laying next to her. Anyway…this is rough night 2 in a row, and here I am at 2 am. I am at a loss for what to do about this! I am taking privileges away, and she completely understands but still wakes up screaming until I come into her room. I would like to be able to reward her, but I don’t feel I can until she sleeps through the night (like she always used to)!!! My husband is sleeping with her right now, which I don’t agree with! Yes, she is sleeping too, but this isn’t the habit we want to start. Help!!! Suggestions are welcome! I am definitely up for this challenge, and would like to get my whole family involved somehow!

        • Allison i had that same problem last night. She woke up at like 3 am and ended up in our bed and took over the bed so I got no sleep which caused me to be extra grouchy today. I got thru half a day with no yelling which is a good start…

        • Allison, hope things are better here several months later. My oldest was about 3 1/2 when she started having night terrors. I WISH we had let her sleep with us as it would have built more security. Instead, I bought into the whole ‘kids can’t sleep with us’ box of bunk and suffered through 5 more years of restless sleeping. At 9, she began sleeping through the night. All I can say now is that the time really does go by so quickly. I would give anything to do it over & make different mistakes, but letting my daughter feel safe would be at the top of the list. We had three more after her. 🙂

  21. I have just started following your blog 4 days ago. A friend posted “ten things I have learned when I stopped yelling at my kids” (hope I didn’t get the title completely wrong but you know what one I’m talking about :)) I am on day three so far so good. I loved the blog on the emergency yell yelling TO your kids is different then AT them. Thank you for this challenge and so far I am just doing it a day at a time!

  22. Love the email to your friend; it made you “like me” and has sealed the deal for me. Love even more that you were at 90 days when you wrote it and as of this post, you are at day 403. I have been increasingly stressed and unhappy and that has obviously reflected in my parenting. I have 2 girls, ages 2.5 and 4. Both are just like their mother–spirited and independent–and despite my best efforts to “be a better mom” when I wake up in the morning, I’m yelling less than an hour later. 2013 is a year of changes for my family and me so this is going to be one of them–beginning VERY soon!

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