How to YELL at your kids without really trying!

197 days without yelling, 168 days of loving more to go!

Dear Friends and Family,

I have done some serious research these last 197 days and now share with you the official Orange Rhino tested and approved 15 Rules to follow to ensure that you too set yourself up to be in the kind of mood all day that makes you want to yell at anything and everything! Whether you do one of the following or all of them, if you are anything like me, you too can feel the desire to yell numerous times throughout the day!

* Do not try these at home if you want to make it through the day without yelling. If you find yourself doing one, tell yourself immediately that is why you are cranky and then find the strength to fix it. Pronto.

** Your triggers might be slightly different than mine. Your own research and acknowledgement of your triggers will allow you too to have your own set of official Orange Rhino “How to Yell” Rules!

The Orange Rhino


Rule 1: Go to bed late so when the kids wake YOU up you are tired, cranky, and grumpy. This will guarantee that you are more annoyed at how slow the kids get dressed, more annoyed at the mess that are their bedrooms and MUCH more intolerant to the level of noise that well-rested kids bring.

Rule 2:  Don’t do any preparations for the next day the night before. Don’t set out breakfast plates and silverware, pack kids’ backpacks, write to-do list etc…. This way when you are running late (which you will be because of Step 1) you fall even more behind schedule and feel the need to yell at your kids to go faster, which by the way, won’t work, so you’ll want to yell even louder and longer.

Rule 3: Eat a really crappy breakfast (and lunch…and dinner) so that you a) feel guilty about what you ate b) feel physically gross from what you ate and c) feel pissed that you overate, again. This will definitely ensure massive crabbiness and mood swings.

Rule 4: Forget that your kids are JUST kids and that they are still LEARNING even if they seem more grown up than a few months ago. Go ahead and ask them to do all sorts of things they struggle with like making the bed, sitting still during a meal, cleaning up an entire playroom on their own, controlling their temper. When they are struggling, don’t even bother to stop and help them because you assume they need to learn and that they’ll get it someday. Instead bark orders at them to hurry up, to get it together. Their lack of response will infuriate you and certainly make your throat start to itch to scream.

Rule 5: Take Rule 4 even further. When you ask them in the first place to do something, make sure to do so when they are busy and playing. Added bonus if they are really into their activity and really really having a fun time. Don’t give them a heads up or warning that a transition is coming, just ask and expect. Oh, second added bonus. Make sure to ask them from across the room while you too are busy multi-tasking. This way they really won’t hear you and will really be un-inclined to cooperate.

Rule 6: Think to yourself how your kids misbehave, how they drive you nuts, how they always fight without stopping to think about how often they do behave, how often you are overwhelmed with love, how often they do play together. The more negative you think, the worse you’ll feel, the worse you’ll perceive their behavior, the worse off you’ll all be. Trust me.

Rule 7: Take Rule 5 even further and call your friend or your mom and talk out loud about your issues so that you really focus on the negative without trying to find the positive.

Rule 8: Dwell all day on one thing that you can’t control, can’t change. Don’t accept it and move on, instead think about how much it annoys you. Better yet, dwell for a few days, or even a week or more about something that is bothering you that you can change but don’t have the strength or courage to. This way when your kids ask you a simple, innocent question you’ll be pre-occupied and will snap, or worse.

Rule 9: Ignore help. Don’t ask for it. Try to do it all on your own. And when you are really struggling, definitely don’t ask for help. Keep trying to prove to yourself you can do it which by the way, you might be able to do for a while, but then you’ll crack and you’ll most certainly yell. Like raging scream yell.

Rule 10: Engage yourself in the same situation that always leads to yelling (um serving dinner late so the kids are extra whiny and temper tantrummy while I need to be cooking), so every day at that time can be like Groundhog day but only louder (your yelling, not theirs) and with more guilt (for said yelling and for knowingly setting yourself up for frustration. Again.)

Rule 11: Don’t engage yourself in your children’s lives. Focus more on checking email and keeping the house clean. This way they will beg for your attention and you’ll be annoyed they are interrupting you and like Step 8, will be inclined to snap or worse.

Rule 12: Create a to-do list that is just long enough to stress you out. You know, a list that is totally unmanageable. This way, when you look at the list your heart starts racing and your head starts pounding. This will make you totally intolerant to any and all requests from the children and definitely want to yell.

Rule 13: Have a really big glass of wine (or equally large gin and tonic) after the kids go to sleep. It will taste great at the moment and will take all the stress of the day away but the next morning it will make you feel sluggish and irritable and primed for yelling. Added bonus: Couple this with going to bed late. This is always a winner and a fabulous way to start the day off on not one, but two really wrong feet.

Rule 14: Assume that your kids are the reason you yell and that it is never because of you and how you are feeling that day. In other words, disregards Steps 1-13 and assume that no, these rules don’t set you up to yell it’s really just the kids mess, their yelling, their not listening that is responsible.

Rule 15: Tell yourself that you can’t do it. That if you can’t even go one hour, how can you go two hours or a day?

Does Rule #15 really apply to you?  Then come join me on The 2nd Orange Rhino Challenge day, this WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29th. A day where I encourage everyone to go just 1 day without yelling. Just 1 day to see that yes, you can do it!

Do any of the other rules speak to you? Sadly, they ALL speak to me on too frequent a basis (and these are just the top 15!) But alas, I will be working on each one a lot harder the next 168 days. Follow along with me at to see how I handle those rules.

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