I will not yell at you, I love you.

345 days without yelling, 20 days of loving more to go!

Dear Parenting Magazine,

Hold the press! Don’t run that article, I lied. My son DOES listen to me. And not only does he listen to me, but he gets it.  He totally gets The Orange Rhino Challenge, he gets the not yelling thing. Oh, this year has not been for naught. Woot!!

The Orange Rhino


Is there a real article coming out? No. That’s just a dream of mine.

Does my son sometimes not listen to me? Yes. That’s reality. He’s a kid. Wait, he’s a person. I don’t always listen either you know.

But has he been paying attention, has he been taking in all this Orange Rhino stuff, has he watched me learn to handle anger more calmly, has he listened to me at least some? OH YES. How do I know? Check out this sweet little story from yesterday. I am smiling ear to ear just thinking of it. And maybe stamping my rhino feet in excitement too.

It was bedtime. I had settled one half of my fraternity into sweet slumber and headed towards #1’s room to give him a gentle heads up that lights out was coming. He started to get all huffy puffy. I knew what was coming. A big ‘ole holler. An “I hate bedtime! I never get enough time with you! I don’t want to go to bed yet!!!!! ARGHHHHH!”

I inhaled. I waited and waited and waited. The yell never came. Huh? Then I saw him grab a book, squint at me and start to take aim. Oh, maybe it was coming? Maybe the book was gonna get tossed at me in disgust? Nope.

“Mommy” he grimaced.
“I’m angry. Really angry with you. And I really want to yell. But I won’t. Because I love you.”


Photo: vh1.com

I love you too! And I am so proud of you! This small exchange was such a huge accomplishment for both of us, especially for him. My darling #1 is beautifully emotional and is working on reigning in the emotions that sometimes turn ugly. This was the first time he actually succeeded at doing so. Oh, this was such a win. Such a win. I was grinning when I started writing this and now tears are falling. I am just so very proud of him.

You know, there have been so many times on this journey that I wished I started my challenge earlier. If only I think. If only I started four years ago then I wouldn’t have taught my boys to yell at me, to yell at each other. If only I learned to say out loud “I will stay calm” years ago then I wouldn’t be plagued with the thought “it’s too late, I already taught them to yell, I can’t undo it.”

But clearly, it isn’t. It isn’t too late. And I should know this. Because I have taught myself to change. It wasn’t too late for me, it isn’t too late for him, for any of my boys. I can help them change today, this moment, any moment I choose. I can continue to teach by example. And I most certainly will.

And I will most certainly continue talking out loud as an alternative to not yelling.
I will continue to say:

“I love you, I don’t want to yell.”
“I need your help, can you please help me clean up so I don’t lose my cool?”

And I will continue talking to myself, which by the way I do OFTEN. I talk to myself so much that my head spins but it has helped me through so many tough moments when I have wanted to yell. So many. I say,

“I will not yell. I will not yell. I will be calm.”
“I can do this.”
“I’m exhausted, but I will not yell.” And
“Hey Orange Rhino, enough already. Stop being a crabby biatch.” (That’s a personal favorite. HA!)

Oh, there is so much I will continue doing when this year is over. But mostly, I will continue believing that I can not yell. I will continue believing that it is not too late to teach my children to not yell. My son chose love last night over anger and as the one on the receiving end of that love, I can say it felt great. So yeah, I will also continue believing that LOVE TRUMPS ANGER.


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7 thoughts on “I will not yell at you, I love you.

  1. This brought tears to my eyes. I have completely blown it for 8 years. I am starting today. I have not read about the code word “Orange Rhino” but I have pieced together it is a code word for your children to use when they see you loosing it. I too do not take care of me … I am a full-time working outside of the home mama … 40 hours a week is enough “me” time but it isn’t really “me” time … except for I do hide snacks here that I love and don’t have to share 🙂 … Thanks for starting this blog!

  2. I’m so glad you shared this. I need to hear that ‘it is never too late’. My son is 8 1/2 and we are both very intense and very emotional.

    Monday was day 1. It went great. Day 2 sucked big ole fat eggs. pretty sure it was b/c I let my feelings stew and I ended up getting terribly overwhelmed and ended up blowing up. Day 3, yesterday, went very well, considering I started my ‘friend’ who has been coming later and later and arriving in a terribly rude and painful way. All part of growing older, I suppose. Sorry if that is TMI, but it’s just life. I was on the couch or bed most of the day feeling like crapola, then started feeling better and DH talked me into going to that yogod class I had been looking forward to all week. Today, Day 4, started out a bit rough. I got a little snarky with DH, but got back on track.

    Thank you for this blog and plodding through even when it isn’t easy for you and your family. Thanks again, also for sharing the wins. It gives us all hope.

  3. Yay! I’m so happy for you. Quite the reward you received there from #1! And you deserve it.
    And think about it: You are one of the reasons why I wont teach my children to yell, either! Two little twin darlings half way around the world will have at least a slightly different upbringing because of you. And as their mother, I will have more time to love and enjoy them because of you. Thank you!

    • Thank you for your wonderfully kind words; they mean a lot! I hope you have a great day tomorrow with your darlings around the world!

  4. This is awesome! Now I totally want to get my girl involved and so we can both yell less.

    This morning the boy was being a total PITA and was getting all in our faces instead of getting ready for school. I looked over at the girl and said, “His actions right now totally drive me crazy. I am not going to let it get to me today.” She gave me a “don’t i know it grin” and we both did awesome. It was like water off our backs.

  5. Love it 🙂 My sweeties just went to bed and I’m proud to say that I just finished day 2 of no yelling. I know it’s only been 2 days, but it just so happened that the first day landed on the first day of my husband’s 48hr work shift…so it’s been 2 full days alone for all of us 🙂 It usually gets a bit hairy toward the end. It didn’t this time. I’m thrilled. 🙂 I felt better both days, my boys felt better. They treated each other better…(the whole monkey see, monkey do. yeah, that’s true!). I got multiple hugs today from my 4 year old without asking. Melted my heart. He’s affectionate and lovey, but today showed me that removing the yelling from the equation made him feel MORE LOVED. So much more, that he gave out free hugs, even two to his brother. That’s enough motivation to keep going. Here’s to tomorrow! Thank you SO much for this. I am proud of the mom I was the last two days. 🙂

  6. Absolutely loved this. So happy for you guys. And I love hearing you say, “its not too late.” I feel like that sometimes. Thank you for this post and opportunity. Maybe you could repost or have a link in your next post, of your moment of realizing you needed to change? You refer to it, but I have yet to read it. Only bc I haven’t had a sec to search for it, but maybe if you have an easy access link, that would be great.

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