Let’s Talk About…Yelling.

I used to hide the fact that I yelled at my boys because I felt like I was the only parent out there who yelled more than she/he pleased. I mean, why share my weakness so I could feel even weaker in comparison to all the other clearly perfect, super-pulled-together and patient parents?

I used to hide the fact that I yelled at my boys because I feared that if I shared my secret that I would be ridiculed and judged by said perfect parents. And besides, let’s be real. Yelling is just one of those parenting topics that isn’t delved into deeply at play dates or date nights because no one wants to talk about it…because so many of us do it and so many of us carry the shame and guilt! Who wants to bring up such a heavy conversation during a fun time? Not I said The Orange Rhino. Yes, in my experience, “yelling at your kids” is a taboo, off-limits subject that you loosely laugh about, “hahaha, I yelled today, who doesn’t” but don’t really talk about, “yeah, I yelled, and I hate myself for it” because it is just too hard, too uncomfortable to talk about!

I used to hide the fact that I yelled at my boys because well, because I felt so incredibly ashamed and disappointed in myself; both for yelling and for not being able to stop said yelling! I didn’t want to admit to anyone how much I struggled because I knew that “going public” would just make my struggle more real, more embarrassing, and more importantly that it would push, no demand, me to actually change. I didn’t want to try to change again because I didn’t want to fail…again.

Yes, I used to hide the fact that I yelled at my boys because it was easier and safer than sharing my dark, ugly, guilt-ridden parenting secret with anyone. Hiding my secret so often left me feeling alone, screwed-up, and sad. I yearned to talk about it, to ask for advice from friends, to find support from my family, but I hesitated because I worried that I might just end up feeling more alone, more screwed-up, and more sad. So I kept my secret hidden for a good couple of years.

During those years I cried myself to sleep sometimes because I felt so awful that I said good-night to my boys on a “yell-filled” note instead of an “I really love you note.” I cried to my husband because I felt such anger at myself that I had become a yelling parent, something I never in a thousand years dreamed I would be. I cried to my mom because I felt such frustration that I couldn’t get my act together and just stop yelling already. And I cried to my boys after I yelled…again…and again when all I wanted to do was find patience, calm, and love.

Now, to be clear. I didn’t yell around the clock, 24-7. Maybe I lost my cool a few times a week. To be honest, I have no sense of how much I exactly yelled. I just have a very strong sense that it was too much for me; for my kids. I had the strong sense that I didn’t want to yell anymore; that I didn’t like how it made me or the kids feel. So I decided to change. I decided to come out of hiding and find the support I knew I needed.

Of course, I didn’t come completely out of hiding. I created the name “The Orange Rhino” for myself to not only protect my children but also to give me a name to inspire me to not ell for 365 days. Rhinos are naturally calm animals that charge when provoked (um hello?! Yep, I totally charge with my words.) And the color orange, well that was to remind me to be warm and to give me the energy and determination to keep it together and succeed! I have loved being anonymous – not because I am hiding, but because it has allowed many others to read my story and feel it is his/her story as well. Without a name or face, what I share isn’t just mine, it is ours.

Tomorrow that will change. I will officially put my face out there. I will not lie, I am nervous. I knew this day would come but I just didn’t think it would come with only 24 hours notice and not a lot of time to prepare me, my family, or well, this Community! But, I am also excited because I truly believe in this Community and I want to talk about it louder and wider so that we can reach more people and hopefully help a couple of parents fall to sleep at night with a happy feeling instead of a huge pit in his/her stomach from “crap, I yelled again,” guilt!

And to be honest, I am excited because it means I can really push the conversation about yelling. I can hopefully encourage people to start talking more about his/her struggles with yelling so that we, as a collective parenting community around the world, can learn from each other, get support, and well, find comfort knowing that we aren’t the only ones struggling! Parenting is hard. Period. Parenting with hidden struggles is that much harder. And who needs harder? I know I don’t! So lets talk about yelling. Talking about sex is so “been there done that!” Okay, bad pun. But you know what I mean! It is time to talk about a new subject without embarrassment.

It is time to talk freely and comfortably about yelling so we can help each other.

Okay, call me idealistic, but I so very much hope that sharing my face and no longer hiding will help take the “yelling conversation” out of hiding too. I so very much hope that our Community, our supportive, nonjudgmental, and resourceful Community, will continue to spread the word about “Yelling Less and Loving More” so that talking about yelling is no longer taboo, but tolerated.  No, scratch that.

So that talking about yelling is no longer taboo, but totally welcomed and appreciated.

Want to “Talk Yelling” with me for the next 30 days? Do you want support to get started to yell less and love more? Join my 30 Day Challenge starting WEDNESDAY, January 22nd. Click here to learn more and sign up!

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22 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About…Yelling.

  1. This morning, I had a blow-out with my 16 year old daughter. Once I get started, I just cannot seem to be able to stop. I am not a hitter but I am a yeller and a yeller I am. It is not the kids, it is me and I NEED to change something, everything. You are so correct, I hide my yelling to everyone, expect for those that matter the most to me. I stumbled on your post my typing in “have moments of yelling too much” and there you were. Just what I have read so far is so me and it is nice to see that I am not alone. I look forward to making this blog a part of my daily life.

  2. My friend went yell free for a month (and still going) because of you. I was so inspired that I had her write a post on my blog about it, and I too went yell free. I never thought about yelling because frankly maybe only once or twice a week do I find myself losing my cool. But, taking the challenge to go yell free helped me to realize that sometimes me quiet scary mom voice was doing just as much damage. I have learned to breath first then react, and to think a little bit more like my kids, so I can address the real problem at hand. Thanks so much, I am learning more each time I stop by.

  3. I just learned of this site today, and there are tears in my eyes from reading words like “I felt so ashamed and disappointed in myself” and “a huge pit in her stomach from ‘I yelled again'” and more… tears that I am not alone. You have so eloquently described the struggle that is corroding my happiness, and my relationship with my daughter, and I could not have come upon this site, and the challenge I just signed up for, at a better time. I need the help. I need the courage to change. I didn’t think I’d be “this mom” (and to be fair, sure, lots of times I am a much better mom than I ever thought I’d be! But my temper is a problem). And how can I model for my daughter that she can change her out of control behavior if I don’t actually change mine? So THANK YOU–this is amazing.

  4. Thank you so much for this! I have struggled with yelling ever since I had children. It started with my first daughter, but not too bad. When I had my sons, 19 months apart (unexpectedly I might add) is when I lost control. I know it’s because I feel completely out of control and I like to be in control. It has brought guilt and shame like I’ve never felt before. I want to stop yelling and there are good days and bad days, but the bad days always seem to darken the good. I posted about this on Instagram and Facebook and was so excited to have several friends join me in joining your 30 day challenge! Again, thank you so much! I’m looking forward to it.

  5. hi there I admire your courage and transparency! You have helped me greatly! I still fall off the wagon and imdidmitnjust tonight:( My son was in tears and I was too)
    Tomorrow is a new day! Of. No. Yelling.
    Prayers for your showing face!


  6. I look forward to meeting You ! 🙂 You are brave. You are engaged. Aware of your influence upon youngsters. And trying to do your best. What more could be asked?

  7. Definitely impressive! So glad I found your blog…wish you had been writing it while I was parenting my now adult daughters. Passing on your good ideas tho!

  8. Oh my, I so need this. Last night was one of those nights when I laid in bed with a pit in my stomach…AGAIN….thinking about all the things I did wrong and what mother I had become. One, I never wanted to be.
    So yeah, I am ready for it…but what about the harm that’s been done already? I keep thinking that I traumatized my kid for life now through a lot of yelling….

  9. The big reveal!!!! You are a brave woman, a strong woman. I honestly never realized that there wasn’t a name or a face to the orange rhino. It’s just *you*. My friend, my encourager who understands what I’m going through even though I’ve never told you. Your honesty and obvious love for your kids is what keeps me coming back.

    Rhinos have thick skin, right? Because I’m thinking you’ll need an extra layer or two. People can be mean and so terribly opinionated. Just remember there are so many of us that relate and love reading about your life…because it’s pretty much just like my life.

  10. I found your blog after I started my own (Brilliant But Bouncy – about parenting my own kids). I agonized about going public, too, but decided that, with the permission of my kids, we could bring more awareness if we were also open about who we were. My posts were so similar to yours at times that my sister finally sent me the link – and I LOVE LOVE LOVE your honesty and willingness to share about NOT yelling! We now have papers around the house that say ‘YOU ARE YELLING. PLEASE STOP.” And anyone – even the youngest – is allowed to hold it up and cease the behavior instantly. Thank you for sharing – you’ve been an inspiration to my family!

  11. Thank you so much for making me feel like I’m not crazy and not alone. I really would like to stop yelling at my girls!!! I love your blog and all the wonderful comments thank you so much I look forward to getting emails. I’m trying everyday…… 🙂

  12. the thing that keeps me going at all with this is the fact that you are so open and honest. You don’t profess to be perfect, and I think so many parents are drawn to that because we all hate being judged…especially when it comes to something like yelling. I got it often from my friends as if I was this evil monster of a parent because I yelled (among other things). So, to come here and read your blogs, and the comments of others who can relate and feel no judgment whatsoever is refreshing, and uplifting.

    I guess what I am trying to say is THANK YOU for being so real. So honest. It’s moments like this that really keep me from throwing in the towel altogether. =]

  13. I have so enjoyed reading all the posts. They encourage me very much. I have 4 kiddos, 12 – 2 and I’m a homeschooling mom. So we have days when I feel like all day is yelling. Like yesterday, that was a bad day. But today is a new day. I have tried a little trick when I feel a yell come on I foldy hands take a deep breathe count to 5. It seems to help me stay in line. I guess I’ve done it so much my 4 year old copies me when she is feeling frustrated…haha:) please continue your posts. Even after your reveal. I don’t post much but I do read the posts and I take a little here and there. Its encouraging and I thank you for taking the time to helps us mommies and daddies from yelling so much:)

  14. I stumbled upon your blog when I was at my lowest “yelling point.” My shame was so bad I looked for something to help me. I was inspired by your quest for a yell-free life not just for yourself but for your children. I joined the quest on January 1st and I am now 21 days yell-free!!!!! The choice is always up to the individual but know this, seeing the face behind the blog would not have mattered and still doens’t matter to me. It doesn’t give it more validity or any of the other things you mentioned. You are a mother which a passion to be better and better each day for the most important asset in your life; your boys. Please reconsider posting your face. We already know you. You are the woman in front of us in the grocery store with children misbehaving and casuing a scene. You are the woman we waved happily to this morning when dropping your children off at school then going home to cry about your latest yelling session that morning. We’ve already seen you. My thoughts are with you. (hug) MamaO

  15. I commend your bravery, your humility and your honesty BUT have you taken time to consider how this may have unanticipated effects on others in your family, have you really taken time to consider this…not judging nor trying to affect your decision either way…just saying…

  16. I love your blog. I love that it’s not just ME. I actually mentioned something at my daughter’s preschool about how hard it is not to yell, that I come from a family of screamers, and was surprised when another mom was all, “Me, too!”
    You inspired me to come up with more creative ways to vent. I call it my “legal aggression.” 🙂
    Instead of yelling AT my daughter, I’ll say to her, “Mommy’s getting upset. Let’s go scream in the basement.” And so we have a few times. We go and scream together, and wind up happy and calm and laughing together instead.
    If I feel a yell coming on, I tickle her. Let’s face it, it’s very physical and aggressive, but it’s hard to stay mad at a giggling child.
    Thank you. Just, you know, thanks, for sharing. 🙂

  17. I have found so much inspiration through you and your website. This is something I struggled to talk about not only with other parents, but with my husband as well! We work opposite shifts and he did not witness my meltdowns like the kids did. Because of you this is something we can talk about as a family, and work together to find solutions that work for us. I am proud to be part of the Orange Rhino Community and look forward to the exciting times ahead!

  18. so excited. I’ve been following your posts for a long time and have often plastered my house in orange rhinos. You completely inspire me both with your success in not yelling and your failures…I mean set backs. I gain strength to continue on my no yelling journey with each post I read. I recently shared with a few people my lowest of low days when I lost it with my kids and felt such relief when they shared their “not my best parenting moments” with me. Thank you for starting the conversation and keeping it going!

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