Three Fun Alternatives to Yelling at my kids

83 days down, 282 to go!

Dear Deep, Restful Sleep,

Where art thou? Why won’t you find me? It’s been almost two weeks straight now of restless sleep. I look like a zombie. I act like a zombie and well, I am starting to sound like one, mumbling unintelligible drink requests to the Starbucks barista. This is simply not good. I can’t blame it on the kiddos they aren’t sleeping worse than usual. I can’t blame in on staying up late, my bedtime hasn’t changed. So what can I blame it on but you? Oh, you want me to blame myself? To look at myself and admit that I am stressed and sad and feeling overwhelmed with worry about two of my sons? Yeah, no thank you. I am not ready to publicly do that.

Instead I will keep talking in my sleep, having bad nightmares, waking up in a sweat, waking up crankier than the day before. The only problem with this plan of mine? Of keeping all my worries in? Of accepting crappy sleep? It makes everything worse. It makes me more stressed, more sad, more overwhelmed and thus, much MUCH more likely to yell. Harumph. That’s the bad news.The good news? I have been forced to find some new ways to keep from yelling. But don’t be fooled, I still need sleep to help keep me from yelling. So could you try your hardest to find me?

The Orange Rhino,


Oh sleep. Gosh how I need it. I know that a few nights of good sleep would really help me snap out of this funk. So I am going to keep this post short tonight and get to bed.

Come Wednesday last week, about 10 days into restless sleep, I had had it. The kids were beyond on my nerves. To be fair, their behavior? Totally standard. Mine? Not acceptable. I was uber impatient and sensitive. Everything and anything they did made me want to hang my head against the wall. So lets just say that Wednesday was a long, brutal day of trying to keep it together.

At one point I literally had both hands in the air, above my head, prepared to slam them down onto the kitchen table in very high hopes of creating such a loud bang that it would startle the kids into quiet, good behavior.   Um, yeah, not proud of that parenting moment. And um yeah, totally embarrassed that that idea even crossed my mind.

But at least I had a good recovery.

I have NO IDEA how, or why, this idea came to me but I brought my hands down and started drumming the table in a rhythmic beat.  

Just like music class I guess. I increased the speed and the intensity of my drumming, faster and faster, harder and harder. The boys watched mesmerized.  It felt FANTASTIC. What a release. I kept going, and then at the end, stopped and said, “Attention Please” just like I imagined a drum major might do. And oh my god. It actually worked. I got my boys attention and diverted them from the joyous game of jumping on each other’s heads to the quieter game of Candyland. Score. 1 point for The Orange Rhino.

That lasted 15 minutes, MAX. Why? Because the baby woke up from his nap SCREAMING from his supposed tooth that is coming in. Well that just set everyone off, including me. The three older boys ALL started screaming. At the top of their lungs. Yeah, that type of screaming. It was awesome. I was surrounded by three screaming kiddos and had 1 screaming into my year. It was blissful. I wanted to join in the screaming fest but decided yelling at everyone to stop wasn’t worth it. So I did something weird. Again, NO IDEA where this one came from.

I cupped my hands like a megaphone, placed them in front of my mouth and started making “doot doot dooo” sounds, kind of to the tune of Superman.

My boys thought it was hilarious. Just their laughter alone eased my desire to yell. Phew, crisis 2 averted. Another point for The Orange Rhino.

I stumbled through the rest of the day, using all my strength to not yell. Ugh, what a mental workout! Dinner was minutes away and the joyous game of jumping on each other’s heads right near the coffee table had started again. Awesome. My FAVORITE game to break up. I just didn’t have the energy to get in the middle of the battle. I knew pulling 1 off of 2 would just free 2 to tackle 3 and so on and so forth. It’s a vicious cycle.

So I thought of my post from Monday night, promising to get on my back and shake my legs and arms in the arm like my husband did if I needed to laugh. And I did it. Of course I couldn’t get a picture, but I did get a good laugh! I stayed on the floor, on my back, shaking my groove thing for a good 3-5 minutes.

I looked like a fool. No doubt. But I gotta tell you, it really felt great. The being silly, the letting go, the not yelling. It all felt awesome. Added bonus that it stopped the boys AND double added bonus that they joined in. We all started howling and barking like dogs. Yup, a total sight.

Last Wednesday was Ruff (haha, sorry, couldn’t resist), but at least I did learn three alternatives to yelling: drumming the table, making a megaphone, and lying on my back and barking like a dog. Writing that all just makes me laugh. This challenge sure is making me do funny things….

Have you done anything silly instead of yelling?

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3 thoughts on “Three Fun Alternatives to Yelling at my kids

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