Do you yell at your kids?

I am not a yeller. Oh, I have it in me to be one, but thanks to my soft-spoken husband, I have avoided becoming a yelling mom.

I have never heard my husband yell. Ever. His impeccable control over his emotions has taught me a lot about self-mastery and about how truly silly yelling is—especially when it comes to raising children.

That doesn’t mean I haven’t snapped a few times in my life and barked at my children. I have. And I have felt immeasurably guilty about it later that night when I check in on them in their sleep and they look like porcelain angels.

But all in all, I am not a yeller and hope to never be one (check back with me on this when my daughters hit puberty). So I was intrigued by something I read about this week called the Orange Rhino Challenge. A mom has challenged herself and anyone else willing to join her to go an entire year without yelling. She recently finished her first year and is now on to year two. The challenge has all sorts of rules like what exactly constitutes a yell, and challenger-takers are allowed “oopsie snaps” and yelling “to” children in emergencies.

If you yell, your challenge clock resets to 0. If you have a raging scream, your clock resets to -2.

I appreciate this woman’s efforts to take the screaming out of motherhood. And even though I don’t yell, I do have to talk myself down from frustration often. I have lots of tricks like forcing myself to talk quietly and calmly, sending kids to their rooms and even giving myself a time out in my room if I just need a minute. Every mom gets frustrated (any mom who says otherwise is a liar), but as the Orange Rhino Challenge suggests, it’s all about alternative outlets for that frustration.

She suggests everything from the ridiculous such as whistling or blowing bubbles to screaming into the toilet and flushing your anger away.

I think its great the Orange Rhino Challenge is helping moms to curb yelling because when it comes down to it, yelling at our kids really only accomplishes one thing: yelling tells our kids that we are totally out of control of our own emotions because their behavior has affected us so much. And if I know one thing about kids, it’s that affecting mom and dad ranks pretty high on the “things to do today” list. It’s right up there with see how much I can get away with and bug my sister.

And honestly, I have learned by my own experience that the actual act of not yelling is calming and vindicating. I know I am in control of my emotions; my children are not. And hopefully, they know it, too.

How do you stop from yelling at your kids? What do you think of the Orange Rhino Challenge?



One comment

  1. John Charity Spring

    Stewart is correct that far too many younger parents will yell at their children at the drop of a hat. This is the epitome of selfishness.

    Why has yelling become so pervasive? The primary reason is that the modern entertainment industry continues to produce movies and television shows in which family members communicate with each other almost exclusively by yelling. Indeed, yelling is not only portrayed as normal and acceptable, it is portrayed as humorous and desirable.

    When impressionable minds spend all day watching this garbage, they inevitably imitate what they see. Shame on them for making their children suffer for their choice of entertainment.

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