Today I should be on Day 41 of no yelling, after my Orange Rhino Challenge re-start back in April. But I’m not. I’m back at Day 1. Again. Like, for the umpteenth time. (Yeah, I know. Just writing the work “umpteenth” made me feel old, too.)
We’ve been going through some rough patches with the 3 yo, and now we’re all beginning to stress with our big move from CT to VA, which is only 4 weeks away. But I’m not going to make excuses. When faced with the choice–because it is a choice–to yell at my kids when I’m angry or frustrated, I’ve been choosing to yell more than not. I openly admit it. And that, of course, is all on me.
I can happily report, though, that I have been a lot better about choosing my words–I’m not saying anything I’d be ashamed for anyone to overhear me saying. (Which I can’t say was always true before.) Sometimes, however, I just get loud. Extremely loud. And that needs to stop, too.
So, I’m rebooting yet again. But this time I’m arming myself with more support and tools.
First, I am going to plaster this sign up all over the house. And maybe in the car, too.
Then I’m going to work on my alternatives to yelling. Thankfully, The Orange Rhino has compiled a huge list of alternatives to try: She has come up with serious alternatives, fun alternatives, I’ll-look-like-a-fool alternatives, I’ll-be-considered-a-bad-parent alternatives, you’ll-think-I’m cheesy alternatives, and preventative alternatives. Seriously, there’s everything from taking a deep breath and walking away, to doing push ups, to sticking your head in the freezer, to surrounding yourself with the color orange. (To see the complete list of yelling alternatives, click here.)
For me, I think I’m going to start by replacing my yelling with talking in a robot voice. In addition to completely interrupting whatever it is that’s going on that’s making me want to yell, it has the added bonus of being incredibly fun and silly. And who knows, maybe I’ll throw a little robot dancing in there, too. 🙂
I’m also going to revise my goal for this challenge. When I first took the challenge, I decided to try for 365 of no yelling. I’d still like to keep that as my long-term goal, but I’m also adding some short-term goals in as well. First up? Making it a day without yelling. Once I do that, I’m going to aim for a week. And then take things one week at a time. And if I get a enough weeks, I’ll go for a month. And slowly build up from there.
Even though I’ve restarted this challenge many times, I’m not giving up. I can do this! I will do this! I just need to get myself to a place where I’m choosing the not yelling over the yelling. Every single time.
Until the next update . . .
To keep up with my journey, please feel free to check out my Orange Rhino Challenge page. For more information on the challenge, please visit: http://theorangerhino.com. And if you’re on the challenge, too, let me know. We can support each other and hold each other accountable. Go Orange!