Q. How can parents yell less at their kids?
A. A mom of four boys younger than 6 in Summit, N.J., asked herself that same question. She pledged not to yell at her kids at all for one year, and documents her quest in a blog called The Orange Rhino Challenge (theorangerhino.com).
A blog post shares fun alternatives she came up with to stop herself from yelling when on the verge of losing it. She successfully completes her 365-day challenge this week, so she must know what she's talking about. Here are some things she does when she is about to screech:
Talk jibberish (makes kids laugh and stop pummeling each other)
Blow bubbles (reminds parent of childhood and to chill out)
Get the camera (forces parent to see behavior wasn't so bad)
Bang arms on chest like a gorilla (good release and great entertainment for the kids)
Clap until kids have stopped annoying behavior
Sing "La la la, la la, la LAAAAA" (it's unexpected, which works wonders)
Speak in a robot voice (makes kids stop and look at you)
More suggestions are part of the post at theorangerhino.com/alternatives-to-yelling.
The Orange Rhino mom also has a post with 12 steps to stop yelling at theorangerhino.com/ 12-steps-to-stop-yelling-at-your-kid. And she's launched a free online program called "30 Days to Yelling Less," which anyone can join. Read more about and hear directly from the Orange Rhino mom on exploreLI.com's Parent Talk blog.