Sheila McCraith was tired of yelling at her kids. So last year, she challenged herself to stop yelling and blogged about her quest on The Orange Rhino, a name she choose to protect her kids privacy.
After fulfilling her personal challenge, the Summit, New Jersey mother of four boys, has built The Orange Rhino Challenge, an online resource for exploring and overcoming the dynamics of yelling with plans, tools, advice and support.
To help promote her new book, “Yell Less, Love More: How the Orange Rhino Mom Stopped Yelling at Her Kids — and How You Can Too!" (Fair Winds Press; $21.99), The Orange Rhino provided five tips to help you keep your cool. Take a look:
1. Leave extra school supplies around to grab when you need to relieve stress: pencils to scribble out anger, notebooks to tear out paper and crumble up, a full water bottle so you can swallow yells and literally cool down, Post-it notes so you can write a love note to your child instead of yelling a mean message and orange folders with your favorite inspirational sayings written down (“I can yell less, I love my kids ..."), she suggests.
2. “Place orange notes around the house to remind yourself to find warmth in key yelling zones, specifically your kid's backpacks, your front door, the fridge, your bathroom mirror, for example,” she said. “For added help, write positive messages on them.”
3. Make time to talk to your kids before or after dinner — but not when you're in the middle of the morning rush to get to school or work, she said. “Avoid emotional meltdowns as best you can when you're trying to get out to the door. Talk to yourself about your own anxiety and sadness so your emotions don't build up as stress and spill out as a yell.”
4. “Prepare, prepare, prepare for the morning rush the night before,” she said. “Be sure to prepare your kids for the routine so they know what they have to do and when; printed schedules and charts are a huge help.” Post the schedule around your house, everywhere your child may stop and slow down. The night before school, set out shoes and backpacks, fill water bottles and have your child set out two outfits to choose from before heading to bed.
5. Do your homework. Grab a journal and write down some of your triggers along with a plan to manage each one, she suggests. “Kids forgetting to go to bathroom until in car: set a timer. Being cranky and irritable (kids and you!): go to bed early, no matter what. Not having time to prepare the night before as wished: find a way for kids to help you with morning chores. General chaos and noise: light an aromatherapy candle or play peaceful music.