Yelling: How and Why I'm Trying to Break the Habit.

"Hello, my name is Ellen. And I'm a recovering yelling-addict."


I know I'm not alone here. You get into a cycle. A vicious cycle. Where you find yourself yelling every day. Every single day. It's tiring and draining, and you're already stretched super thin. Maybe you're frustrated that you don't seem to have enough time in the day to do everything. Maybe you're worried about something specific - a job, money, some big life change. There are lots of reasons why parents yell.

Recently, I stumbled upon a website called The Orange Rhino (Yell Less, Love More) and they challenge you to go 365 days without yelling. I laughed. That's not even a realistic goal. I mean? Can't I just try to go one day? Yah, so that's where I started.

And - I did it! It was great. It felt super easy. Gus colored with marker on the carpet - and I just took a deep breath, talked about why we can't do that, and cleaned it up. No yelling. I was so proud of myself. All day long. Even through the rough patches. No yelling! It was great.

Then the next day was crap. It started about 20 minutes after I woke up and lasted the whole morning. I did much better in the evening after work - but the morning was busted. In fact on the drive to school, I asked out loud "What I could do to get the kids to listen to me instead of yelling?" - since that morning it really seemed like the only way at the time to gain control.

Surprisingly, Gus actually answered me. Here's what he came up with. I couldn't make this up if I wanted to.

Gus: "Momma, I have an idea of what you can do instead."

Me: "What's that Gussy?"

Gus: "Maybe if you got a fire truck - we would listen and you wouldn't have to yell."

Me: "How is a fire truck going to make you listen?"

Gus: "It could spray us with water and then beep us on the nose."

Me: "Hum... so if I spray you with water and beep you on the nose.. You'll listen to me?"

Lucille decides to interject here: "Mom. I think Gus means the firefighters would spray us and beep our noses."

Gus: "Mommy could do it too!!"

So, moral of the story: I just need a spray bottle and a sense of humor. I'll let you know if that works.

Hoping I can go a whole week next time. Keep your fingers crossed for me! {And I'll do the same for you!}

Ellen Martin

I'm a west-coast mama of two little ones, 15 months apart. This is our family story with reviews and recommendations along the way. Thanks for joining our journey.

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