How have you done?
I have managed to mostly stay at 4 and below on Orange Rhino’s Yelling Meter (see below), which is way better than I expected. I have been trying really hard to stay away from the “nasty snap”, “yell”, and “raging scream”.
I’m human. And last Wednesday was extra stressful – I was preparing to leave for a few days and couldn’t seem to get myself organized enough to avoid being stressed. Let’s just say I lost my cool more than once.
I felt like I had to begin at day one after returning home. So, being that I’m at the end of day four and have only gone above a 4 with our dog – Caesar deserved it! – I think I’m doing pretty well!
Where do you fall on the meter?
The Orange Rhino’s Yelling Meter
0 – The everyday voice. The “life is good,” I just love being a mom and having these little conversations voice. Serenity and happiness ooze out with every word. Signs: you think to yourself, wow, this is a nice moment, I think I’ll cherish it and you’re filled with hope that the day is gonna be a good one.
1 – The whisper. The quiet, almost non-audible voice that our pre-school teacher uses that somehow gets attention, respect and follow through. Signs: you can barely hear it and it works like magic.
2 – The re-direct voice. It’s a clear, loving and patient voice that does not show irritation for the situation at hand but instead gently expresses that you don’t like a behavior, why, and offers a new activity. Sign: When you use it you pat yourself on the back for successfully following advice from a parenting magazine, for once.
3 – The firm voice (potentially raised). This is the I am starting-to-mean business voice accompanied with occasional raised eye brows and introduction of idle threats. Signs: you are still calm and there are no hurt feelings, but you’re wondering when (not if) you’re gonna snap and you are growing impatient, quickly.
4 – The “oopsie” snap. Stop! Alright! Ouch! This snap is starting to get nasty, but hasn’t gotten there yet. It isn’t a long tirade, it’s just a quick sharp voice where you stop yourself…it’s just enough to make the kids stop what they are doing for a second and think whether or not they will continue annoying behavior. Signs: blood pressure is picking up a little, but you are back to calm quickly and think “oh sh*t I really didn’t mean to do that.”
5 – The nasty snap. Darnit! Knock it off! Cut it out! This snap might be short, but it’s filled with venom. Signs: blood is starting to boil inside; vocal chords are warming up, preparing for a long tirade; you think to yourself “oh sh*t” was that a nasty snap? If you think it, it was.
6 – The yell. It’s loud. You know it’s loud. And it’s mean. You simply know you’ve crossed the line, there is no question. Signs: kids tears are a pretty good indicator, as are doors slamming, kids screaming back at you that you’re mean and they don’t love you any more.
7 – The raging scream. A notch up from “the yell.” It’s totally intentional and is filled with much more nastiness, hurtfulness and hysteria – on both sides. Signs: body shaking, often hard to stop doing it; results in feelings of massive guilt and shame in the screamer (at least for me) and definite feelings of shame, sadness, and fear in the kiddos; throat throbs afterwards.