Yell Less, Love More: A 30-Day Guide That Includes: ~100 Alternatives to Yelling ~Simple, Daily Steps to Follow ~Honest Stories to Inspire Paperback – 20 Nov 2014
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"An absolute MUST read for all parents. Sheila's friendly, honest voice is like a dear friend helping you through and cheering you on!" --"- Melissa Kaye, co-founder of Mommy Business (mommybusiness.net)"
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This isn't a book about discipline. This is a book about changing your own fundamental make-up, forcing you to accept and embrace that yelling is really about you, not them. By shifting the locus of control to the self, by admitting what you can't control or change, you can be empowered to spark the changes that can and will lead you to Yelling Less and Loving more. It will also force you to problem solve your environment, learning how to prevent, prevent, prevent.
My only con for this book is the con of all books on parenting: if parents had the proper care and feeding they need, proper self-care and me time,if parenting didn't require that you run on an empty tank, many of the problems parents face (like yelling) wouldn't exist. If we had enough helping hands around, most of us wouldn't find ourselves beyond frustrated, beyond capacity, beyond ability to just love. Sheila does a fairly good job in helping you find self-care approaches to get to loving more, but I wish there was a more explicit and honest admission: life with young kids can be a living hell of exhaustion that can even lead the most gentle of spirits to yell. As kids get older, it does get easier. Sometimes time itself is necessary for the yelling Less and loving more to become a true reality.
I say this because I first found The orange Rhino blog when I was pregnant with my third child. My other kids were 4 and under, and I was one exhausted momma. I tried her online challenge but I did not have the strength, energy or time. I was so far on empty that real change wasn't possible. I then tried her book challenge when the book came out. I had a newborn at home. Sleep? what's that? Me with no sleep is not a pretty picture. Remember those anti-drug commercials from the 90s that said,"this is your brain, your brain on drugs" and then showed a cracked egg in a pan? Well, that's me with no sleep: all broken apart, barely functioning. I didn't have 5 minutes in the morning to read the book. I didn't have 10 minutes to then work on triggers. I did work on not yelling, and I was mostly good (save for when I PMS'd or was going crazy due to lack of sleep), but I didn't have the proper headspace to commit to a full fledged no yell challenge.
Flash forward. My youngest is now 2.5. I am getting sleep. i am exercising consistently. I am going out with friends. I finally have the time and space necessary to do the self-work required to Yell Less and Love more.
This is my long-rounded way of saying, this book will help you learn to Yell Less and Love more, but it can only do so much. Environmental conditions (not having chemical and hormonal fluctuations due to sleep deprivation, for instance) need to be such that you can change. But this book also shows you that change is possible, that you can indeed Yell Less,Love More, and it's a practical, easily accessible guide in doing so.
McCraith’s book, “Yell Less, Love More” is not a thick novel that parents have to spend hours poring through before considering a program with the goal of yelling less at their children and building better, loving, and positive relationships with them. An approximately 200-page book, it is laid out in an easy to read format with chapters broken down into daily sections that are not long; averaging about four pages, which is perfect for the parent who can spare five to ten minutes to read per day. Each section has a theme of the day, starting with a personal experience provided by McCraith that most parents will certainly relate to, and the section ends with the day’s revelations that provide a way for the parent to become more aware of their own anger issues and reactions. In addition to providing revelations at the end of each section, McCraith also provides action strategies, and tips of the day for the parent to use in order to develop better anger management and coping skills. In various sections, McCraith provides opportunities for the parent to journal their thoughts, feelings, and emotions as well as trigger tracking sheets at the end of the book. The book’s pages are attractive and colorful in fuchsia and two shades of orange which is consistent with McCraith’s Orange Rhino symbol.
Instead of doing McCraith’s daunting 365-day challenge, this book offers a flexible 30-day program that the parent can use as a guide. The program is flexible; the parent can choose to proceed with it however they want. They can reset the yell counter back to Day Zero if they yell OR just stop the counter on the day they yelled and restart after a successful day. Also, it does not have to be a rigid 30-day program; some parents can just read through the book or just review the revelations, action strategies, and tips at the end of each section to gain ideas of how to manage their anger and stress. Other parents can choose to read each section on a daily basis if they want to follow a structured 30-day program.
I discovered McCraith’s blog through another parenting self-help blog and as a parent who struggled daily to curb the yelling, I was immediately inspired by the personal experiences that she shared as well as the strategies she used to yell less. As I read about her experiences and sharing of her own painful emotions when yelling at her children, I felt like I was reading about myself. The various revelations she provided at the end of each section were common sense observations which resonated with me, especially the revelation she made about parents who tend to avoid yelling at their children in public because there was an audience watching, but the most important audience were the ones inside of our very homes: our children who are the very things we love the most. We are their role models and we need to show them appropriate behaviors that we want them to use. I believe many parents will find this an easy book to relate to and be able to use many of the easy, common sense strategies and tips that are offered to help them “Yell Less, Love More.”
It's funny, I like to think I never scream(ed) at my kids but I have to admit I found the Orange Rhino at a time I was desperate to figure out why my 4 year old had such a bad attitude. Well, snarky kid behavior can come from a lot of triggers but I have to admit the behavior I was dealing with was from my own snarky cues. We had a constant battle, for example in the morning, when I was somehow surprised (!), yes, every day, that my preschooler needed more time and more support to get ready than I was giving. So, every day, I would get frustrated, get mad and, in so many ways, suggest (often not so subtly) that it was all her fault we were late.
Really? Um, I'm the adult here. I'm embarrassed how long it took to figure that out!
Yell Less, Love More is a great mantra and a great book. The Orange Rhino puts it out there - just like she does on her blog - and shares authentic stories and lessons that can help us all be better parents. Yep, it's all the lessons I want my kids to learn (take a deep breath, imagine the other person's perspective, deal with misunderstanding, remain calm in a crisis, etc.) ... that I needed to hear. Bravo!
Buying another copy today for a friend :).
What's even better is that this isn't one of those books where the author just lectures to you. This is a book where the author is literally opening her private screw ups and mistakes and using what she's learned to help other parents to be encouraged: if she can do it then we can too!!
It is so great to just know you're not alone. Seeing how someone else dealt with the same things you struggle with is so heartwarming. Parenting this days starts feeling like something you are doing on your own and everyone else seems to be doing it so perfectly. So refreshing to have help from someone who is just like me!