Thursday, June 6, 2013

Rhino Report #1: Orange!

The color orange is taking over our home, and we are loving it.

Why the orange rhino?
Read how the idea started here.

This is how I explain it to my children.

"Rhinos are gentle, kind animals. See how they even let the birds ride on their backs? But if they are provoked, they throw big, ridiculous fits.   Kind of like I do when I yell, or like you do when you yell or whine."

(I’ve tied whining to this idea as well- more on this tomorrow.)

Why orange?
"Orange is a color that reminds us of perseverance, determination, and strength.
We need these things too, don’t we? We might start off the day ready to love each other and be kind, but then we are provoked, and we want to whine or yell… that’s when we need to stay determined, to practice self-control and to pray for help, so that we are not unkind to each other."

Orange is also a color of fun and silliness.
Sometimes the best way to break up a bad mood or to deal with anger is to just do something silly. Sometimes we quack, or yell into a closet, or stand on our heads, or start singing a nonsense song.
(Click here for more great ideas!)

The goal is not to eliminate anger, but to deal with it in constructive ways.
Righteous anger is a real thing. Often, we are angry about something that is actually wrong. (“He hit me!”) It is ok to feel angry about this!  The problem comes not with the anger, but with our reaction to the problem. We try to punish the other person, or to use our words to force them to do what we want them to do.   Whining and yelling are both ways that we try to control others or punish others, and this is not ok.

To this end, we have started a list of healthier alternatives.

 Instead of yelling or whining, I can…

Finally, over and over I remind the children and myself:

Righteousness does not come from us.

Every day we start with prayer- “God help us to be kind to each other, to be gentle and loving with our hands and our words.”  We cannot give what we do not first receive!  And when we fail, we extend the forgiveness that we have received in Christ. 

Grace begins, and grace ends our days.

Grace, and orange silliness.

She looks so happy with those six birds on her back!


  1. I am so happy to see so many moms taking on this challenge! I just love the Orange Rhino for coming up with this! :)

  2. I love this! I just wrote a post about this challenge today, because it is something I've been avoiding, but I can't ignore it anymore. It's time for change! So glad I'm not alone in this and it's encouraging to read your progress and how you're teaching your kids. I'm going to try some of your ideas to explain this challenge to my 3 & 4 year old, because my bad habits are rubbing off on them...and I am pretty sure I can count on them to cheer-lead me through making this much needed change. :)


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