Book Review: ScreamFree Parenting: the Revolutionary Approach to Raising Your Kids by Keeping Your Cool by Hal Edward Runkel

Book Review: ScreamFree Parenting: the Revolutionary Approach to Raising Your Kids by Keeping Your Cool by Hal Edward RunkelScreamFree Parenting: The Revolutionary Approach to Raising Your Kids by Keeping Your Cool by Hal Runkel
Published by Harmony
Publication Date: Sept. 4, 2007
Genres: Nonfiction, Parenting
Pages: 240
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Indie Bookstores | Amazon

Wonderful resource for new and "veteran" parents alike. Learn how to not let your kids push your buttons! I will be rereading this book whenever I feel myself losing my cool.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

“You Can Start a Revolution in Your Family . . . Tonight

ScreamFree Parenting is not just about lowering your voice. It’s about learning to calm your emotional reactions and learning to focus on your own behavior more than your kids’ behavior . . . for their benefit. Our biggest enemy as parents is not the TV, the Internet, or even drugs. Our biggest enemy is our own emotional reactivity. When we say we “lost it” with our kids, the “it” in that sentence is our own adulthood. And then we wonder why our kids have so little respect for us, why our kids seem to have all the power in the family.

It’s time to do it differently. And you can. You can start to create and enjoy the types of calm, mutually respectful, and loving relationships with your kids that you’ve always craved. You can begin to revolutionize your family, starting tonight.

Parenting is not about kids, it’s about parents.
If you’re not in control, then you cannot be in charge.
What every kid really needs are parents who are able to keep their cool no matter what.

Easier said than done? Not anymore, thanks to ScreamFree Parenting, the principle-based approach that’s inspiring parents everywhere to truly revolutionize their family dynamics. Moving beyond the child-centered, technique-based approaches that ultimately fail, the ScreamFree way compels you to:

focus on yourself
calm yourself down, and
grow yourself up

By staying calm and connected with your kids, you begin to operate less out of your deepest fears and more out of your highest principles, revolutionizing your relationships in the process.

ScreamFree Parenting is not just another parenting book. It’s the first parenting
book that maintains—from beginning to end—that parenting is NOT about kids . . . it’s about parents. As parents pay more attention to controlling their own behavior instead of their kids’ behavior, the result is stronger, more rewarding, and more fulfilling family relationships.

For those of you reading who are parents, know parents, or have had parents, the notion that the greatest thing you can do for your children is to learn to focus on yourself may sound strange, even heretical. It’s not. Here’s why: we are the only ones we can control. We cannot control our kids—we cannot control the behavior of any other human being. And yet, so many “experts” keep giving us more tools (“techniques”) to help us try to do just that. And, of course, the more we try to control, the more out of control our children become.

“Don’t make me come up there.” “Don’t make me pull this car over.” “How many times do I have to tell you?” Even our language suggests that our kids have control over us.
It’s no wonder that we end up screaming. Or shutting down. Or simply giving up. And the charts, refrigerator magnets, family meetings, and other techniques in most typical parenting books just don’t work. They end up making us feel more frustrated and more powerless in this whole parenting thing.

This practical, effective guide for parents of all ages with kids of all ages introduces proven principles for overcoming the anxieties and stresses of parenting and setting new patterns of connection and cooperation. Well-written in an engaging, conversational tone, the book is sensible, straightforward, and based on the experiences of hundreds of actual families. It will help all parents become calming authorities in their homes, bring peace to their families today, and give kids what they need to grow into caring, self-directed adults tomorrow.”

My Thoughts
This is a great resource for new or “veteran” parents. The author describes how a parent needs to focus on taking care of ourselves and “growing yourself up.” I thought I was a grown up with the 3 kids and gray hairs to prove it, but Hal made me realize that by overreacting to the challenges that the kids present, I am acting just like them. I am allowing them to push my buttons like a remote control and control MY behavior.

The author uses very effective stories to show how the parents calmness resulted in a better relationship between the parent and child, even in the toughest of situations. We have all heard why we need to take better care of ourselves to be better parents and this book drives that point home.

This is one of those resources I need to re-read for a refresher when I feel myself losing my cool.

Favorite Quotes

“To be in charge as a parent means inspiring your children to motivate themselves.”

If you liked ScreamFree Parenting, then you may also like:
* Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
* I Just Want to Pee Alone, a collection of essays from various hilarious mom bloggers

Disclosure: I was not compensated for writing a positive review and opinions expressed are honest and my own. Purchases made from the “IndieBound” (that supports independent bookstores) or “Barnes & Noble” affiliate links will give me a small commission to help support my blog expenses without impacting your cost. Thanks for your support of my blog if you decide to purchase.

What parenting books have you found helpful? I’d love to hear your thoughts. As always, happy reading!

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  1. Hubby and I just went through this class a couple of months ago along with the Scream Free Marriage. It’s a lot to take in at first but when you really listen to what he says it really makes sense. I’m still struggling with giving the kids their “space” though. If I do what he says my house would be a disaster. 🙂

    1. I agree with you that sometimes there were things I didn’t quite agree with. Like he gave an example that if his kid was climbing on the railing of the stairs, he wouldn’t force the kid to get down after telling him once it wasn’t a safe decision. Me? Not exactly, I would rather keep him safe than have to deal with a possible broken bone. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me!

  2. Looks like an excellent book. I know I need to calm myself down! When I was teaching I used to play classical music just for my own peace of mind, never mind the kids!

    1. I don’t know how teachers do it, it’s challenging enough taking care of my own kids. It’s a good idea to play classical music 🙂 I really enjoyed this book and hope you do too if you read it.

    1. It was worth the time to read it for me and yes, for my kids sake. I was getting overwhelmed and stressed with juggling work stress and the things I wanted to do for my family and home, this book certainly helped change my perspective and reminded me of ways to keep my cool. Thanks for stopping by and your feedback, hope you enjoy the book if you read it!

  3. I will definitely be picking this one up. My mom lost her temper a lot growing up and I can feel my short fuse get even shorter at times with various things. I know I’ll have a difficult time keeping calm when kids come along. Currently- since we just have one on the way- the only ‘parenting’ book I’ve read is What To Expect.

    1. It’s very helpful and one of those books I have to take notes or reread periodically. I have a middle school son, an elementary school son and a preschooler and even though they are at different stages and brothers, they each challenge me in completely different ways. Congratulations on the baby on the way, motherhood is a wonderful gift and there is no greater joy. I hope the rest of your pregnancy goes well and glad to see your return to the blogosphere!!

  4. I really like “Easy to love, difficult to discipline”. I also heard a psychologist on the radio this morning who said this, “Mad happens” and that there isn’t anything wrong with being mad, more it’s our reaction to mad being wrong and trying to deny we are mad that is problemati. Made me think.

  5. I love these parenting books, because the point out the obvious, and then help me get through a crisis. I haven’t read this one, but I have all the ‘How to talk…’ books, and I think they are awesome. I am much better at not letting anyone at all push my buttons anymore, which is helpful everywhere I go.

    Great review, Tanya.

  6. Thank you for the recommendation. After the mornings that I have been having with my 10 year old lately, I am going to give this a shot.

    1. You are welcome Karen. I hope it helps. My oldest is in middle school so there’s always a learning curve as he grows up and challenges us in new ways as parents. Who would think our kids could be so different? I have 3 sons and it’s amazing how unique their personalities are and the unique ways in which they challenge me. They are great kids and I am always looking for ways to be a better mom to them. Good luck, let me know if you read the book and what you think of it! Thanks for stopping by!

    1. I enjoy reading books like these. There is always something to learn and help us become better parents. I need all the help I can get, it’s the toughest job we will ever have!

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