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“The book gives many principles for overcoming anxiety and to start a new path of connection with your kids. It includes thought-provoking questions at the end of each chapter.” —Parents
About the Author
HAL EDWARD RUNKEL is a licensed marriage and family therapist, relationship coach, and international speaker. He is founder and president of ScreamFree Living, Inc.—dedicated to calming the world one relationship at a time. Hal’s principles have already helped thousands of families revolutionize their relationships. He lives with his wife, Jenny, and their two children just outside Atlanta, Georgia.
Hal Runkel is a world-renowned expert on helping families face conflict and create great relationships. A licensed therapist, relationship coach, international speaker, and organizational consultant, Hal is the bestselling author of ScreamFree Parenting, and the newly released ScreamFree Marriage.
Hal is Founder and President of The ScreamFree Institute, an international training organization dedicated to calming the world, one relationship at a time. Here he has applied the most advanced approaches to family relationship theory in his practice, and developed the revolutionary ScreamFree Living methodology. Hal now presents the ScreamFree relationship programs to audiences around the world through live training events, teleconferences, webinars, and publications. In addition, he actively trains and supervises hundreds of other family professionals working to further the ScreamFree movement.
Hal and his message have been featured on over a thousand media outlets, including NBC's Today Show, Redbook, Good Housekeeping, and The 700 Club, and with his wife, Jenny, hosted "ScreamFree Radio" on Atlanta's 750 WSB-radio.
He and Jenny have been married for 17 years, and they are raising their two teenagers in the Atlanta area.
"ScreamFree Parenting," by Hal Runkel, is an excellent parenting guide that will help moms and dads everywhere to keep (or regain) their sanity. Runkel is a licensed family and marriage therapist and one of the founders of ScreamFree Living, Inc. His thesis is that parents cannot keep tabs on their kids 24/7, nor can they force their children to consistently behave in a certain way. Therefore, mothers and fathers would be better off learning to focus on how they react to their children's words and actions.
Parents, Runkel contends, should take stock of themselves. Are they in control of their behavior when they interact with their children? Or are they at the mercy of their "emotional reactivity"--their unthinking, knee-jerk reactions? If the latter is true, it is likely that parent-child interactions will be tense, angry, and unproductive.
All of us who have struggled with parental responsibilities instinctively realize that a calm and reasoned approach is far more effective than a hysterical and dictatorial one. However, because of fatigue, ignorance, or inertia, many of us impulsively lash out, saying things that we don't really mean when our kids push our buttons. What to do?
Runkel does not advocate permissiveness. Rather, he recommends what he calls "judo parenting." Judo is "the art of going with another's momentum." A ScreamFree parent facilitates rather than dictates; he encourages his children to use their own resources to solve problems. By helping kids to get in the habit of making their own decisions and living with the consequences, parents will be more likely to launch "self-directed" adults.
The writing is clear, concise, humorous, and to-the-point.Read more ›
I've been trying to cut down on yelling and work through problems by staying calm, which is the approach Runkel, a licensed family and marriage therapist, advocates. The book is an easy read and doesn't overwhelm the parent with too many steps as self-help books often do.
The clear, direct, and humorous writing style allows parents with hectic lives to quickly read the book, absorb its concepts, and put them to use. Each chapter ends with reflection questions to reinforce the themes from the chapter. The book continues its effectiveness whether or not the reader answers the questions. However, thinking about the questions might shed light on you, your kids, and your relationships.
The concept of parents not letting their emotions guide their response to a child's troubles is not new, but Runkel shares stories, experiences, and explanations on how to do it. Sure, junior spilling juice all over the carpet can make any parent mad, but dealing with the situation while maintaining control has better results than a scream fest, spanking, or arguing.
Though the book focuses on parenting, its concepts largely address ourselves as individuals. For we have to take care of us first before others. Instead of permissive or dictatorship parenting, Runkel encourages judo parenting, which is "the art of going with another's momentum." He shows how to do this by providing the answers to the questions all parents get like "I'm bored," "Are we there yet?" and "I hate you!"
Two nitpicks. First, there are a few religious references. I wish this had been omitted because religion is a hot issue and the book's concepts fly well without the religious quotes or references.Read more ›
I wish this book was out five years ago when my daughter was born. This book has been such a Godsend to me - a real eye opener. Of the hundreds of books I have read on parenting - this is the only one that actually deals with being a parent and not about molding/training your child. I also bought his class on cd and it has changed the relationship I have with my children. I can't recommend it enough.
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Hal Runkel is not only an author of "ScreamFree Parenting", but an angel sent from Heaven or a magician, whichever your personal stance lends itself to. It is an absolute must read and reread and reread again for every parent. If you could read only one parenting book, I would say this one is it without a doubt. In today's modern, hectic societies, we all need a "calm before the storm." The uninevitable storms are bound to come along once in a while. Hal provides parents with the survival tools to weather the issues of raising our children when the pressure builds. Calmness translates into being the best that you can be. When we can think, problem solve, and react with a calm, cool mindset, positive outcomes occur. Calmness perpetuates calmness, just as conflict perpetuates conflict. It is a book that stays by my bed so that I have it at my fingertips when I get a few extra moments. It is a resource that I will continue to reread throughout the years ahead of raising our children. I feel that I am in debt to Hal for his miraculous vision. I intend to continue the legacy and pass the book to my children one day as they venture into parenthood, and they too will be eternally grateful to Hal and his team. The cycle will continue from generation to generation, what a great concept. He certainly has gone above and beyond doing what he was called to do on this earth. Hal is the coolest for keeping us cool and thus allowing for our children to be the best they can be. If the principles were carried through to all human relationships, what a wonderful world it could be...
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