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Screamfree Parenting: The Revolutionary Approach to Raising Your Kids by Keeping Your Cool Paperback – August 19, 2008
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About the Author
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.
Top Customer Reviews
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 ›
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 ›
The author's understanding of the real ways human beings interact in families is revealed both in his persuasive arguments and in the excellent anecdotes that pepper the book. The book is about parenting, but Hal has much more to say about human relationships in general. He even has some fascinating comments on the modern disease of obesity in Western society.
Hal basically asks the reader to "grow up." But he does this so persuasively, and with such good humour, that this reader actually wanted to grow up, and more importantly, thinks that this may be a possibility.
You can imagine what these kids are going to be like when their parents are ill or die. They'll feel like the world has ended. Is that any way to be a parent? I don't think so.
I like having children who become responsible, effective adults. I have four of them, and I'm happy with how it all turned out.
At the opposite end, you see parents going nuts because their two-year-old drops a spoon on the floor in a restaurant . . . again . . . and again . . . and again. We've all been there. We've all wanted to go nuts. But it's not good for anyone if you do.
ScreamFree Parenting gives you solid, realistic advice for how to handle those years from 2-18 so that your children end up the way you would like them to be . . . as themselves in a responsible life. . . and not as robots ordered around by you.
Hal Runkel does a good job of explaining how setting limits, letting children make mistakes and learn, and being calm make for a wonderful difference. I was reminded of the importance of calm last week when our local high school put on a one act play written by the students that described a 9 year-old girl being driven crazy by her parents' fights. Calm is good for children. They will eventually learn calmness from you . . . if you are a good role model.
So start to help your kids . . . by working on you!
I wish I had read this book when I was a new father. It would have saved lots of anxiety for everyone.
Nice going, Mr. Runkel
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have read numerous parenting books in an attempt to figure out what to do with my kids. While I wish this one provided a few more tips for HOW to not scream, I still feel like it... Read morePublished 6 days ago by Nicole Hughes
A very good read, with practical reflection questions at the end of each chapter, for parents who find themselves trying to control their children--which is an impossibility!Published 13 days ago by A. Walters
I like to scream at my children as sometimes it is the only way to get through to them. That is all.Published 15 days ago by JUSTIN BURNEY
I have been struggling with feelings that I am not doing a good job as a parent lately. I felt almost constantly frustrated with my kids, annoyed by constant demands, and I had... Read morePublished 1 month ago by A. Murphy