Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “ScreamFree Parenting: The Revolutionary Approach to Raising Your Kids by Keeping Your Cool” as Want to Read:
ScreamFree Parenting: The Revolutionary Approach to Raising Your Kids by Keeping Your Cool
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

ScreamFree Parenting: The Revolutionary Approach to Raising Your Kids by Keeping Your Cool

3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,130 Ratings  ·  432 Reviews
Parents are facing the toughest challenge of their lives. They want to create a loving family environment filled with mutual respect and cooperation… but they find instead that human nature and the influence of our culture combine to produce an atmosphere of anxiety, exhaustion, and far too much screaming. Perhaps you can relate!

Whether you scream at your children or not,
Paperback, 256 pages
Published August 19th 2008 by WaterBrook (first published 2005)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about ScreamFree Parenting, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about ScreamFree Parenting

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Sep 11, 2008 Kaydence rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Even though my oldest is almost 4 he is showing some early signs of his strong will. And I wanted to figure out how to nurture that will instead of killing it and making it succumb to MY will. He is so smart and persistent and I never want him to lose those qualities. This book helped me see how I could help HIM to be who he needs to be without putting all my eggs in his basket. It helped me see how damaging it can be to a child to NEED them to listen and obey your every word or you will lose it ...more
Feb 20, 2012 Maribeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First of all, I really REALLY don't like the title of this book. I don't scream at my child, but of course anyone who sees me reading this will assume that is what I struggle with.
Getting past the title though... I gave this book 5 stars, not because I think it is the most amazing, revolutionary book out there, but because it is absolutely perfect for ME and helping me interact with my child the way I really want to. To me, its not about not screaming, its about not letting your child push your
I’m generally a calm guy. I don’t usually rant and rave or scream. But I also have a three-year old at home, a little person who has perfected the art of pushing my buttons and who can, with a few well timed and well-aimed misbehaviors, send me into froths of anxiety, sometimes leading me to raise my voice. I don’t like being that person.

Runkel’s book actually doesn’t have different insight than other books I’ve read. It’s a new phraseology on the same old arguments, ideas about how to interact
Feb 05, 2009 Lisa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
just like every parent, I like to read up on what other parents say about being a relaxed, calm parent and how to raise a good kid. So far, Hal doesn't have much to say. He quotes a lot of parenting movies (yes, we've all seen them). He throws in God and The Creator a lot (yes, he's religious, what does that have to do with good parenting or anything related to scream-free parenting?)
He's supposed to be a family therapist and he's got two toddlers of his own. All I've picked up is that you need
Nov 01, 2007 Trish rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all parents
I enjoyed this book and picked up several tips. The biggest tip was that we need to calm ourselves down in order to be a calm person for our children. It made me take a look at my parenting style and is helping me stay focused and in control when my 2 year old drives me nuts. Of course, parenting is difficult. Kids help us to grow up! That's his main two messages.
Jul 16, 2008 Amber rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 01, 2014 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not all parenting books are created equal - and not all books will apply to every family. That being said, this book is EXACTLY what I personally needed to hear. The title is misleading, it really isn't just telling you to "stop yelling at your kids." The philosophy is much more. It taught me a totally different view of parenting so that I won't get mad in the first place. Then if I do get mad, it helps me to reconsider what is really going on. Some of my favorite tag lines are:
* You are respon
Sarah B.
May 17, 2010 Sarah B. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone with anger
Shelves: library-books
This book is written in high Self-Help style, and I had to work to get past the terrible writing and into the messages the author is trying to convey. Fortunately, it is written in language simple enough for a child to follow, so a little extra work on the way wasn't much to ask. Here's an example of how bad the style is:
The greatest thing you can do for your kids is learn to focus on yourself.

That statement might not make complete sense right now. It might, in fact, seem downright offensive. Wh
I just finished the "Screamfree Parenting," and I want to recommend it to all parents. It kind of reminded me of a "Solo Partner" for parents where it teaches you to not focus so much on your children and instead on yourself and your actions. I picked this up when I found myself resorting back to yelling if the kids were listening or were just being plain rotten. I had kicked the habit of doing that, and I didn't want to pick it up again. Checking out my Amazon recommendations, I decided to buy ...more
Sep 26, 2014 Jesse rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are six keys to being a ScreamFree parent:

1. Give your child physical and emotional space – see children as individuals in their own right, with their own lives, decisions and futures.
2. Don’t preach or threaten – let the consequences of a child’s choice do the screaming.
3. Be an advocate for your child’s development.
4. Change your vocabulary – don’t label children or pigeonhole how they see themselves. Labels can be very destructive and should be avoided at all costs.
5. See yourself as be
Jan 08, 2010 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The central tenant of this book: if you scream at your kids (or anyone, for that matter), then you’re out of control and have lowered yourself to a child’s level, and are competing with the child for who’s demands will be met. The author’s solution is that parents should focus more on themselves, managing their own emotions and avoiding knee-jerk reactionary responses. In this way, your children will learn to become more self-directed and better learn to control themselves, rather than relying o ...more
Dec 07, 2010 Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In spite of myself. And in spite of my initial impressions when I began the book. I really learned from this. Ok, so a lot of it I already knew. But the way this was presented helped me to think of things in a new way that was somehow empowering to me. I am learning! And it appears that every one in the household has some growing up to do.

Some main points
1. No screaming. But there are more ways to scream than just screaming.
2. Be calm, cool, and connected. This is hard. If I'm not going to yell
Oct 09, 2008 Hilary rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up at the library because the title describes exactly how I need to do better as a parent! However, I read the first two chapters and was thoroughly disappointed. First, it seemed much more geared to parenting older children and how to deal with their decisions and behavior that you cannot control. So maybe if I had older children I would have liked it more. However, since I have a toddler at home, it wasn't as applicable. I also did not like how the author's whole approach se ...more
Jan 04, 2011 Tawny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Favorite lines:
1. "Your number one leadership role in the family is that of a calming authority" (7).
2. "Emotional reactivity is our worst enemy when it comes to having great relationships" (14).
3. "To be 'in charge' as a parent means inspiring your children to motivate themselves" (29).
4. "The ultimate goal of parenting is to launch our children into an adulthood where they are self-directed, decisive, and responsible people" (70).
5. "What you say about your kids is more important than what you
Oct 27, 2008 Christie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mommys
Recommended to Christie by: Crystal
I thought this had many good ideas and concepts. I need to buy my own copy so that I can read it about 6 times a year to remind myself! I didn't agree with some things. I especially don't agree that kids should be allowed to do what they want with their own space (their bedrooms) I'm sorry, but I pay the mortgage. If they want free reign over the condition of the room then I will take my house, divide up the mortgage per square foot and charge them rent. THANK YOU VERY MUCH! Poor Hal Runkel is r ...more
Ali Murphy
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 succumbed yet again to too much yelling. I thought this book my help with a reset. It did to some degree.

While this book helped a little I couldn't wait to get through it. There was something about the tone that just made me want to be done with it. I don't know if that's a self-help book thing or the repetitive nature of
This had some good points in it. One of the illustrations I really like is thinking about conflict with your kids in terms of judo. Use their momentum to avoid coming to true blows. Rather than look at every interaction as a potential battle, let them carry themselves from the confrontation through to the resolution, and never even get your hands truly dirty. There were some pieces that I was rolling my eyes at a bit, but really, anything that helps me not scream at my 3-year old when I get frus ...more
Drew Lackovic
A very decent book that essentially is a kind of dumbed down version of buddhism without mentioning Buddha. Runkel councils parents to focus on themselves before focusing on the children, by using the notion that you can't love anyone until you fully love yourself.
Mar 05, 2015 Kris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There was a lot I liked about this book. I'll start with a couple things I didn't like - the title, some of the ideas were a bit too "Love and Logic"-y, he makes one brief mention of spanking and doesn't dismiss it as an option (which I have a HUGE issue with), and it was written in a very simple style that could be annoying. However, I think overall that there are great concepts in this book about how a child is deserving of respect and space, that remaining calm is a choice and your children d ...more
Dec 16, 2015 Dani rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-improvement
I think the title is misleading, but this is a great book. The main principle is that you simply cannot hand over control of your emotions and behavior to your children. When you can't keep your cool (whether manifested by yelling or retreating or any negative behavior), you communicate to your child that they are responsible for your feelings. That is not only unfair to a child, but it's scary for them too. Children are still learning to manage their own emotions, and to put the burden of manag ...more
First I have to say that the author comes across quite narcissistic--talking about how revolutionary his ideas are, constantly making plugs for other books he's writing, trying to incorporate ScreamFree as a verb as well as being condescending to the readers (at the end talking about how much we have learned and grown by this point). I wouldn't say that this book is revolutionary. 99% of the ideas aren't anything you haven't read or heard someplace before.

It had good reminders of the need to st
Marya Kowal
Nov 04, 2012 Marya Kowal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am always on the lookout for more tools for my parenting toolkit. This book offered several, and a perspective that was very timely and much-needed while raising teens.

I only wish I had had it earlier. Which is always the case with a sturdy multi-use tool.

The best takeaway from this book for me? My kids are not responsible for moderating my emotions. Yeouch. Not a nice thing to realize about yourself, but I have been guilty of telling my kids that my anger, disappointment, or mood is in reacti
Nov 14, 2010 Allison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-e-book
I found this book to be not necessarily full of new wisdom or thoughts, but rather better in explaining ideas that have been around in various different parenting books.

It takes several different variations on parenting and successfully merges them in a philosophy of parenting rather than a "how-to" or as an "attitude adjuster" sort of handbook.

In many ways I found that to be irritating as well as beneficial. One of the things I like about a good handbook is a step by step guide, which ScreamFr
Apr 04, 2008 Heidi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all parents everywhere
Shelves: parenting
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 14, 2012 Wendy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one my all time favorite parenting books! Finally I read a book that made sense for my family. The gist of the book is to take the focus off your children and put it on yourself. Not is a self-absorbed kind of way, but in a way that makes sense.

All too often we as parents spend so much time focusing on our children that we foreget that when we are not at our best we cannot be the best for our children. It was able to teach me that I cannot control my childs behavior, I can only direct i
Mar 03, 2012 Hilary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting
Your children cannot push you over the edge, press your magic buttons, or bring you to the brink. They are simply not that powerful. Your emotional responses are up to you. You always have a choice. I think this sums up the idea of screamfree parenting: parents need to control themselves, because otherwise how can the child trust that the parent really *is* in control and can be respected and left in charge?

Other ideas which are mentioned: Don't parent by assimilation, trying to make your childr
Aug 23, 2012 Lori rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author raises a strong argument against screaming at your kids. He also offers some good advice on dealing with certain scenarios.

I guess the key is to recognize in yourself what pushes you over the edge and try to prevent such situations. So if you notice that you most frequently scream at your kids in the morning when they're late for school, you should start thinking of ways to get them up and ready earlier (maybe they need to go to bed earlier).

The other part of it is remaining calm to
Oct 07, 2010 Beth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Beth by: Danica
A few years ago I read a parenting book, Parenting with Love and Logic by Foster Cline and Jim Fay. Logan was only two years old at the time; my other two kids weren't even born yet. I remember liking the principles in general but feeling a quite frustrated because I didn't know how to carry those principles over to parenting my two-year-old. (Gosh, that was a hard age. Hey, parents of two-year-olds: it gets better!)

ScreamFree Parenting has got a lot of the same principles from Love and Logic bu
Nicole Hughes
Jul 20, 2016 Nicole Hughes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I liked it and I think it offered a lot of good points. I read this at a fitting time with my 3kids home for summer. I have read a lot of good parenting books. This one was pretty simple- don't lose control. I need to remember this, but it's hard when my 3 young kids are all driving me to the brink of insanity. I do wish there had been more tips for HOW to not lose your cool, especially with small kids and zero patience and someone always crying.
Jenny Conatser
Feb 17, 2011 Jenny Conatser rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is getting 4 stars from me based solely on concept. I love the idea of the book, and have found its principles to be VERY useful, even while Lily is still so young. The entire book, however, could have been only about 50 pages long, and still said everything it needed to say. Here's the synopsis: You are responsible to your children, not for them. Remain calm in all situations, and attempt to use logic, reason, and love to respond to your children's outbursts rather than screaming back ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • MotherStyles: Using Personality Type to Discover Your Parenting Strengths
  • How to Behave So Your Children Will, Too!
  • Respectful Parents, Respectful Kids: 7 Keys to Turn Family Conflict into Cooperation
  • Playful Parenting
  • Kids, Parents, and Power Struggles: Winning for a Lifetime
  • Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline: The 7 Basic Skills for Turning Conflict into Cooperation
  • The Parenting Breakthrough: Real-Life Plan to Teach Your Kids to Work, Save Money, and Be Truly Independent
  • Soft-Spoken Parenting: 50 Ways to Not Lose Your Temper With Your Kids
  • Setting Limits with Your Strong-Willed Child: Eliminating Conflict by Establishing Clear, Firm, and Respectful Boundaries
  • Boys Should Be Boys: 7 Secrets to Raising Healthy Sons
  • Christlike Parenting: Taking the Pain Out of Parenting
  • The No-Cry Discipline Solution: Gentle Ways to Encourage Good Behavior Without Whining, Tantrums & Tears
  • Your Six-Year-Old: Loving and Defiant
  • Bringing Up Geeks: How to Protect Your Kid's Childhood in a Grow-Up-Too-Fast World
  • Parent Effectiveness Training: The Proven Program for Raising Responsible Children
  • The Optimistic Child
  • Kids Are Worth It!: Giving Your Child the Gift of Inner Discipline
  • Siblings Without Rivalry: How to Help Your Children Live Together So You Can Live Too

Share This Book

“To be in charge as a parent means inspiring your children to motivate themselves.” 4 likes
“And I can think of no more accurate description of how most of us parents feel far too much of the time. Far too often, we feel overwhelmed. We feel overstretched, overcommitted, underprepared, and underappreciated. That’s a recipe for feeling overwhelmed. As a result, most of us feel a gnawing sense of inadequacy. We don’t just feel like bad parents, we feel like failures.” 1 likes
More quotes…