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

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  1,328 ratings  ·  346 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,...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published August 19th 2008 by WaterBrook Press (first published 2005)
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Kaydence
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
Trish
Nov 01, 2007 Trish rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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.
Amber
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Maribeth
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...more
Brendan
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...more
Lisa
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...more
David
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
Sarah B.
May 17, 2010 Sarah B. rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  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
...more
Shevonne
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
Hilary
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
*Christie*
Oct 27, 2008 *Christie* rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
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.
Amy
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...more
Shalyce
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...more
Marya Kowal
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...more
Allison
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...more
Ann
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...more
Heidi
Apr 04, 2008 Heidi rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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.
Wendy
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...more
Hilary
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...more
Lori
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...more
Beth
Oct 07, 2010 Beth rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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...more
Tawny
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...more
Jenny Conatser
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
Lm
I like the concepts outlined in this book and definitely came away with ideas of how to improve myself as a parent, but I think "revolutionary" is pushing it a bit, as much of the premise seems common sense. What would have really made this book more helpful to me is specific examples of how to do deal with problem behavior especially when in public when the concern is not only for teaching your child appropriate behavior, but being respectful to other people. When my toddler frustrates me, I th...more
Chelsea
This helped me so much, its rediculous. I fight a lot of anxiety and this book described my problems in every way and taught me how to calm my self down and be the real adult not this loose cannon of a woman with two kids. My first daughter is 3 and second just 3 months, and having a 3 year old go through this stage of questions, testing, and rebelion, i thought i was going crazy. Reading this book has brought me back down and able to work on myself in order to keep my children happy and not wor...more
Warren
One of the best, most common sense parenting books I've ever read. It's not so much about parenting as it is about controlling our own behaviors and reactions. Self mastery is the key to consistent and principled parenting. As such, this book transcends parenting and is applicable in all aspects of life... teaching, managing, interpersonal relationships, etc.

My thought at the end of this book is that it should me mandatory reading before any parent is allowed to take their new child home from th...more
Andrea
This book is really fantastic. I don't usually love "parenting" books, but this isn't some sure-fire way to get your kids to behave exactly like you want them to. Nope. In stead, it just helps you take responsibility for how you react to the irritating things that your children are inevitably going to do.

I really can already tell a difference in how I deal with my kids, and I just really think this book is worth reading for anyone who finds themselves reacting emotionally to their kids.
Alissa
This book was boring. I finished it though expecting to learn something revolutionary like it said. There were so many comparisons, movie quotes, etc. that I felt like he never really got to the point. If I were to sum up the book in one sentence it would be to teach your children correct principles and let them govern themselves. This book seemed to be trying to focus on turning the children back to making their own decisions and enjoying or suffering the consequences of those choices.
Melissa
Two words: life changing. This book addressed so many concerns for me and, perhaps because the author is a Christian, I felt like my relationship philosophies meshed well with the approaches he suggested. I love this book. I've seen some really satisfying changes in my relationships with my kids since I've started applying the "Scream-free" philosophy. Also, it's good for all ages of kids and even helpful in all kinds if relationships.
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“To be in charge as a parent means inspiring your children to motivate themselves.” 3 likes
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