Monday, October 15, 2012

Scream Free Parenting

I have found myself losing my temper with my 4-year-old recently, and I do NOT want to get into the pattern of yelling at him. A friend recommended Scream Free Parenting: The Revolutionary Approach to Raising Your Kids By Keeping Your Cool, by Hal Edward Runkel. And now I recommend it to you.

A more appropriate title would probably be "Emotionally Reactive-Free Parenting" but that doesn't quite roll off the tongue as well as "Scream Free." Basically, Runkel uses the word "scream" to represent any kind of uncalm reaction toward your child, be it screaming, avoiding, overcompensating, giving in, etc.
He posits that by focusing on yourself, you can become a better parent. Focusing on yourself means looking at how you can change your behavior to remain calm in a situation with your child that would normally cause you to scream. It also means creating space for yourself, separate from your child. It also means taking care of your own mental and physical health.
Within this framework, he gives tips for how to set and enforce consequences but use empathy at the same time. He uses a few personal examples and lots of examples from families he has worked with in his counseling practice.
Very helpful and very practical.

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