Wednesday, December 03, 2008

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

Here's another book review from my associate, Amica Paige. This time, she tackles the book "Screamfree Parenting"...

Are you a parent? If so, then you must be familiar and/or even guilty with one, or more, or all of the following expressions and/or actions, or reactions rather, you’ve directed at your child at some point of madness or another.

    1. “…or I’m going to sew your butt off with a spoon.”

    2. “You won’t like me when I’m mad”

    3. “You’re always/never…” (continue with your own unique verbal ammunition)

    4. use laser eyes to melt the opponent, which is your child in this case

    5. attack opponent, which is still your child, verbally

    6. attack opponent—your child still—non-verbally (silent treatment)

    7. recall (take back) things given such as toys, promises, praises, etc., to the undeserving brat, or imp, also known as your child in this case too

    8. scathingly grind teeth at opponent—you know who this is—in combination with numbers 1 through 10

    9. banish opponent—same person still—to his/her room

    10. and countless other ways to battle the opponent—your child still, of course—with strategies I’d rather not mention…well, one of which is to justify your normal temporary attack of raging insanity clearly out of anger and naturally blaming it on the little devil that is your child of course

Well, quite shamefully, I’ve said and done them all rather shamelessly, and perhaps even a bit more—which I truly hope that I'm honestly mistaken about—except the first one, which is really an original by another mom. But I probably would have saved myself, and incidentally, my family, from a lot of unnecessary chaos, if I had only encountered this book much sooner. But regardless of where you are in your parenthood, this book is a tool that can help you navigate your way through the difficult places, or mazes, of a parent/child relationship and perhaps even assist you in building a safe haven for you and your child’s psychological and emotional health, because it's never too late to start making a change.

Clear and concise, Screamfree provides actual examples of those difficult parent/child interactions and effective strategies on dealing with those situations. Hal Edward Runkel sensibly reminds us, parents, that the only way to positively influence our children is to reclaim control of ourselves and focus on our behaviors, because we are not responsible for our children’s behaviors, but we are responsible to them for how we behave. Remember that.

Pick up this book if you honestly can’t remember the last time you had balance, structure, consistency, calm, and connectedness in your family as you got lost in the its usual madness. Pick up this book even if you’ve never screamed before, verbally or emotionally. You never know when something really trying comes along to make you suddenly stop breathing, even if only temporarily. You'd know how to put on your oxygen mask first to be able to help the one(s) who look to you for help and guidance and love.

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