Bookclub on Screamfree Parenting Notes

Last week our Parenting Bookclub met to discuss Screamfree Parenting: A Revolutionary Approach to Raising Your Kids by Keeping Your Cool by Runkel. What a great book! Here are a few tips from our discussion:

  • Focus more on being responsible to your children, focus less on being responsible for them. You were not the one screaming in the restaurant, but you are the one responsible to teach them better.
  • Focus on your own response more than their behavior in each discipline exchange. Control what you can. The capacity for change in the parent-child relationship lies in the parent. Focusing more heavily on changing their behavior often adds to the frustration.
  • Emotional reactivity is damaging to relationships. When you get reactive (acting out of anger, fear or frustration), you are very likely making the situation worse.
  • Respect that your children’s emotions, thoughts and opinions will differ from yours.
  • Take pressure off the end result. If you want your child to be religious, and you force the issue, they can never authentically choose it for themselves. You are in a far better position to expose and guide them, take them to religious events, read the books, have the discussions. Focus on making it available rather than forcing.
  • When your children are “testing you,” shift to thinking that they are testing your ability to stay calm, dependable, stable and consistent.
  • Take care of yourself to better take care of them. This includes your health, your relationships and your time.
  • Learn and decide how to use a wide variety of positive discipline tools, so you can be prepared and rely on the to help in finding the calm.
  • There is a real balance in parenting. You must address the business side before you can enjoy the personal side. You must provide the empathy and positive intent to balance the use of choices and consequences.
  • Say what you mean and mean what you say. In the positive, keep your promises. In the negative, follow through on discipline.
  • Your children want and deserve a parent who keeps their cool and stays level headed even when things get hot!

Author: Dr. Rene Hackney

With a MA in school psychology and a PhD in developmental psychology, I founded and work as a parent educator at Parenting Playgroups. Somewhere in there I trained in the Developmental Clinic at Children's NMC and in the public schools. I have two beautiful, funny children who make me practice what I preach most everyday.

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