ScreamFree Parenting Book Review and Giveaway!

I’m very excited to have the first ever Mommy Spot Giveaway. I’ve been asked to review the book ScreamFree Parenting by Hal Edward Runkel, LMFT. In addition, I will be giving away FIVE free copies of the book! I received my copy on Friday and read the entire thing in two days, which is no small feat with a toddler in the house. I simply could not put the book down.I don’t know how many times I’ve read in reviews or heard authors say, “This book is not just for (enter here – flyfishers, underground sous chefs, billionaire button-makers). The information I provide pertains to everyone!” I always think, “What a bunch of hooey. I’m not going to buy it if even the title doesn’t apply to me.” Alas, I have found the one book that, in essence, can apply to anyone. That’s because the definition of ScreamFree, as provided by the author in the book, is this: “…learning to relate with others in a calm, cool, and connected way, taking hold of your own emotional responses no matter how anyone else chooses to behave; learning to focus on yourself and take care of yourself for the world’s benefit.” And that, dear friends, applies to everyone.Of course, in this book, parenting is the focus. It’s done brilliantly with entertaining stories, humor, and practicality. Oftentimes parenting books leave me feeling guilty, overwhelmed, and inefficient. I start to doubt my own instincts; heaven knows moms do that well enough on their own without a professional telling them where they’re falling short. But I found this book reassuring and calming because it’s not about manipulating your child with clever tricks and word games. It’s about looking inward and changing the only person you truly can change – yourself.What results, I feel, is a better way of seeing your children (or anyone) for who they are; of seeing difficult situations truthfully and not through those fear goggles we often get. I found the principles here sound and logical. Shifting your thinking and your approach to communicating with your children, as presented here, helps keep situations from escalating and teaches the child self-reliance, problem solving, and how to think for themselves. This book is about personal growth – not techniques or behavior modification. It’s about taking care of yourself so you are able to take care of those you love, stepping back from tough scenarios so you can see the truth and face it with calm; it’s about learning to react appropriately to a child’s inappropriate behavior, without losing control. I closed the book feeling like saying, “Let’s do it! I’m ready now.”If you’re intrigued by this review and you live in the U.S., you can enter here to win one of the five copies of ScreamFree Parenting. Just leave me a message in the comments box, telling me one way you try to stay calm or focused while raising your kids. It doesn’t have to be a term paper – if you can manage to say it in three words, go for it. I’ll put all the names in a hat (or a sippy cup), and with the help of my trusty marital assistant, I shall draw out five names and post them here on Wednesday, September 19th, 2007. Until then, I will be taking a much-needed computer sabbatical. So hit that comment button – how do you stay ScreamFree?*** If you put a link to this contest in your next blog post (anytime before Sunday, Septemer 16, 2007), I’ll enter you in an additional drawing for a special surprise! (Okay, I admit – no idea what it is yet. But it’ll be cool – I promise!) Just leave me a message in the comments here, so I can enter your name. ***

25 thoughts on “ScreamFree Parenting Book Review and Giveaway!

  1. The Blank Look.

    (When the stress is too bad, I have a blank eyed, blank expression that takes over my face. Worked well while I was teaching in that it didn’t escalate a situation w/ a student. Seems to have carried over to parenting.))

  2. I definitely do a time-out for myself if I’m getting near my boiling point. It usually only takes a few minutes of alone time to get my perspective back.

  3. SHEESH what a day I had. It was almost too funny to open your blog and see this post. SCREAM FREE PARENTING. Oh how I could have used this book today. I have a very hard time figuring out what to do when I lose my cool. It takes quite a bit to get me there, but I have discovered that two screaming toddlers is a hot button for me. GRRR!

    Screaming into a pillow where children can’t see me helps. Otherwise throwing things or banging something that makes a loud noise. though the latter two may be the equivalent of screaming w/o using your voice. UGH! I NEED THIS BOOK! ha ha

  4. Ok, I’m going to admit it-
    lately Lil’ E has been into shrieking when he throws a fit. I got so tired of it, so completely nutso about being with no one but a 2 year old from 7 am to 8 pm, that a few times I have found it, in the moment, perfectly “normal” for me to SHRIEK back at him! It freaks the beejeesus out of him and I feel so bad afterwards- so I have no story of how I keep my cool, but after that confession, how can I NOT win this book? (my neighbors will thank you when the shrieking dies down on my block.)

  5. Okay.. since we are in confession mode. I TOTALLY screamed at my kids today.. more than once and threw stuff, but not at them! Sorry you had a bad day Vivian. I HATE the shrieking. It makes me crazy!

  6. Oh, where was this book when my children were growing up? I have a strong memory of yelling at Diane for not cleaning her room. She was 4 years old! What was wrong with my head? I had a 6 month old baby and was highly stressed out and over-worked. Still no excuse. I am very sorry Diane, I hope and pray you don’t have a memory of that incident. There’s no need to enter me in your contest. Love, Your mother

  7. I have been known to put myself on a time out when I have reached the end – literally locking myself in my room and burying my head under a pillow while my children scream outside my door. It sounds cruel, especially last year when my son was sobbing and saying, “I’m all alone!” and then the phone rang and I thought for sure he was going to answer it and tell whomever was on the other end that he was “all alone”. THAT would not have been a good thing. But my time outs certainly save us all from bodily harm! That’s a good thing, right???? Another book that is really good and sounds like it’s on the same lines is Buddhism for Mothers. Not a book about buddhism so much, but more about learning how to be in the moment and check in with yourself during those high stress times. I think I need to re-read it. Even if I don’t win the scream free book, I think I will need to get my own copy because it sounds wonderful!!

  8. Sounds like a great book… and a much needed one!

    Here’s how I try to remain clam…

    A nice glass of wine at the end of the day!!

    Just kidding!! When things are tough at our house, I try to put things in perspective and look at the big picture… I have two healthy (and cute) kids… a supportive husband… and one bad day doesn’t “ruin us for life.”

    And sometimes, I simply turn the TV on, let the kids watch The Wiggles or Dora and go in my room and read a book. Or I’ll call the older girls who live next door to come over and play with the kids for a bit.

    I’ll add a link to my blog as well…

  9. One more thing – regular exercise really helps keep me in check. Right now yoga is about all I can do, but it’s wonderful and I always feel refereshed when I am done with class. A glass of wine is great in the evenings too 😉 too bad that is off limits for me right now! :-) Guess I will just have to keep up with my deep breathing…

  10. Hi, thanks for visiting my blog and commenting!

    This books sounds very interesting. I’ll have to check it out!

  11. Basically, I give myself a time out. Either I leave the room or send my kids to another room. The book sounds great! I have posted about your contest here.

  12. When I scream at my son, I have this calm person in the back of my head saying “see how he is getting even more crazy??”. When that happens, I say, “I have to go upstairs for a minute” and just leave. When I come back, I usually find I have to apologize for my behavior which shows him how to behave too.

    I could really use this book.

  13. I’d love a copy, and my kids beg you to pick me, lol. I blogged it at, and I will put it on tomorrow.

  14. This looks like a great book! My son just recently turned 13 months but my he is determined and we are already having some issues with him trying my patience. I don’t have any great tips except that for me sometimes I just have to put him in the carseat and go for a drive. I did this the other day and went and got something to eat and then I felt much better.
    My e-mail is

  15. My 16 month-old angel has recently started having temper tantrums, and with that, I feel them brewing in me. I’m not usually one to have a temper, but have recently been tested to my limits. And I HATE feeling anger in any situation, especially when my baby is involved. Now, when I feel it starting, I sit down in the floor with her and give her the biggest smile I can muster, as fake as it may be, and sing her a ridiculous song. This in turn makes her run over to me, laughing, and she gives me a big hug and kiss and plops in my lap. By that point, we’ve both forgotten what the tantrum was about or what new thing she’d discovered and destroyed.

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