Share this article

print logo

Sure, I scream at the kids. Is that wrong?

300pxthe_scream_3Here’s a new book with a novel approach: “Screamfree Parenting,” by Hal Runkel. Is that an oxymoron, like “ego-free blogging?”

A reviewer at’s Work in Progress blog, LaDawn Clare-Panton, is impressed with the book.

“Everything Runkel suggests is focused on changing the behavior of the parents,” she writes. “We all know you can’t change someone else. You can only change yourself. This book emphasizes this point and puts the responsibility for not yelling well and squarely on the shoulders of the parents.”

As a father, I’ve got a fairly high boiling point that has to be reached before screaming happens. But screaming doesn’t bring the cathartic release that I hope it will. It just means that I imposed my will upon our kids by asserting my physical and chronological superiority to shout them down, like an ape or lion might do in the jungle.

I hope that my parenting skills will someday evolve to a higher plane than the laws of the jungle, so I will track down this book and give scream-free parenting a try.

The author describes his philosophy on his Web site,

“[It] means letting go of our need to manage others and learning to focus more — much more — on managing ourselves. This means learning to calm our own emotional reactivity. Emotional reactivity is behind every bad pattern, bad decision, and bad relationship. Whenever we get reactive — whether by screaming, cutting ourselves off, overcompensating for others, or taking things personally or defensively — we operate out of our anxiety.”


There are no comments - be the first to comment