Screamfree Parenting by Hal Edward Runkel Book Summary


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Have you ever thought that children were born to test your patience? Then don’t feel alone. If you have your own child, you must know this very well. They sometimes force you to scream and yelling at your children makes you feel good in the short term, but in the long run, it’s not a good thing for you or your children.

So what should you do instead of shouting?

The important thing is parenting shouldn’t be just about your kids. It should also not lose interest in you. If you prioritize yourself, your needs and wishes, you will feel better and your relationships with your children will also improve. This, according to the author, is one of the hints of how to be a better parent.

Be proactive and change your parenting quickly.


We all have become parents who lose their temper very quickly from time to time. Although there are solutions, being insecure about our ability to be a good parent is difficult to cope with.

It starts with being proactive, not reactive. But what does that mean? When your child does something wrong, you are reacting by shouting at him/her. However, if you want to be a parent who communicates without shouting, you must change your methods. You create a less stressful family by proactively leading your child in the right direction before starting to cause problems.



Boundaries are an important part of proactive parenting and these have to provide both you and your child have the space you need. Your child should know the difference between being supportive and being overbearing. Thus, the likelihood of doing things that are willing to scream will be very low. With the help of this, you will feel cool and your relationship with your child will remain 100 percent engaged.

However, there are a few things that you need to remember before you try to achieve this. Firstly, parenting is the interest of parents, has nothing to do with children. So, it is time to start from the beginning and work for scream-free approach instead of directing yourself to control your kids. As a result, your parenting that affects your whole family will change in a good way.

Give children some space to grow, to try, to fail, and to learn.


Do you try to grow flowers without sunlight or water in an old shoe box? Of course not! You need a suitable environment to grow. Here is to say: There needs to be a right space for you and your children to grow.

Growth requires both physical and emotional space.  While children growing up, they need room to complete a process: Explore, discover, make mistakes, learn from them, and try again! Most of the children’s vocabulary includes ‘’no’’ as a very first word and you need to respect this because you need to give them privacy right for creating space for themselves. This is a good gift for them!



On the other hand, when you provide your child with the space s/he needs, it means that you leave the reins. For instance, forcing your beliefs on your children has a low success rate. Many parents force their children believing God but children generally later rejected and resisted the religion of their parents.

In contrast, the children who knew their parents trusted them to make their own decisions about spirituality. You can better focus on building a great relationship with them, leaving control over your children’s life.

Here is the truth: Kids are smarter than you think. They constantly test their parents and provoke them to understand whether they are reliable or not. As an example, your kid is asking all the time ‘’Are we there yet?’’ or complaining because of boredom. Here, s/he tests whether you make a decision for them and give game console to keep them quiet.

If you tend to do this, there are some things that you need to change. If you have a proactive child, you can try showing empathy and encourage her/him. Your response might be ‘’I hate being bored myself if you feel so what’re you going to do?’’ The answer might be surprising for your child but s/he is directed to come up with his/her own solution.

Children need a sense of place they can trust and it can be provided by boundaries and results.


According to today’s society, we should express our individuality and respect the uniqueness of others around us. This is the balance of personal freedom and compassion for others. That is also valid for parent-child relationships.

Paradoxically, a child needs space while growing up and this space cannot exist without boundaries and structure. There are some things that your child needs to know: S/he can fun, there is no problem. S/he can be with you. Also, you are the authority.

And, you need to know your responsibilities as the one in charge while you also know the place you need to stop and give freedom to your child. In other words, everyone should know own place, both you and your child!

When your child plays or harms with things that do not belong to him/her, try to understand whether your child really knows what really belongs him/her or not, rather than getting angry immediately. You can help her remember to her own toys by simply being consistent and clear about off-limits. As a result, your important paperwork or expensive laptop won’t turn into playthings.



It also helps show your child the consequences of his/her behavior. It’s a great way for children to learn new things as long as it is done right. The only things you need to do are show empathy rather than threaten or punish before it is too late and explain everything as soon as possible.

For instance, if you realize that your teenage daughter is sneaking alcohol from your kitchen, you shouldn’t behave like blind-eye. Try to catch an opportunity to talk about the dangers of peer pressure and binge drinking with her.

Also, the reason for drinking alcohol in the first place could be something bigger that was bothering her and she couldn’t share with you so firstly you can try to ask it. This is absolutely desirable that you do nothing until you get a call from the police or the hospital and proceed to ground her for life!

Finally, don’t forget that you shouldn’t lose your integrity in your child’s eyes. Empty threats are just as bad as broken promises and cause losing integrity. As a result, your child has a trust problem with you and your relationship will damage for years. To build a resilient relationship, be consistent, up-front and fair.

A simple key for being the best parent: Love yourself.


Who is the most important person to you? Your spouse? Your kids? Nope! It has to be you.

The truth is, if you can’t take care of yourself first, you can’t take care of your family. Consider the oxygen masks on the airplanes. To help people around you, you need to secure your own mask first.

Let’s look at the twelfth-century work of French monk Bernard de Clairvaux to describe this point. The four levels of love were described in his writings. The first level includes loving yourself for your own benefit and the second level includes loving others for your benefit.

The third level includes loving another for their benefit. Although it seems virtuous, it often leads to extreme selflessness. In contrast, helping others should give us joy in being around us and this leads us to the fourth level of love: Love yourself for the benefit of others.

The fourth level of love of Clairvaux represents how a parent should behave. They should take care of your own health, self-worth, and happiness. So, their children may have a stable and loving relationship that they need.



Parents need a final principle to improve their relationships with their children and themselves: Self-confidence! Parents tend to compare themselves with other parents and compete with them too often. It’s like a game for them.

You should remember that parenting is a learning process and is different for every family. It is normal to feel insecure about your judgments and actions as a parent but doesn’t worry if you’re too harsh or too soft. Just move on by reflecting on your parenting and stick to your guns. Your family is always thankful to you for it.

Screamfree Parenting: The Revolutionary Approach to Raising Your Kids by Keeping Your Cool by Hal Edward Runkel Book Review


If you want to be a scream-free parent, you should have a proactive approach while providing your child boundaries, space, consequences, and consistent support s/he needs for growing. Also, as a parent, you should learn how to love yourself for your family’s sake and believe your parent skills.

There are some principles that need to follow to show your child that his/her actions have consequences.

Thanks to consequences, children have a great opportunity to understand the effects of their actions and place in the world. However, sensible consequences can do this. Also, you shouldn’t use consequences as a way of controlling your child. Instead, the combination of boundaries and the space they need is a perfect way for their growth with experience.


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Savaş Ateş

I'm a software engineer. I like reading books and writing summaries. I like to play soccer too :) Good Reads Profile: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/106467014-sava-ate

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