Thursday, July 8, 2010

Book Recommendation: "ScreamFree Parenting"

I've read a fair number of parenting books. Sometimes, it was to prepare for a certain "issue." I read about 6 or 8 books just on potty-training, something that terrified me. Of course then my children (the two that are potty-trained) surprised me by making it way easier on me than I could have hoped for, both training at 27 months old with little issue.

Sometimes I read parenting books looking for a miracle cure. I read every single book I could find on infant (and later, toddler) sleep. And trust me, it's really not something a sleep-deprived mom should waste her time on. I probably read 8 to 10 books on the subject. No, I am not kidding. I am that dumb.

I've also picked up books because they were recommended to me, including "1-2-3 Magic," "Raising Your Spirited Child," and "Free Range Kids."

To be honest, I've yet to be really impressed. Don't get me wrong. I think that I took a lot from each book that I read. I do in fact use some of the techniques that I came across. I was comforted when I found books that finally validated for me that the co-sleeping my son had forced upon me was actually okay and even beneficial, at least according to some. I knew, before going to the ER, that I had a blood clot in my lung, because my symptoms so closely matched those described in one of my "What to Expect" books. I knew what to do about a clogged milk duct because I'd read at least 3 books on breastfeeding even though things were going well. I am glad that I've read all these books.

Even in the books that I disagreed with the most, there were usually a few things that I could get on board with. If nothing else, they helped me define who I am as a parent by exposing me to techniques or philosophies that I am not comfortable with.

But I still can't say that there has been a book that has really spoken to me yet, told me the things that I needed to hear.

All this is really just to say that I've finally found a parenting book that I'm excited enough about that I want to share my "find." It's not perfect and I don't agree with every single sentence. But it helped me. It was a random pick. I wasn't looking for anything in particular, but was browsing the parenting section in the library. I like to do this occasionally just to keep on top of my game and see if I might find a gem. I had picked up a book on sibling bickering (which I haven't gotten to yet) and was about to move to another section when I saw "ScreamFree Parenting." Yeah, I thought, I've been yelling too much lately.

And I read it. And it spoke to me. And if you're a frustrated parent, even one that doesn't scream (it's NOT all about lowering your voice. Far from it), I think maybe you should read it, too. Maybe it won't click for you, but maybe it will. Like I said, I've read several books that were the "it" book for someone else but didn't do much for me. It's all about finding that match.

I feel energized, empowered, calmed, freed, and ready to rock my job as mom. It's not technique-based, so if you're looking for some sort of formula that you can follow to get your kids in line, this isn't for you. It's more philosophy-based, and focuses on changing our own behaviors in order to foster better relationships with our children. If you're interested, and really want me to provide a full review or synopsis, contact me and I will. Otherwise, if it sounds like something you might be into, just read it. It certainly can't hurt!


Anonymous said...

LMAO! I sort of figured "Free Range Kids" would not be the book for you. It's against everything I have observed about you as a parent. ;-) That was a fun read for me, and validated a lot of my own parenting thoughts in terms of kid freedom. It also allowed me to let my kids go a bit more. I am not letting them ride subways alone any time soon, but they can play in the front yard w/o supervision and ride their bikes around the block.

"1-2-3 Magic" is great for younger kids, but not something I find all that effective for my older kids. I still took a lot from it and it helped me at a time when I was overwhelmed with three under 5. But I like "Have a New Kid by Friday" better in terms of actually dealing with intelligent, older kids who can be a tad manipulative. LOL!

I tried (and failed) to finish the Spirited Child book. it just didn't speak to me at all.

I just requested "ScreamFree Parenting" from the library. Looking forward to a good read! I could use it. :-)

Beth said...

Becky, "Free Range Kids" was indeed one that I mostly disagreed with, and yet I took some really important things to ponder from it. Truly. I think "ScreamFree Parenting" actually has it's similarities to the Free Range philosophy, but on a level more comfortable to me. I kinda think you'll dig it and I look forward to hearing what you thought. You may have already learned the lessons that I needed to get from it. It hit on my insecurities as a parent, things I think you might be past, but in any case, I can't wait to hear what someone else thinks! :)

ZhaoKids said...

I am known as the control freak in the family (and extended family), I think I am really ready to read the book you recommended. My kids surely need more freedom from and less yelling on my side. They are NOT happy kids. Mommy said too many NO.and they got frustrated and inside anger. I need to learn much from you Beth.......I will see whether I can find a copy of that book soon.....

Anonymous said...

Oh Beth! I have SO many parenting insecurities and failures.

I still make mistakes on an almost daily basis. Sometimes small things, sometimes big ones. Not to often, thankfully, but I have my parenting "dirty laundry" like anyone else.

My mom was a ferocious yeller and verbal abuser in many ways. I walk a thin line of trying NOT to be her on a daily basis. I definitely could use this book, no doubt!

Anonymous said...

I hate when I catch my grammar errors after posting. :-P

Pardon my sloppy typing. I know you will notice. LOL!