Remember the end of the first Matrix film? Neo “dies” and is “reborn”. The world is different. He sees the code, the reality of the Matrix. “There is no spoon”. Or Kung Fu Panda. Po has the Dragon Scroll, the secret to unlimited power! He unfolds it to discover his reflection. After a beat down from Tai Lung he realizes the secret contained within the scroll; the power is inside him. Neo and Po both had moments of self-realization after intense struggle. The struggle awakened a source of power, and ultimately, victory.
Parenting is a daily battle. The question is who is the battle with? Am I really “fighting” with Penelope when she won’t wash her hands or get up off the floor? When I come home from work, tired and mentally drained, who is the “enemy” when Penelope screams because she can’t climb on the chairs? Author Hal Runkel says the battle is with one’s self. It’s a battle for self-control. Runkel, an Atlanta-based therapist, believes once parents achieve control over their emotions, “ScreamFree” parenting can begin.
The only problem with “ScreamFree Parenting” is how difficult it is to implement its advice. Inner peace? Yeah, just get that worked out and the rest will fall into place.
Like Brene’ Brown‘s TED talk I linked to here, Runkel discusses wholeness, a concept I heartily endorse. I suspect the author ruffles many a feather with his premise that a whole person loves himself or herself first, placing their own well-being ahead of others. Because a “whole” person, someone who takes care of themselves physically, emotionally, and spiritually (if they are into that kind of thing), is in a much better position to take care of others.
For those who have flown you know the routine before take off. The stewardess’ stand in the aisle and mechanically walk through the routine of what to do when the plane is going down. As they are going through the motions a recording plays in the background, providing the soundtrack for the mime show. When the oxygen mask part takes place the recording says if you are traveling with small children to put your own mask on first, then your child’s. Why? Because if the plane is going down and you pass out, it’s unlikely your child will stay calm enough to put their mask on. Assuming they understood the stewardess’ show to begin with. Parents need to take care of their own masks first, then the kids, if anyone is going to survive. The parent needs to stay in control to raise the chance of survival.
Being in control means remaining calm. It means being consistent.
I took extensive notes on this book. 2,920 words worth. I’ll post my condensed, bullet pointed notes in the near future to give an interested reader more details on the books contents. If this bit intrigues you be sure to check out my notes once posted.