‘ScreamFree’ training supports parents, provides direction

Of all the joys that come with having and raising children, there are times when

being a parent can be challenging … even frustrating. In order to support not only parents and grandparents, but anyone who interacts with children on a daily basis, U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart’s Army Community Service hosted it’s first “ScreamFree” parenting training from Feb. 28 to March 6. “The self-help program focuses on changing adult behaviors,” said Sonia Greer, Family Advocacy Program

educator and ScreamFree parenting facilitator. “ScreamFree takes a different approach to traditional parenting models. It’s not focused on your children’s behaviors, but on how you manage emotional reactions to the child’s behavior,” Greer said.

The training is based on Operation: ScreamFree, a program designed to support U.S. military families around the world in dealing with ever-changing lifestyles that include deployments and separation from family, according to the Operation: ScreamFree website.

The concept comes from the ScreamFree Institute, a non-profit organization that was founded by Hal Runkel, a therapist and relationship coach and author of the book, “ScreamFree Parenting.” ACS offers the ScreamFree training over four two-hour sessions. Participants receive a workbook that follows video lectures based on Runkel’s book.

In addition to the presentations, participants are able to discuss their own situations and share solutions. ‘ScreamFree’ training supports parents, provides direction “Sharing experiences with others makes the group dynamic, and that is essential for the training,” Greer said. The scenarios focus on everyday situations, such as children not making their beds, not doing homework or simply misbehaving.

According to Greer, the most common problems that participants face when dealing with their children are grades, discipline, behavior and controlling daily

chores. The training aims to give parents new tools to minimize stress over little things and resolve power struggles within the family, according to Greer.

“Reactionary adult behavior reflects on our children and threatens to deteriorate the relationship dynamic,” Greer said. Consequently, adults have to focus on their own roles and behavior in order to control it, according to Greer. Changing behaviors isn’t something that people can learn overnight. However, the training is an opportunity for attendees to find ways to better manage themselves as parents.

“It’s about growing as a parent … it’s maintaining calm and integrity and having words and actions match,” Greer said. The next ScreamFree parenting training is scheduled for April 23 and 30, May 7 and 14 from 10 a.m. to noon at Brewed Awakenings, Building 168, Robinson Barracks, and May 8, 15, 22 and 29 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Army Community Service, Building 2915, Panzer Kaserne. To register, call 431-3362/civ. 07031-15-3362.