Have a ScreamFree™ Holiday -- Invite Norman Rockwell instead of Norman Bates this Thanksgiving

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The creators of the ScreamFree Parenting Programs teach families how to have joyous and peaceful thanksgiving day meals and gatherings. Instead of the stress and strife that can sometimes come with gatherings with relatives and extended families, a ScreamFree Family Thanksgiving creates a calm and joyous holiday gathering.

One moment you’re basking in the joys of your wonderful family, while the next minute you’re ready to blow your top. For many, the holidays, especially the holiday feast with family, is indeed, both a blessing and a curse. Hal Runkel, parenting expert and author of ScreamFreetm Parenting, offers some practical tips to help families enjoy spending the holidays together. So for families longing for a Norman Rockwell type of gathering (but fearing the likes of Norman Bates at your table), here’s how to have a ScreamFree holiday meal:

1. Who, exactly are we preparing this grand meal for? Put the popular reasons aside and get to the heart of the reason for this feast. Is it for your relatives, for your immediate family or for yourself? A clear perspective will enable you to have more control over your actions and reactions.

2. What if we fight? What if the cake collapses? In life, unforeseen circumstances happen. We can learn to accept – and anticipate – some setbacks and prepare for how we will conduct ourselves should they occur.

3. How do you want to feel when the holidays are over? If you want to be happy, seek moderation. Ask for and offer help when it’s needed.

“The key to a ScreamFree holiday season is to understand that the one person that you can absolutely control is yourself. Not Uncle Charlie, not Grandma, not cousin Jimmy, not even your spouse or your kids,” said Hal Runkel, LMFT. “Becoming ScreamFree is about taking the reins of your emotions and responses, and not letting others or the situation influence you. Only by focusing on yourself can you truly become more thoughtful of and selfless toward others.”

For more information on having a ScreamFree holiday meal, visit http://www.screamfreethanksgiving.com and register for the free e-book “A ScreamFree Guide to Holiday Meals.”

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David Markert
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