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Strong Happy Family: Unexpected Advice from an Ivy League Mom of Ten [Kindle Edition]

Donna Baer
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.95
Kindle Price: $4.99
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Book Description

From the book's introduction:

If you are looking for ways to savor more peace and joy in your home, then you've come to the right place. Not everything in this book will be a “fit” for your family, but I hope that there will be something in it to lighten your load. This book is filled with seriously trench-tested principles that have kept a spring in my step and a smile on my face for over a quarter century of parenting. There are no ideas here written by childless "experts." Everything you run across in this book has been field tested repeatedly and smacks of authenticity. I am not sharing a soft-focused recollection of what parenting was like: my tenth child is still in Kindergarten as I write this! When I reflect on the challenges of parenting, you will know that I am not looking back through rose-colored glasses nor typing with French-manicured hands: I am still in the boat with you doing the hard work of caring for a Strong Happy Family. And I am still happy.


Editorial Reviews

Review

Pulitzer Prize winner David L. Marcus writes-- 
"She writes about parenting the same way she approaches parenting: in a cheerful, practical style, with surprising strategies for everything from assigning chores to dealing with ADHD."

From the Author

If you are looking for ways to savor more peace and joy in your home, then you've come to the right place. This book is filled with seriously trench-tested principles that have kept a spring in my step and a smile on my face for over a quarter century of parenting. 
There are no ideas here written by childless "experts." Everything you run across in this book has been field tested repeatedly and smacks of authenticity. I am not sharing a soft-focused recollection of what parenting was like: my tenth child is still in Kindergarten as I write this! When I reflect on the challenges of parenting, you will know that I am not looking back through rose-colored glasses nor typing with French-manicured hands: I am still in the boat with you doing the hard work of caring for a Strong Happy Family. 
And I am still happy.

Product Details

  • File Size: 553 KB
  • Print Length: 117 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00IXWJ6MA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #609,739 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
(52)
4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full Disclosure: I've seen this first hand! March 14, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Full Disclosure: I know this family! This is not just an intellectual study on parenting, it is a way of living in a family with parents and kids who are connected and mutually respectful. I highly recommend this book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful, intriguing, and practical! March 15, 2014
Format:Paperback
This is my favorite kind of advice book--solutions that stem from asking the important questions! It's obvious that Donna Baer has arrived at her parenting philosophies through years of hard work, careful consideration, and dedication to being a great mother. In addition to sharing some wonderful ideas (the 5 toy rule for one), Donna makes it very easy for readers to insert their own personal situation into her words. I really like the way she sprinkles joyful activities into daily routines and I have no doubt that she indeed has a strong happy family.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strong Happy Family March 14, 2014
Format:Paperback
Donna's book couldn't have come at a better time in my life as a mom of two young boys. Disciplining is the biggest challenge especially with our two year old. Donna's loving and practical advice in this area has greatly encouraged my journey as a mom.

Also, I enjoyed her tips on how to simply celebrate each holiday without the stress or expense with the goal of creating memories for her children that will long outlive her and her husband. Thoroughly enjoyed the book!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful and Practical! March 13, 2014
Format:Paperback
My kids are grown, but I loved reading this book and will save it to give as a gift for raising grandchildren someday! I only had four to raise, and I remember how busy I was - Donna makes having ten kids sound so easy I can't believe she also had time to write this book! I loved the practical suggestions about organizing, the Holidays, the recipes and especially giving your kids a sense of meaning and purpose in this life. One thing I need to ask Donna about, though, is how she can do ALL the laundry for the WEEK in ONE day!! I use to do ten loads a week just for our family of 6 - spaced out so I only had two a day. With one washing machine, it would take way too many hours to do it all in one day!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Read for Any Parent March 13, 2014
Format:Paperback
I am a single parent whose sons are already grown, but I just finished this book. How I wish I had had it when I was raising my sons. It is totally full of practical advice and suggestions that have been tested and in a format that is easy to read. These are concepts that can be easily implemented at any phase in a child's life, though the younger, the better.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really helpful parenting advice March 12, 2014
Format:Paperback
I enjoyed reading Donna's book. She shares insightful and practical answers to many of the questions I have often found myself asking. I especially benefited from her simple, yet creative ideas for developing warm, fun holiday traditions for my family. I can easily become overwhelmed by too many complicated ideas on pinterest, Donna's suggestions are doable and she even provides recipes!

It was very helpful to hear her heart when it comes to training young children and raising happy tweens/teens. We have many of the same values and ideas, ie: not paying our young children an allowance- but I couldn't really verbalize exactly why that isn't helpful in teaching our kids the virtues and values we desire. She is able to do so in a logical, persuasive, yet winsome manner.

Finally, I appreciate this author's heart: the chapter on getting through a miscarriage moved me to tears, as I have so many family members and friends who have gone through that devastating loss. I highly recommend Donna's book!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars comments from a State U Grandma of 10 March 10, 2014
By Karen O
Format:Paperback
Over my many years of parenting, I have read as many books on parenting. Some practical, some hilarious, some Impractical, and some more than forgettable. Donna Baer has concisely combined the best of the better part of the books I enjoyed the most. Not overly done recipes with little nutritional value, not too preachy about values and obedience, not condescending to the reader who may not have been blessed with 10 children of her own, but humbly, and with just the right amount of humor and thought-provoking ideas that are not hard to implement RIGHT NOW, without a complete change of lifestyle on parenting. I applaud you, dear author, for even finding the TIME to write such a down-in-the-trenches book while you still ARE down in the trenches!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reads like a fireside chat with a dear friend March 2, 2014
Format:Paperback
This reads like a sweet fireside chat with a mom of many kids. I grabbed a cup of tea and read it cover-to-cover! It's a glimpse into the heart of a mom of a large clan and it answers quite a few of the questions I may have asked. From the 'how's and why's' behind age-appropriate discipline to the mechanics of a well-run kitchen, there's a great take-away idea for any parent.

I am blessed with two older kids but was reminded of the treasure of keeping the holidays meaningful and simple. Creating a lovely home begins with a heart and Donna Baer conveys this in her love for her family.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read
I absolutely loved this book!!
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a great book, with a lot of really good advice ...
This is a great book,with a lot of really good advice for raising a family! I loved it!
Published 4 months ago by Heather Millard
5.0 out of 5 stars Great writing-
Loved this book-
Published 5 months ago by Jeanne
3.0 out of 5 stars from a non-parent
I agreed with much of what the author said in the first couple chapters. While I do think others can learn from her ideas about organization, etc. Read more
Published 5 months ago by j.r.
5.0 out of 5 stars practical guidance for raising a family
I absolutely love this book! The author is so down to earth and her insight is so useful and practical. I can't wait to read her next book!
Published 7 months ago by BMNSUN
3.0 out of 5 stars Many good points
The book was good and had many great pointers that even a family of only one child could take from it. Read more
Published 7 months ago by NICOLE SNEEN
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy Read.
You'll feel like you are over for tea at Donna's.
Published 8 months ago by mahmah
4.0 out of 5 stars A lot of good advice and I like how it is very real
A lot of good advice and I like how it is very real. Not some parenting book commissioned by a publisher, but a real mom telling her real advice. Read more
Published 9 months ago by marisa ortega
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful and very practical!
This author should be teaching parenting seminars! She includes many valuable tips to help parents work towards having a mutually respectful and harmonious family. Read more
Published 9 months ago by V. H. Reyes
1.0 out of 5 stars not as described
This book promotes spanking and constant use of obedience. This author may have 10 children and an Ivy League degree....but knows very little about child development. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Kay
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More About the Author

My story

I grew up just outside Manhattan, and attended Brown University when it was very trendy to do so. (I was there when John F. Kennedy, Jr., Bill Mondale and other glitterati graced the campus.) I met the love of my life at Brown, a strapping rugby player named Steve; we married, moved to Chicago, and became yuppies. I was made an officer in an investment-banking firm, and was poised to fall into a typical, high-achiever power-track career when I was blindsided. By a baby.

Now I don't mean that the pregnancy was unplanned and I struggled to find where the little creature would fit into my career plan. No, I mean I was completely caught off guard by how I fell head over heels in love with her. Twitterpated, dumbfounded, jaw on the floor. How could this happen to me? Suddenly, nothing mattered to me but caring for my baby, and making a wonderful home for the three of us.

When my maternity leave ended, I called my boss and said that I was not returning to work. My friends thought I was insane-- that a few weeks of being home all day with a pre-verbal sack of demands would cure me of my ailment.

But just the opposite happened. The more I cared for my daughter, the more deeply I fell in love with her. The more I created amazing meals, the more I enjoyed cooking. The better I made our hip little apartment look, the more I appreciated--dare I say the word?--housekeeping! Despite my Ivy League education and my high-powered work experience, I was becoming the very thing I had once disparaged: a homemaker! And I had never been happier.

Then it dawned on me: if one child could create so much joy, what could two children do? My husband, who had fallen in love with our little girl too, and who was a major beneficiary of my discovering the lost arts of homemaking, agreed to test the hypothesis. We discovered that the joy to child ratio varied not geometrically but logarithmically!

Of course, to validate our test results we needed to repeat the experiment, so in the space of just three years we had three children. And while moving from "man-to-man" to a zone defense required adjustments, the test results were the same: more kids = more happiness.

My husband and I are the "all-in" types. We don't do things half-heartedly and we don't phone it in. What does a couple wired this way do with the test data I've described? We pulled the goalie for good. That was it. Bring them babies on!

And did they ever come! For over twenty years straight I was pregnant, nursing, or both. We received ten children in the course of two decades, two girls and eight boys. And we are a Strong Happy Family.

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