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Tending the Family Heart: Connecting Your Family in Disconnecting Times [Kindle Edition]

Marie Hartwell-Walker Ed.D.
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $9.99

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Book Description

In Tending the Family Heart, family therapist and parent educator, Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker, highlights the importance of creating and nurturing the “heart part” of our families; that almost magical bond that interconnects every family member with all the others. It is the heart that provides safety and warmth to all within its embrace. It is what transforms the very ordinary and repetitious tasks of daily life into expressions of mutual support and care. It is what celebrates the dailyness of love and belonging and helps everyone cope in times of challenges, separations, and even tragedies. When the “heart part” is strong, it provides both children and adults with what they need emotionally and psychologically to become their best versions of themselves in spite of whatever stresses come their way.

Parents are doing the best they can to parent well in spite of too little validation and conflicting messages regarding their own importance in the project. Hungry for information and support, parents are blogging, attending parent study groups, reading parenting self-help books, and talking with each other.

In Tending the Family Heart, Dr. Marie joins the conversation, affirming the importance of family and validating the centrality of parental influence. Using ordinary stories from ordinary families as examples, she makes her suggestions accessible and manageable for even the busiest parent. The tone is conversational and upbeat, encouraging parents to sort through the many ideas and to decide for themselves what will work in their families or what can be adapted to their own realities.

Each chapter outlines common areas of family life that can be opportunities for developing a family’s heart. Dr. Marie emphasizes the need for family members to be actively engaged in each other’s lives and provides practical and realistic suggestions for doing so. Using placemats at a meal or putting something unusual in the grocery cart makes the ordinary into something special. Getting the whole family to cheer at even the youngest child’s t-ball game or organizing a family reunion affirms family membership and love. When added together, such gestures shape a family identity and strengthen the heart. Yes, the heart requires thought and time and care and tending. When parents attend to the task, everyone thrives.

Unlike most parenting books, this one does not describe yet another method for disciplining children. It does not offer a one-size-fits-all recipe for connecting the collection of people called a family. Instead, Dr. Marie charges us to define what is unique about our family and to make the care of its heart a priority.

A medical crisis crystallized Dr. Marie’s thinking and motivated her to write down what she thought would help her family survive and thrive if they had to do without her. But it is her 35 years of professional work with families and her 30 years of being a parent herself that gave her something to write about.

"Tending the Family Heart deserves to become an instant classic. Dr. Hartwell-Walker has created a blueprint for daily life that should be required reading for any parent who hopes to raise happy, well-adjusted kids in today's complex world."
-- Sally Koslow


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Product Details

  • File Size: 482 KB
  • Print Length: 115 pages
  • Publisher: Psych Central.com; 2nd edition (January 26, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004L62J94
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #363,725 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Caring About Family March 7, 2011
Marie Hartwell Walker has written an insightful book that we can all learn from. She shares practical information and provides examples and anecdotes to illustrate her points. If you've ever been stumped by a parenting problem this book is for you
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book! August 8, 2013
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Wonderful book! It very easy to read and offers very practical advise on how to enhance those family relations. Enjoyed and refer to it often.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Relatable and Insightful! September 6, 2012
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This book should serve as an almanac for families. Practical advice that won't take time out of your day. Was very relatable, I felt like I was reading about my own family!

Tips include how to have family dinners during a busy schedule, the importance of children giving to one another, and more. Easy to implement advice without going all Martha Stewart on you.
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