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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on October 26, 1999
This is one of those rare psychology books related to family life that is eminently practical as well as theoretical. Dr. William Doherty does a fantastic job of blending a fairly simple, almost obvious, psychological concepts with ideas and suggestions you can actually use immediately in your daily life. I was never submerged in theory but had enough to appreciate the thought behind the suggestions. I was both inspired and challenged by what I read. If you work with or care about families and children I recommend you read this book. Thoughtful readers will be changed by what they read.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on November 17, 1999
William Doherty provides an opportunity to reflect on the state of your relationship with your spouse and your children and he provides ideas to bring the family together. He is non-judgemental in his approach and is not an idealist, rather, he knows that people are busy and that it takes work (and some failure) to produce a family of meaning, love and togetherness. We have found this to be a very useful text for conversations with each other and with other couples.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on December 6, 1999
I read this book when it first came out in hard cover. Since then I have used it as a text book in a family resource management class I teach at a university (because family resources are not limited to money and "things").
Doherty has done a super job of translating what he knows as a family professional to the language of typical readers interested in improving family life. I believe every family should read this to reinforce the notion that material possessions don't make a great family. Actively attending to interpersonal relationships is the key to family success!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 25, 2010
I got this book as a present around the time I got pregnant with my first child. Every few years I read it again, and there isn't anything earth-shattering about it, but it has good ideas, it's comforting, and a great reminder.

We are a family who has moved a lot and has plenty of volatility and I think that this book is especially good for families like us - also for interfaith families, as ours is. . . in general, I usually recommend this book to families who are going through some sort of transition or who feel like something is missing from their "family time."

I should point out that we have never had a t.v., we make all our food from scratch, and our children are unschoolers with few "extracurricular" activities, and yet I still *love* this little book!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on June 21, 2003
I like Doherety because he seems to write about things we all should know about marriage and family but have forgotten or been lulled to sleep by our fast paced commercial life style. His notion of the Intentional marriage is a home run.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 25, 2014
It has been a trusted guide over the years for our family and I am so grateful to William Doherty for sharing his wisdom in an accessible, actionable way. Thank you!
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon July 25, 2008
I seriously got next to nothing out of this book. I did realize that we are already an intentional family, which is why i gave this book 2 stars instead of one. If you don't do family meals, have the tv blaring all day long, and never spend time talking with your spouse, then you might enjoy this book. If not, don't waste the time.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 28, 2011
It's not kidding when it says the rituals are simple. However, when it comes to protecting stability and building relationships--mostly during activities you're likely already doing--this is a fantastic guide.
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on February 9, 2013
Very insightful. It gives a new perspective on being happy and what happiness really means. And just what truly does make you happy; some things were a duh. However the majority is new information. Really good.
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23 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on December 24, 2005
We just adopted a 12 year old girl and I was looking for additional activities/rituals to strengthen our family ties. This book sure didn't help. I thought, ok, here it is Christmas, what are some other things we can do...? What I didn't need was a historical look at the Christmas holiday and the unspoken "rules" of gift giving. I skimmed some of the other chapters and they were not much better--and geared for younger children anyway. It's more about how to make X go better--bedtime, vacation, birthdays--and very obvious ideas to boot. But no ideas really on special "rituals" or special moments to build on in the years to come. Absolutely worthless book for my needs.
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