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The Secrets of Happy Families: Eight Keys to Building a Lifetime of Connection and Contentment Paperback – June 15, 2009
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From the Inside Flap
Living in a happy family is good for your health, longevity, productivity, and success. Written by best-selling author Dr. Scott Haltzman, The Secrets of Happy Families is filled with smart, wise, and often humorous tips for families who want a healthy and harmonious home life in good times and tough times.
The Secrets of Happy Families is based on the groundbreaking results of a survey of 1,266 men and women who reveal their family secrets on topics from sex to childcare. Dr. Haltzman interweaves cutting-edge research and examples from his own clinical practice to arrive at easy-to-apply strategies that can boost the happiness in any family:
Stick TogetherKnow your core values and work together to set a course for happiness that includes everyone in the home.
Commit and CommunicateChildren feel more secure when they know that parents are committed to stay together. Using good communication seals the deal!
LeanYou don't have to do it all on your own. Reaching out to others makes you and your family sturdier and steadier.
Teach to and Learn from ChildrenParenting takes patience, but while you're teaching your children, they're teaching you!
BlendGrouping and regrouping with step-, adopted, and foster families isn't always smooth, but the process can enrich everyone involved.
Handle ConflictKnowing how to master conflict can lead to a more cohesive family.
BounceHealthy families know how to rebound from adversity and grow stronger in the process.
BreatheMaking time for fun, adventure, and rituals sets the stage for a loving family over a lifetime.
The Secrets of Happy Families will be the book your family turns to again and again for raising healthy children, solving everyday crises, creating a stable loving home, and building positive memories. --This text refers to the Unknown Binding edition.
From the Back Cover
—Harville Hendrix, Ph.D. author, Getting the Love You Want and Giving the Love That Heals: A Guide for Parents
"This is a beautiful book—timely, passionate, and powerful. It is also so well written, it's a page-turner and you'll find wealth of insight on every page. If you have specific questions about how to make family love last, this book has practical answers."
—Michael Gurian, author, The Minds of Boys and The Wonder of Girls
"Scott Haltzman's writing is so engaging, it's the kind of book you pick up in a bookstore and find yourself still reading a half hour later. Inspiring and enlightening, it is filled with fascinating facts, educational anecdotes, and wise advice that you will remember, use, and repeat to others, even years from now. Don't miss this outpouring of love from a seasoned writer and psychiatrist."
—Susan Page, author, Why Talking Is Not Enough and If I'm So Wonderful, Why Am I Still Single?
"Few well-written and easily read books treat us to solid research, a wide range of thoughtful quotes, and the author's real-life experience on perhaps life's most important subject: creating a happy family. This book does it all!"
—Warren Farrell, Ph.D. author, Women Can't Hear What Men Don't Say and Why Men Are the Way They Are
"Haltzman's latest entry into the 'advice to families' genre is a gem. Grounded in solid family research and his own survey of families, Haltzman offers sound, practical, and compassionate advice for families. His recognition of the diversity of contemporary families is one of the great strengths of this book. The accessible style is sure to please a wide range of readers from parents to family professionals."
—Ross D. Parke, Ph.D. Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Emeritus, University of California, Riverside; and past president, Society for Research in Child Development
More About the Author
Dr. Haltzman has gained international recognition for his work in support of marriage and committed relationships. He has appeared on the Today Show, 20/20, Good Morning America, and in TIME Magazine, Glamour, Redbook, Parent's Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Men's Health, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and local and national radio, TV and print.
Scott Haltzman, M.D., is the founder and editor of www.DrScott.com and www.365Reasons.com and author of "The Secrets of Surviving Infidelity," "The Secrets of Happily Married Men," "The Secrets of Happily Married Women" and "The Secrets of Happy Families." He co-authored the chapter, "Men, Marriage and Divorce" in the American Psychiatric Press book: "Men and Mental Health." He is an internationally recognized speaker, presenting at the Annual Marriage Education conferences and at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association.
Top Customer Reviews
After defining "family", Dr. Haltzman goes on to define happiness and gives us his eight secrets to the enduring happy family. Secret one, Stick Together, which isn't just about divorce but also includes how to set your family values and creating a family document ... The Family Mission Statement. We have one at work ... why not have one at home? Once you have established your family values, you'll move on to communication, teaching and learning from children, blending, handling conflict, bouncing back, breathing, and evolving.
Happy families don't just happen because two people fall in love and procreate. To continue our happiness, we must establish our values and become adept at nurturing our relationships. Know someone who can't stand their mother, father, or kids? It happens all the time. This book will teach you how to stop those conflicts in their tracks and put your family life on the right track to continuing happiness.
Dr. Haltzman begins by setting expectations about what a family is, going way beyond the traditional nuclear family of 2 parents and 2.5 children to include the single parent family, extended family, blended family, adopted family, foster family, etc. Coming from a blended family with a father married 6 times impacting 21 children and having a more traditional family with 2 parents and 2 children I was interested to see what secrets he could share to make my family a happy family.
In chapter 2 Dr. Haltzman defines happiness and identifies a number of circumstances and behaviors that can impact the happiness of families. He ends the chapter with this line "by proactively shaping the family life you desire, that life can be yours. Read on."
Secret #1: Happy Families Stick Together. Dr. Haltzman creates context with a values matrix to help you identify a shared understanding of what's important to your family, and each of the people in your family. He then helps you create a family mission statement as a powerful bond that helps the family stick together.
Secret #2: Happy Families Commit and Communicate. Dr. Haltzman identifies what "committed" means. He identifies 3 stages in a relationship and what it takes to stay committed in each stage. Communication through words and action is the top-secret of happy families. Gender differences can create conflict or you can embrace the differences.Read more ›
I found Haltzman's division of family happiness into eight "keys" extremely helpful. For instance, on his chapter called "commit and communicate" he talks about the importance of maintaining a stable family for the growth of the child. This seems like common sense, but the fact is that it is politically incorrect to say that people should marry because it's better for children. Other chapters talk about dealing with conflict, step families, values, and resiliency.
What was most impressive about this was Dr. Haltzman's use of humor. He seems to be saying that we should take a families seriously, but not so seriously that we are not able to enjoy all of the highs and lows that are part of being a family. The book gave me good ideas about how to enjoy fun and meaningful activities when I get together with my family. And how to argue less.
I am eager to read Dr. Haltzman's other books because he seems to be a voice of reason and humor when other authors are either sanctimonious, boring, or banal.
It's hard to believe a psychiatirst could be so straightforward and funny, and also humanistic and kind. There are important aspects to this book. One, it's straightforward (although a tad too theoretical for my tastes in the beginning). Two, it's practical. Three, it covers a very broad range of topics on families (conflict, communication, child rearing, and things like holidays and traditions). Four, it's really easy reading, more like a novel than like a "how to" book.
The real-life stories helped illustrate his points.
I'd recommend to people who are dealing with some sort of family crisis, whowant to improve family communication, or for step-families.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book covers a broad range of topics, from step families to gay marriages, and does so with sound advice, humor and excellent first hand quotes. Read morePublished on January 28, 2011 by Need good books
This book surpassed all of my expectations! It is more of an instruction manual having all that one needs to get through most any situation. Read morePublished on September 29, 2010 by T. Love
Living in a happy family is good for one's health, longevity and success - and SECRETS OF HAPPY FAMILIES goes beyond health concerns to offer tips for families who wish to create... Read morePublished on October 17, 2009 by Midwest Book Review
Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way" wrote Leo Tolstoy.
In The Secrets of Happy Families, Dr. Read more
My husband, who is a rabbi, uses this book in his work with couples. It is a good "study guide" in building relationships that last. Read morePublished on July 4, 2009 by Elin Schoen Brockman
Virtually all important aspects of family issues are discussed and augmented with case histories. The book is a pleasure to read and bound to add an extra dose of insight to any... Read morePublished on June 25, 2009 by Wolfgang W. Hayum
Scott Haltzman is a leader in the field of relationships and marriage - and this is obvious when you read this book. Read morePublished on June 23, 2009 by Holly Hollenbeck