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To Raise Happy Kids, Put Your Marriage First Paperback – September 1, 2009
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"I found David’s articles very insightful personally . . . Many thanks!" John Carey, senior correspondent, Business Week
"David Code offers a game-changing combination of Bowen family systems theory, brain research, and studies on animal instincts, to help us understand why humans do what we do in families." Peter Titelman, PhD, clinical psychologist, editor, Triangles: Bowen Family Systems Theory Perspectives and Emotional Cutoff
"Provides a win-win solution for the challenges facing today's families. . . . He explains why good marriages produce good kids, and provides helpful advice for building a strong marriage. " Glenn Firebaugh, PhD, author, Seven Rules for Social Research
"David Code, in a step-wise approach, identifies and addresses how one, in a very practical way, can improve their marriage and thus, the entire family. I recommend his book most highly." David D. Sherry, MD, professor of pediatrics, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and University of Pennsylvania
"Stress has become a pervasive problem for couples struggling to balance the hectic lives of their kids with their own demanding jobs. David Code provides powerful preventive medicine that 'inoculates' spouses who are currently doing well, but can benefit from his family-strengthening advice." Ron Roel, former editor, Newsday
About the Author
As featured in Parents Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, NPR and the Christian Science Monitor, David Code is a family coach and Episcopal minister. After training at Yale, Princeton, the Sorbonne, and the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family (formerly at Georgetown Medical School), he founded the Center for Staying Married and Raising Great Kids. He lives in State College, Pennsylvania, with his wife and their two children.
Top customer reviews
It seems to me that this book would be much more powerful for those who do not, prior to reading, "put their marriage first." I would imagine that most readers who go searching for such a book independently may already see (as I did) the value in putting marriage first, and thus the numerous examples and elaboration felt, to me, quite repetitive, where they might be an opportunity for identification and reflection for others.
The book did, however, contain enough nuggets of truth that I am glad I read it. It was interesting to consider the idea that there is a "fight or flight" response in marital conflict, and important to recognize that fighting, while it may feel awful for some, is a form of "emotional engagement" that is healthier than fleeing, which wedges distance between yourself and a partner.
The tips for a healthy marriage at the end of the book were a simplistic letdown; though I don't doubt that "walking and talking" and "mealtime routines" are indeed habits that are part of a healthy marriage, I was looking for more specific ways that my husband and I could continue to connect as we become parents vs. the norms we already know are important.
Overall, I'm glad I read the book but am hungry for a well-researched book on preparing marriages for new parenthood; there seems to be a lack of this kind of text on the market. I would love recommendations!
Based on the book title and cover illustration, I first thought that this book is about marriage counseling. However, that is just a small part of it. (There is no doubt that the book explains very well about the linkage between marriage and parenting.) The book provides a very insightful view for why we blame each other, why we avoid each other, why we are so obsessed with our children, and why we create so many dramas in our life. Once we 'notice' the right cause of all these symptoms (you can find it in the book!) and then, we can 'control' the situation to become better even though our solution is very slow and requires patience.
A few days before I read the book, I had a huge argument with my husband- the largest one ever. I was also very stressed with my parent's long-term visit in this area. This book gave me the right advice when I needed it. I also started to have a lot of peace of mind by merely realizing the root of my emotions. I may need to read this book again, whenever I get short-sighted with parenting my child or get impatient with my husband or my mom.
I highly recommend this book to any person who wants to have better relationships with others / wants to have an inner peace/ wants to raise happy kids /or want to grow up. I am not American, but the book really applies well to Asian culture too.
I don't recommend this book to anyone who does not want to confront (or admit) who they are/ or who cares about symptoms but not the cause of them / or who wants a quick-fix parenting solution.