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The Secrets of Happy Families: Improve Your Mornings, Tell Your Family History, Fight Smarter, Go Out and Play, and Much More Paperback – December 31, 2013
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“This is the best book I’ve read about how to transform families. … Run, don’t walk, to get a copy” -- NBC Latino
“Makes even the most skeptical parent sit up and take note” -- BONNIE ROCHMAN for Time.com
“Refreshing. ... Feiler has an engaging stlye.” -- Washington Post
“I loved this book because it really is a new playbook for the modern-day family, something to counteract the chaos of the digital age.” -- Lyss Stern, creator of Divalysscious Moms and author of If You Give a Mom a Martini
“Not your run-of-the-mill parenting manual. … A practical, entertaining playbook that upends some of the most accepted wisdom in family-rearing today.” -- Outside magazine
“A self-help book with teeth, loaded with examples. ... The Secrets of Happy Families is comprehensive and clear, a how-to guide for dads who may not have realized they needed one. -- Daddylibrium
From the Back Cover
The book that revolutionized our view of what makes families happy . . .
Determined to find the smartest solutions and the most cutting-edge research about families, bestselling author and New York Times family columnist Bruce Feiler gathered team-building exercises and problem-solving techniques from the most creative minds—from Silicon Valley to the Green Berets—and tested these ideas with his wife and kids. The result is a lively, original look at how we can create stronger parent/child relationships, manage the chaos of our lives, teach our kids values and grit, and have more fun together.
The Secrets of Happy Families includes more than two hundred unique practices that will help your family draw closer and make everyone in your home happier. It has already changed the lives of millions of families, and it can do the same for yours.
- Publisher : William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (December 31, 2013)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 320 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0061778745
- ISBN-13 : 978-0061778742
- Item Weight : 8.6 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.31 x 0.72 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #74,345 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The book’s premise seemed to me, once I read the introduction, to be a silly one. The author proposed to look at insights from different careers and fields of study to see how they could improve family life. For instance, how would a professional trained in conflict resolution deal with family arguments? How would a green beret build a sense of “team” in the family? This sounded pretty ridiculous (the team one still didn’t work for me) until I read the first chapter and began to see the specific ideas these people had. I found particularly intriguing the sections on “family branding,” family weekly meetings, and the need for having close relationships with extended family. Many sections of the book have original ideas, and Feiler has done his best to support them with relevant research. I think that almost all families would find some useful and helpful ideas here.
My only criticism of the book is that it definitely seemed to trail off at the end. This section largely had to do with entertainment. Some of the advice was just week or obvious (the creators of Farmville suggest playing “20 Questions” on car trips). Even Feiler seemed to think that the idea about making family trips more like an extreme competition (think: Amazing Race) was a little absurd.
On the whole, though, this was a quick read with some useful ideas. I would recommend it and expect to revisit it myself in the future.
Great book on families and what you can be doing to improve your day-to-day lives. The only reason I gave this book 4.5 stars rather than 5 is that I think the author / publisher could have offered some additional resources. The book is extremely practical, but if there was a website built in that directed you o the different tools mentioned and samples of the ideas presented, would have easily been the best 'family' book I've read.
Some stuff that's taught that I loved:
* Sit on cushy chairs when disciplining
* Work on creating intrinsic motivation in your kids
* Why date night is a waste of time
* Start having a family meeting
* Create a family motto/brand
* Your family's history is very important
* Extremely balanced view of sports, parenting, and kids - loved this chapter
All in all, an excellent book with great advice. Buy it, read it, use it. Seriously . . . for 20 bucks, this is a steal - could significantly improve your family life overnight.
My family is having our first weekly meeting tonight. This idea appeals to me a lot, because as I read this book, it occurred to me that I'm the one who keeps the calendar/logistics in my head for our family, which stresses me out somewhat, and my kids and sometimes my husband are the ones who can get caught off guard when we're suddenly trying to do three things while heading into as many different directions. We're going to use our meeting to talk about what went well, what we can improve on, have the kids pick their punishments, review the schedule for the week and set a positive tone for the coming days. I love the idea of getting together at breakfast - some days, this makes MUCH more sense than trying to pull off a dinner together given different schedules. I love the suggestions to start empowering the kids.
I'll update in a few weeks after we've been implementing some of these practices. I'm feeling pretty positive at this point.
Top reviews from other countries
Ce livre est à lire en couple (chacun son tour) pour ne plus s'arrêter à des disputes stériles. Autour d'une vingtaine d'activités différentes, Bruce Feiler propose les moyens de construire et de développer le bonheur dans votre famille. La plupart des idées sont simples (si simples !). Autour d'exemples et de cas particulier expliquant la mise en place, l'auteur montre la manière de repenser les aspects (qui a dit pénible ?) du quotidien : des repas, aux "discussions", des réunions de familles aux activités.
La démarche est bonne est le mot d'ordre est claire : prenez ce qui vous intéresse, car c'est avant tout une boite à outil qui est à votre disposition. Et vous n'avez (presque) plus de raisons de ne pas être une famille heureuse.