Don't worry about family dinner. Let your kids pick their punishments. Ditch the sex talk. Cancel date night.
These are just a few of the surprising innovations in this bold first-of-its-kind playbook for today's families. Bestselling author and New York Times family columnist Bruce Feiler found himself squeezed between caring for aging parents and raising his children. So he set out on a three-year journey to find the smartest solutions and the most cutting-edge research about families. Instead of the usual family "experts," he sought out the most creative minds—from Silicon Valley to the set of Modern Family, from the country's top negotiators to the Green Berets—and asked them what team-building exercises and problem-solving techniques they use with their families. Feiler then tested these ideas with his wife and kids. The result is a fun, original look at how families can draw closer together, complete with two hundred never-before-seen best practices.
Feiler's life-changing discoveries include a radical plan to reshape your family in twenty minutes a week, Warren Buffett's guide for setting an allowance, and the Harvard handbook for resolving conflict. The Secrets of Happy Families is a timely, counterintuitive book that answers the questions countless parents are asking: How do we manage the chaos of our lives? How do we teach our kids values? How do we make our family happier?
Written in a charming, accessible style, The Secrets of Happy Families is smart, funny, and fresh, and will forever change how your family lives every day.
Let me start by saying that I'm usually not a fan of self-help books, like AT.ALL. I tend to steer clear, just a personal preference, aside from the fact that I've always found them extremely boring and technical and not what I would call light fun reading material.
Enter Mr. Feiler's book.
I love that he keeps it simple, yet offers practical solutions and ideas.
From the get go he says that no one will completely relate to every single thing in the book, and I will say that is true, for me at least. There were some things that I didn't much care for, didn't think they applied to me and my family, but others were spot on and great information to go by.
One of the things he mentioned, which is actually nothing new and I've seen it elsewhere, is the family mission statement. I've always wanted to have one and never got around to doing it, so I'm thinking it's time to get it done.
He gives great ideas on allowance for the kids and figuring that out. Also thought his idea of a family meeting once a week was great, I have always said that we value our children's ideas and opinions, even if obviously according to their age they are sometimes not applicable or politically correct LOL But, as a whole, our family does make decisions together and I think a meeting once a month would be something good for us all.
The author sits down with experts for advice, but he also sits down with real families who have ways of avoiding the chaos in their homes. And with all that together, he compiles numerous ideas for making things easier.
I will say that the book is geared more towards older kids, around my kids age which is 9 and 13, and I only say that because some of the advice in having the children join in with some things, wouldn't exactly work for younger kids.
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and if anything it just made me feel like we are already on the right track with many of the things we do in our home. Family meals, talking about our day and what happened, my husband always asks the kids what they did in each subject of schooling that day...we have discussions, we talk about things as a family and most importantly we respect each other.
Thank you to TLC Book Tours for providing me with a review copy.