“Since I met the author when he was filming a documentary, I bought it when I saw it. Very enjoyable read and a different approach to family life. The author's family appear to have a loving relationship and fun times.”see full review » see other reviews »
“Since I met the author when he was filming a documentary, I bought it when I saw it. Very enjoyable read and a different approach to family life. The author's family appear to have a loving relationship and fun times.”Jan S wrote this review 3 weeks ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Very good, practical tips”Terry Wolf wrote this review Monday, September 9, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“One of the best books I have ever read for improving family life. Great win/win ideas for parents and children, well researched, not only ideas for raising children for parents but also grandparents.
I enjoyed it so much, I'm going to use it as a family life book study at churches.
Wish this book was out when my children were younger, but will use the ideas for grandparents.”
“very informative”stephanie w wrote this review Thursday, April 4, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Daniel and I both read this book. It is a fresh look and how we can work to improve our families. And good families do require a bit of work. I'm looking forward to us running some of these ideas by the kids.”Melissa M wrote this review Saturday, March 23, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I had a rather unconventional childhood, with parents that became parents at the age of 16 and 18, but didn't have me until 17 years after my youngest brother was born. I was always fascinated with other peolpe's families--the one's where all the kids are kids at the same time. I guess I'm still trying to figure how families like that work. Or don't. Feiler started got the idea for this book during a rough patch in his own family life, which involved his wife and young twin daughters. He's done what he's always done when writing about the topic--epic and years long research. But this time, he convinced his family to join him in experiments (at varying levels of cooperation and enthusiasm, as you might suspect). Looking beyond psychologists and family therapists, he took his research to some unlikely places to learn about improving family dynamics: Silicon Valley, the Green Berets, Warren Buffet's bankers to name only a few. He says, " I set out to write an anti-parenting parenting book." It's all about trying new things, working together, shifting power and generally trying to be a team. It's often funny and always highly interesting. I even picked up a few ideas for making things better in some non-family group situations I'm involved in, so I do not consider this book to be for parents only. I think everyone can learn quite a bit from this book, and I happily urge you to read it.”Jackie Blem wrote this review Saturday, March 9, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“If you have a family more than likely you have heard of the term, the Sandwich Generation. This is what society is defining the lifestyle most of us are living or will be living soon. If you have children still living with you or children that had once left that are back living at home as well as taking care of aging parents living with you, welcome to the term, Sandwich Generation.
No longer are adults looking forward to the Empty Nest, because it seems like children are returning as well as parents in what some have called Life Boating. A way to make it through life now, that was unheard of before. Whether for economic reasons or simply as a temporary situation, the way we were raised has now changed to incorporate this changing lifestyle. Technology has advanced to the point that physical exercise is now just walking to the car and back as you run errands for now. Take for example you latest family get together whether its just dinner or a holiday celebration, tension is now common place for most. We see our families falling apart more than appearing strong than ever before. Where did the change begin that makes us wonder just how dysfunctional are families really are? What is the secret sauce that holds families together? What are the ingredients that make some families effective, resilient, functioning, happy?
Maybe it's because those problems are gnarlier. Navigating nap time is child's play compared to navigating screen time. How do you teach your kids discipline while making sure they have fun along the way? Is it possible to develop timeless values in a 24/7 world that prizes novelty and coarseness? How do couples find time to nurture each other while spending so much time nurturing our kids? These days, the old rules no longer apply, but new ones have yet to be written.
So Bruce Feiler introduces some interesting concepts to delving into these questions in his latest book, The Secrets to Happy Families. In it, he realized that most of the ideas have been hiding in plain sight. He took a course from the founder of the Harvard Negotiation Project on how to fight smart. He visited ESPN to find out what the best coaches know about building successful teams. He worked with Green Berets to design a perfect family reunion. He got some advice from Warren Buffet's banker about how to set up an allowance, and sat down with top games designers in the Silicon Valley to see how we can make family vacations more fun.
I have to say I was a bit skeptical at first have a strong Christian background that some of the ideas may not be for everyone. Using the TV Series, Modern Family as his model for the new dynamics for families, he shows that no matter what is happening in the show, they always come together before the end. I don't think life is quite that simple. But nonetheless I gave some of his ideas a shot and was surprised by the outcome of establishing family meetings once a week and how the suggestions he provides has made living together with adult children returning to our home once again a fully functioning and do I dare say it? Happy? Yes, our meetings have been a huge success, and not only that every single member feels empowered and we are teaching them valuable life skills they will take into their future careers in effective team leadership, negotiating and building winning teams all with positive thinking.
There are such valuable insights based on the diversity of the research Bruce Feiler has completed and while not everything will work for everyone, this has been one of the first book's I've read that really got me excited to try out these new dynamics within my own family and still incorporate our traditions and biblical values alongside them. I received The Secrets to Happy Families by Bruce Feiler compliments of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins Publishers for my honest review and have to give this one a high 5 out of 5 stars!!! There is truly something in here for everyone and you don't have to read it from front to back and simply move to the areas that may be causing some chaos in your own home. Either way, I think this is a must read book for today's ever-evolving family!”