Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Secrets of Happy Families

I had the opportunity to read and review a book called " The Secrets of Happy Families" by Bruce Feiler. Now, I don't have a family of my own, but as a school social worker, I was interested in this title because I work with so many families who start their days with arguments or end their yelling at their children to go to bed. I am always looking for practical ways to help build families and this book is an awesome tool. Here are a couple of things I loved about this book! 

1) First, I loved the morning lists, which reduced the morning frustration and commoation in the household. It eased the frustration, the kids knew what to expect and they handled themselves well, and they knew exactly what was expected of them. They did not have any surprised. The morning list was compromised of this chart with things they had to do each day for the mornings Monday- Sunday. Then at the end of the week, they discussed three questions going into the next week to find out what worked well and what they could do differently. This chart idea created communication between the adults and children. It decreased anxiety and increased responsibility. LOVED it, but anyone could come up with this idea.. I loved the idea of the three QUESTIONS.

2)I love that he talked about eating together as a family. How many of us don't eat together as a family anymore? I know we all have busy schedules and can't eat together as a family unit anymore? Bruce talks about even if you can't eat together every meal together as a family, maybe share dessert as a family  or pick one night a week where you can eat together. The point is to AIM for ONCE a week or to spend ONE night a week as a whole family together. He also shares how each night of the week that his family would discuss a different topic at the dinner table or play a different game around the dinner table.. I LOVE THAT IDEA! SO unique! For example: Monday was word of the day- Create your own that is unique for your family.. I love that you can take this idea and make it perfect for your family.

3) I also loved how in this book he talked about body language. We often don't realize how in our family life, body language shows more and speaks louder than our words. Children pick up on our body language. Bruce talks about this type of communication and how parents need to be in tune with their particular body language when they relate to one another. For example, he talks about being aware of certain times of the day where couples may be more prone to fight or that the length of fighting should never be too long. He gives some great insight on family fights. It's natural for families to fight, but couples and families have to be careful and aware of how to handle them. 

These are just three of the many of the reasons I really enjoyed this book. This book covers more topics including allowances, money, intimacy, happiness, love, grandparents, marriage enrichment, sports and family vacations. This book is very well rounded and includes lots of topics that families deal with. 

I received this book for review purposes and was not compensated for a positive review.  Hope you enjoyed it!

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