Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Secrets of Happy Families - TLC Book Tour

The Secrets of Happy Families: Surprising New Ideas to Bring More Togetherness, Less Chaos, and Greater Joy by Bruce Feiler

Publisher: William Morrow
Publication date: February 19, 2013
Hardcover: 292 pages
Price: $25.99

While I don't read parenting books often, every once in awhile it's nice to get a fresh perspective. My four kids are all in school and between them, we are involved in lots of extracurricular activities after school. Sometimes I feel like my entire life is scripted for me, just based on the carpool scheduling.

For this tour we were asked to implement one of Feiler's suggestions in our family. So for the last couple of weeks, we have been conducting a Sunday night family meeting. The first week we did it more to organize schedules. We have been having trouble finding time that all six of us could sit down for a few minutes to have our daily scripture reading. It just wasn't working for us to have it at the same time every day, because someone was always missing. We worked together to find a time every day that we would all be there and put it as a priority in our calendars.

The second week we took the meeting a step further. I asked three questions:
1. What things went well for our family this week? (Everyone said scripture study! We felt more calm and everyone got along better.)
2. What things could we improve in our family? (This mostly had to do with keeping play areas tidy.)
3. What things will you commit to working on this week? (Feiler suggests choosing two things.)

The meeting was short, simple and upbeat. The family meeting is based on the business idea of agile development. We meet together to make ourselves accountable and to encourage continual incremental improvements in our family. I have noticed that I feel much more in control of the family happenings these past few weeks. So far, it's working for us!

This book has great ideas for strengthening marriages and family life from nontraditional sources. Want to know how to have better game time? Feiler visited the folks at Zynga. Want to know how to set children's allowances? Find out what Warren Buffett did.

I highly recommend this book.
Bruce Feiler is the author of five bestsellers. He writes a family life column for the New York Times. To learn more about him, you can visit Feiler's website, Facebook page, and Twitter account.

Check out the other great reviews on this tour!
Source: I received this book from the publisher as part of the TLC Book Tour.


alisonwonderland said...

Great review! I'll have to take a look at this one.

Holly (2 Kids and Tired) said...

Awesome review. It's hard to find good parenting books that you can relate to. This one sounds like a keeper.

trish said...

This gave me chills, though I'll admit to being crazy hormonal right now. I really love the idea of a weekly meeting and will have to keep that in mind as my kid(s) gets older.

Also, I really admire Warren Buffet so I'm curious as to how he handled allowances in his family!

Thanks for being on the tour!