Monday, March 11, 2013

The Secrets of Happy Families

The Secrets of Happy Families is certainly designed for people with children - tips include having a long series of sex talks with your kids throughout their childhood (I had this in my own family, and I'm a big fan) and not worrying so much about the much-praised family dinner. I like researching and planning, so I loved thinking about how we'll do these things with our kiddos when that time comes (this is not an announcement!). However, I'm also a firm believer that Peter and I are already a family unit, and it was nice to think concretely about ways to improve our family's happiness now.

One of my favorite tips that we're able to implement is about creating a family mission statement. We haven't gone so far as distilling it down to a single core sentence (yet?!), but we think and talk about what we value quite a bit. This includes hosting family and friends in our home, traveling and doing new things, spending time together in the evening and cooking dinner, being able to give some money to causes we believe in, and then saving as much as we can without sacrificing all that fun stuff.

This exercise is especially interesting when you think about what gets left out, right? To me, it's fun to think about how your time + money are working toward (or against) the things you've decided you value most. Travel and new adventures can sometimes be hard to invest in, but for us, those things mean so much. Other stuff - like shopping or new gadgets - can easily be left behind because we don't really value those.

All this to say, I highly recommend this book. Bruce is a very likable dad - evidence here - and this is chock full of tips for families of all shapes and sizes. If you'd be interested in receiving a copy of your own, leave a comment below and one will be sent to the winner!

This is part of a blog tour by TLC Book Tours.  I received a copy of the book to read and review.  I received no other compensation and all opinions are mine.


  1. There is so much I like about this post. First, it is incredibly important to acknowledge that spouses are, even before children come along, a family unit. Acknowledging that makes the commitment of marriage even more significant.

    And I think what you're getting at here is that you and Peter have deeply shared values and objectives for your individual lives and life together. Being compatible in this way is definitely a key component to any happy family.

  2. We too value our vacations and often sacrifice the "little things" in order to get those vacations, but I've never thought about it in exactly that way before ...

    Thanks for being a part of the tour!

  3. looks like a fab book~ Im going to check my library tomorrow!


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