100 Simple Secrets of Happy Families [NOOK Book]

Overview

The Simple Science of a Happy Family

From raising children to getting along with in-laws, what do people with close and loving families do differently than those with strained or unfulfilling relationships? Sociologists, therapists, and psychiatrists have spent entire careers investigating the ins and outs of family dynamics, yet their findings are inaccessible to ordinary people, hidden in obscure journals to be shared with other experts. Now, David Niven, the international ...

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100 Simple Secrets of Happy Families

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Overview

The Simple Science of a Happy Family

From raising children to getting along with in-laws, what do people with close and loving families do differently than those with strained or unfulfilling relationships? Sociologists, therapists, and psychiatrists have spent entire careers investigating the ins and outs of family dynamics, yet their findings are inaccessible to ordinary people, hidden in obscure journals to be shared with other experts. Now, David Niven, the international bestselling author of The 100 Simple Secret series has collected the most current and significant data from more than a thousand of the best scientific studies on families and then spelled out the findings in plain English.

The advice is based not on one person's unique experiences or opinions, but offers for the first time the research of noted scientists studying average American families. These findings have been boiled down to one hundred essential ways to find and maintain love, joy, and satisfaction in all family relationships. Each statistic is accompanied by a true story about a real family showing the results in action.

Don't Forget the Past: Parents who share stories of family history with their children create higher levels of concern for family members and increase the likelihood of their children's happiness.

No Price Tag: Once basic necessities are met, the increasing economic status of one's family has zero effect on the likelihood of feeling satisfied with life.

Let Every Opinion Be Heard: Senior citizens having trouble living in their own homes are 84 percent more likely to be satisfied with their housing situation if they feel as if their concerns are an important part of selecting a new home or facility.

The Greatest Gift: Life satisfaction is 72 percent more likely among those who feel content with their family life.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061738012
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/13/2009
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 66,056
  • File size: 521 KB

Meet the Author

David Niven, Ph.D., bestselling author of the 100 Simple Secrets series, is a psychologist and social scientist who teaches at Ohio State University.

David Niven, Ph.D., es el autor de los bestsellers internacionales Los 100 Secretos de la Gente Exitosa, y Los 100 Secretos de las Buenas Relaciones. Es psicólogo y científico social, y enseña en la Florida Atlantic University.

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Read an Excerpt

100 Simple Secrets of Happy Families


By Niven, David

HarperSanFrancisco

ISBN: 0060545321

One

Be a Good Friend

Looked at from a distance, a family is infinitely complex. But looked at from the most basic level, a family is a series of personal relationships, and those relationships are like any other close, important relationship in your life. Treat your family members as you would treat a friend -- as if you have chosen to be in their company and wish them to choose to be in yours -- and you will have taken the most important, most fundamental step toward having a rewarding family life.

Looking back fifteen years ago, Briana remembers what it was like to not quite fit in. "I was brainy, and I didn't get in trouble," Briana says of her early teen years. "There were a lot of kids around me who didn't understand that, didn't respect that. I refused to do the things that might gain me more acceptance, but I was crushed by the feeling of being left out."

But Briana's mother was there to offer comfort and support. "I thought I would never survive those years, but my mother wisely made our home a sanctuary where I could talk about my troubles. She always listened carefully, no matter how trivial or monumental my worries. Her faith in me helped me gain confidence in my abilities today. I walk to my own beat with pride because of her."

Briana says what her mother offered mostly was friendship. "She's the ultimate friend. She's there for me. She's on my side. She let me be me, and embraced me for it."

While making other friends was easier after her middleschool trials, Briana never forgot the lesson in friendship from her mother. "My mom has made the world a better place for many people. I only hope to do the same in time."

Researchers studying those who enjoyed close family relationships and close friendships find that the key factors to both are the same, including a strong desire to be in the company of others and to value them. Moreover, they find that people can increase their receptivity to close relationships if they want to.

Pike and Atzaba-Poria 2003

Continues...

Excerpted from 100 Simple Secrets of Happy Families by Niven, David Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Introduction xi
1. Be a Good Friend 1
2. Family Makes a New You 3
3. Take Strength from Your Focus 5
4. There Are Second Chances 7
5. Find a Community That Fits Your Family 9
6. Believe in Yourself to Help Your Family 11
7. Saying Nothing Says Something 13
8. We Make Our Own Family Success 15
9. Dedication Matters More than Occupation 17
10. It's OK to Be Right When Everyone Else Is Wrong 19
11. Let Your Goals Live with You 21
12. Tell Your Family Story 23
13. Don't Hide from Your Family 25
14. You Define a Child Every Day 27
15. Listen Without Judgment 29
16. Closeness Cannot Be Measured on a Map 31
17. Live Your Views 33
18. Parents Are Foundations Not Walls 35
19. Make "Should" and "Want" the Same Thing 37
20. Adjustments Never End 39
21. Express Your Love 41
22. The Bright Side Shines Through 43
23. Forgiveness Depends on More Than the Apology 45
24. Fatigue Is a Family Enemy 47
25. Jealousy Is Automatic 49
26. Encourage Persistence Not Desperation 51
27. It's Better to Be Fair Than Right 53
28. Every Number Has Challenges 55
29. Think of Your Family When You Don't Have To 57
30. Don't Let Negativity Build 59
31. Recognize Pleasant Stress 61
32. There's No Price Tag on Family Life 63
33. Calm Questions Get Answers 65
34. Family Life Teaches Us About Relationships 67
35. What You See Isn't Always There 69
36. Don't Enter a Generational Competition 71
37. Expectations Must Fit the Person 73
38. Don't Obsess over Birth Order 75
39. Show Up on Time 77
40. Communication Brings Us Closer 79
41. Every Person Is in a Different Relationship 81
42. Satisfaction Depends on Where You Look 83
43. It's Not a Popularity Contest 85
44. Cherish Traditions 87
45. Work on Your Own Terms 89
46. Encourage, but Don't Require, Activities 91
47. Caregiving Is Personal 93
48. You Can't Be the Family Gatekeeper 95
49. It Doesn't Matter Who Earns the Money 97
50. All Talk Is Not Equal 99
51. What You Send Out Comes Back to You 101
52. The Next Generation Will Define Family for Itself 103
53. Share Your Struggles 105
54. Beware of Clothing Disasters 107
55. Competition Breeds Loss 109
56. Do One Thing at a Time 111
57. You Will See the Same Things Differently 113
58. Strictness Can Last a Lifetime 115
59. The In-Laws Are Not the Enemy 117
60. Share the Housework 119
61. Write Down Your Thoughts 121
62. Pets Are Family Too 123
63. Take Comfort from Routines 125
64. Tempers Must Be Controlled 127
65. Illness Can Have Multiple Victims 129
66. Not Every Piece Will Fit 131
67. Use Food Positively 133
68. Self-Doubt Magnifies Family Problems 135
69. Children Need More Than Parents 137
70. Rigidity Isolates 139
71. The More You Give, the More You Will Believe in Yourself 141
72. Don't Stay Together at All Costs 143
73. Too Much Protection Is a Threat 145
74. Experience Helps but Shouldn't Dictate 147
75. Low Expectations Are Not a Family Solution 149
76. Emotions Last Longer Than Events 151
77. Even the Dependent Need Some Independence 153
78. Another View Is a Strength, Not a Weakness 155
79. Distress Is Contagious 157
80. Family Affects All Aspects of Our Lives 159
81. Generations to Come Make Us Feel Young Again 161
82. Everybody Must Contribute to the Work of Family Life 163
83. Be Real 165
84. The Young and Old Want the Same Thing 167
85. It Will Be a Family of the World 169
86. The Most Important Inheritance Is Love 171
87. Disagree with Each Other, Not Against Each Other 173
88. Don't Do Everything Together 175
89. Beware of Television Extremes 177
90. See the Big Picture 179
91. Give Yourself--Nothing Else Really Matters 181
92. It's Somewhere Between Easy and Impossible 183
93. Everything Is Relative 185
94. Make What's Real into What's Ideal 187
95. It's Always a Choice 189
96. Everyone Is Equal but Different 191
97. Continue 193
98. We Seek Warmth 195
99. Can You Do It? Ask Yourself 197
100. You Make Your Family 199
Sources 201
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First Chapter

100 Simple Secrets of Happy Families
What Scientists Have Learned and How You Can Use It One Be a Good Friend

Looked at from a distance, a family is infinitely complex. But looked at from the most basic level, a family is a series of personal relationships, and those relationships are like any other close, important relationship in your life. Treat your family members as you would treat a friend -- as if you have chosen to be in their company and wish them to choose to be in yours -- and you will have taken the most important, most fundamental step toward having a rewarding family life.

Looking back fifteen years ago, Briana remembers what it was like to not quite fit in. "I was brainy, and I didn't get in trouble," Briana says of her early teen years. "There were a lot of kids around me who didn't understand that, didn't respect that. I refused to do the things that might gain me more acceptance, but I was crushed by the feeling of being left out."

But Briana's mother was there to offer comfort and support. "I thought I would never survive those years, but my mother wisely made our home a sanctuary where I could talk about my troubles. She always listened carefully, no matter how trivial or monumental my worries. Her faith in me helped me gain confidence in my abilities today. I walk to my own beat with pride because of her."

Briana says what her mother offered mostly was friendship. "She's the ultimate friend. She's there for me. She's on my side. She let me be me, and embraced me for it."

While making other friends was easier after her middleschool trials, Briana never forgot the lesson in friendship from her mother. "Mymom has made the world a better place for many people. I only hope to do the same in time."

Researchers studying those who enjoyed close family relationships and close friendships find that the key factors to both are the same, including a strong desire to be in the company of others and to value them. Moreover, they find that people can increase their receptivity to close relationships if they want to.

Pike and Atzaba-Poria 2003

100 Simple Secrets of Happy Families
What Scientists Have Learned and How You Can Use It
. Copyright © by David Niven. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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