The Secrets of Happy Families: Eight Keys to Building a Lifetime of Connection and Contentment
June 2009, Jossey-Bass
Research proves that happy families are good for health, longevity, peace of mind, productivity, and success. In The Secrets of Happy Families, Scott Haltzman offers an original approach to building family contentment that works for families of all ethnicities and make-ups–two-parent, single-parent, blended, childless, or same-sex couple. He provides a "positive psychology" way of solving family problems through strategy and leadership, including knowing and accepting who you are, taking a leadership role in loving and united relationships, building a network of support in extended families and communities, and making quality time for fun, adventures, holidays, and rituals.
Chapter 1 What Is a Family? 7
Chapter 2 What Is Happiness? 19
Secret 1 Happy Families . . . Stick Together 28
Secret 2 Happy Families . . . Commit and Communicate 57
Secret 3 Happy Families . . . Lean 80
Secret 4 Happy Families . . . Teach to and Learn from Children 100
Secret 5 Happy Families . . . Blend 131
Secret 6 Happy Families . . . Handle Conflict 155
Secret 7 Happy Families . . . Bounce 183
Secret 8 Happy Families . . . Breathe 206
Epilogue: Happy Families . . . Evolve 227
Appendix: Aggregate Results of the Happy Family Survey 231
About the Authors 251
Dr. Scott Haltzman is clinical assistant professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Alpert Medical School of Brown University and editor of DrScott.com. He is the coauthor of the best-selling books The Secrets of Happily Married Men and The Secrets of Happily Married Women.
Theresa Foy DiGeronimo is the author of more than fifty books in the fields of medicine, education, and parenting.
Resiliency; the ability to bounce back, with love and humor intact, whether from internal conflicts between family members or external stress from finances, jobs, schools, and illnesses. According to Dr. Scott Haltman’s survey of over 1,000 people on DrScott.com, the number one indicator of a successful family is the ability to stick together through turbulent times. This breaking news is just one of many surprising new findings that can offer tangible hope to families not only in crisis, but also to those looking to strengthen their bond during this period of uncertainty.
THE SECRETS OF HAPPY FAMILIES: Eight Keys to Building a Lifetime of Connection and Contentment (Jossey-Bass, a Wiley imprint; July 2009; $24.95 / Cloth; ISBN: 978-0-470-37710-9), by Scott Haltzman, M.D with Theresa Foy DiGeronimo, lays out the steps families of all kinds – whether two-parent, single-parent, blended, childless, or same-sexed – can take in order to fortify their foundations and cultivate their relationships.
Drawing on his clinical practice, scholarly research, and heartfelt survey responses, Dr. Haltzman breaks down the basic ingredients for creating happy families, no matter their sexual, cultural, or ethnic identification. The keys to building a lifetime of connection and contentment include such practical directives as know who you are, establish values, set goals, and be consistent. But because most families that survive struggles do so without the help of a therapists or counselors, Haltzman gives readers innovative new tools, such as the Family Value Matrix or the Resiliency Toolkit, to put these basic principles into practice on their own.
Haltzman uncovered many surprising facts throughout his research, including the specific challenges blended families can face and the conflict resolution skills gay and lesbian couples can teach everyone. Ultimately, Haltzman uncovered how many families are truly happy and set out to help them all find the fulfillment they were after.
The nature of families is changing. And now, so too must the advice for how to have a successful one. For those who loved the first two books in the series, The Secrets of Happily Married Men and The Secrets of Happily Married Women, THE SECRETS OF HAPPY FAMILIES will be another warm, humorous, and valuable road map toward happiness.