100 Simple Secrets of Happy Families: What Scientists Have Learned and How You Can Use It

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Harper Collins, Apr 13, 2004 - Family & Relationships - 224 pages
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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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Contents

The Next Generation Will Define Family for Itself
103
Share Your Struggles
105
Beware of Clothing Disasters
107
Competition Breeds Loss
109
Do One Thing at a Time
111
You Will See the Same Things Differently
113
Strictness Can Last a Lifetime
115
The InLaws Are Not the Enemy
117

Dedication Matters More than Occupation
17
Its OK to Be Right When Everyone Else Is Wrong
19
Let Your Goals Live with You
21
Tell Your Family Story
23
Dont Hide from Your Family
25
You Define a Child Every Day
27
Listen Without Judgment
29
Closeness Cannot Be Measured on a Map
31
Live Your Views
33
Parents Are Foundations Not Walls
35
Make Should and Want the Same Thing
37
Adjustments Never End
39
Express Your Love
41
The Bright Side Shines Through
43
Forgiveness Depends on More Than the Apology
45
Fatigue Is a Family Enemy
47
Jealousy Is Automatic
49
Encourage Persistence Not Desperation
51
Its Better to Be Fair Than Right
53
Every Number Has Challenges
55
Think of Your Family When You Dont Have To
57
Dont Let Negativity Build
59
Recognize Pleasant Stress
61
Theres No Price Tag on Family Life
63
Calm Questions Get Answers
65
Family Life Teaches Us About Relationships
67
What You See Isnt Always There
69
Dont Enter a Generational Competition
71
Expectations Must Fit the Person
73
Dont Obsess over Birth Order
75
Show Up on Time
77
Communication Brings Us Closer
79
Every Person Is in a Different Relationship
81
Satisfaction Depends on Where You Look
83
Its Not a Popularity Contest
85
Cherish Traditions
87
Work on Your Own Terms
89
Encourage but Dont Require Activities
91
Caregiving Is Personal
93
You Cant Be the Family Gatekeeper
95
It Doesnt Matter Who Earns the Money
97
All Talk Is Not Equal
99
What You Send Out Comes Back to You
101
Share the Housework
119
Write Down Your Thoughts
121
Pets Are Family Too
123
Take Comfort from Routines
125
Tempers Must Be Controlled
127
Illness Can Have Multiple Victims
129
Not Every Piece Will Fit
131
Use Food Positively
133
SelfDoubt Magnifies Family Problems
135
Children Need More Than Parents
137
Rigidity Isolates
139
The More You Give the More You Will Believe in Yourself
141
Dont Stay Together at All Costs
143
Too Much Protection Is a Threat
145
Experience Helps but Shouldnt Dictate
147
Low Expectations Are Not a Family Solution
149
Emotions Last Longer Than Events
151
Even the Dependent Need Some Independence
153
Another View Is a Strength Not a Weakness
155
Distress Is Contagious
157
Family Affects All Aspects of Our Lives
159
Generations to Come Make Us Feel Young Again
161
Everybody Must Contribute to the Work of Family Life
163
Be Real
165
The Young and Old Want the Same Thing
167
It Will Be a Family of the World
169
The Most Important Inheritance Is Love
171
Disagree with Each Other Not Against Each Other
173
Dont Do Everything Together
175
Beware of Television Extremes
177
See the Big Picture
179
Give YourselfNothing Else Really Matters
181
Its Somewhere Between Easy and Impossible
183
Everything Is Relative
185
Make Whats Real into Whats Ideal
187
Its Always a Choice
189
Everyone Is Equal but Different
191
Continue
193
We Seek Warmth
195
Can You Do It? Ask Yourself
197
You Make Your Family
199
Sources
201
Copyright

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Popular passages

Page 204 - Adolescent Gender Differences in Social Support: Structure, Function and Provider Type." Social Work Research 25: 233-241. Compan, E., J. Moreno, MT Ruiz, and E. Pascual. 2002. "Doing Things Together: Adolescent Health and Family Rituals." Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health 56: 89-94. Cosbey, S. 2001. "Clothing Interest, Clothing Satisfaction and Self-Perceptions of Sociability, Emotional Stability and Dominance.
Page 209 - Raymond, M. (2002). Mother-to-daughter disclosure after divorce: Are there costs and benefits?
Page 83 - I got the same attention from him that would in those days have been given to a boy. I was completely aware that it was unusual. And that made all the difference to me.
Page 89 - Consistent family rituals encourage the social development of children and increase feelings of family cohesiveness by more than 17 percent. What they heard were stories from young and old that centered on their families.
Page 82 - Closeness with her father was "the single biggest thing that contributed to me getting to do what I wanted to do. Because he believed in me, I believed in me.
Page 202 - Dispositional Optimism, Role-Specific Stress, and the Well-Being of Adult Daughter Caregivers.

About the author (2004)

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

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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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