We discovered this book after being introduced to Stephen Covey's work through business (7 Habits of Highly Successful People.) We were delighted that he and his wife have applied these principles to family life, and we set to work on applying what we learned to our family. For example, we have made a concerted effort at changing the way we listen to each other in our family. Now we truly have adopted the culture of listening first to understand, and what a gift that has been to our relationships. Time after time, we catch ourselves from going down the old useless and hurtful path of arguing/debating/proving who's experience is right, and instead stop and listen with empathy to understand. We also recommend the picture book If I Ran The Family, for sharing these insights with kids.
In reading this book I have been introduced to the most common sense and easily applied principles I have ever read. This is a must read for anyone who strives to create a loving, fun, understanding family environment. The author puts his principles into easy to understand and apply ideas, such as the emotional bank account, creating a family mission statement and talks about the importance of family communication, togetherness along with one on one time. If your family is truly 1st in your life, read this book and begin making it first for everyone in your house. One of the best things about the book is his consistant use of personal stories from his family and other readers which bring it all into focus and provide ways in which you can envision the ideas working in your own family.
In introducing "7 Habits for Highly Effective Families," Covey writes that societal forces have changed, and that we can no longer rely on a family-friendly society to help us with our families. That approach, which he termed the "outside-in" approach was useful in the middle of the 20th century. But at the turn of the century, when societal forces are combining to undermine the family, Covey argues that we need an "inside-out" approach, where we take greater care as parents to create a family culture that encourages goodness, morality and love. With that premise in mind, Covey applies the 7 Habits to family life. I'm not familiar with the 7 Habits as they are applied to individuals, but as I've tried to apply them in my family I've been impressed by the results. As a husband and father, I feel as if I now have a set of tools to build and strengthen my family, and an understanding of how to use them.
In introducing "7 Habits for Highly Effective families," Covey writes that societal forces have changed, and that we can no longer rely on a family-friendly society to help us with our families. That approach, which he termed the "outside-in" approach was useful in the middle of the 20th century. But at the turn of the century, when societal forces are combining to undermine the family, Covey argues that we need an "inside-out" approach, where we take greater care as parents to create a family culture that encourages goodness, morality and love. With that premise in mind, Covey applies the 7 Habits to family life. I'm not familiar with the 7 Habits as they are applied to individuals, but as I've tried to apply them in my family I've been impressed by the results. As a husband and father, I feel as if I now have a set of tools to build and strengthen my family, and an understanding of how to use them.
Being a single parent, I felt we COULD NOT have it all. A happy, safe, loving home AND meet all other committments? It was a constant struggle. With family as the MAIN priority, other decisions are not difficult because we ALL decide what is important. Truly a gift of love.
Do yourself and your family a favor and order this book and/or the tapes/cd. It will be one of the best investments you can make for yourself and your loved ones. The entire family should read and absorb it's concepts and principles for a happier, healthier, family life.
Steven Covey defines an effective family as one with a family culture and gives us the 7 steps (or habits) to develop that culture. He uses many ideas from business to apply to the family organization: Develop a family mission statement; Have family meetings; Have one-on-ones; and commit to "we," much as committing to the team. The seven habits do work for the family as well as for the individual and Dr. Covey addresses how to get everyone to on board. I am reminded of some of the solutions to the "stalls" described in the Mitchell, Coles and Metz book, "The 2,000 Percent Solution". Family traditions may no longer fit, just as The Tradition Stall in business (we have always done it this way) may be holding back progress. The Communications Stall in families (where sometimes there is no communication) is similar to the business problem of not having the message heard or understood even if the sender thinks it is clear. The Unattractiveness Stall in families (how can she wear those clothes or how can he wear his hair like that) is not unlike avoiding to work on reducing the waste because it smells bad. Both books offer processes to reach great solutions. This "& Habits leads the way to happy effective families. The 2,000 Percent Solution leads the way to progress at 20 times the normal rate (20 times a 100% solutions is a 2,000 percent solution) When you read both books, expect a real improvement in your personal, family and business lives.
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I love this book because every idea resonates with what I really want for my family! The true-to-life examples are what helped me the most. I highly reccommend this book to everyone who cares about their family.
This book presents a series of concepts that allow people to understand how to create a family environment most conducive for growth, understanding, and strong relationships. These concepts are illustrated with many anecdotes and first person accounts. The concepts presented are excellent. They are easy to understand and give everyone a common vocabulary for communicating their needs and desires. I can not think of a better book for anyone looking to build a stronger family.
CON: I will mention a quibble I have with the book. It is not serious and is easily overcome. There is a strong nostalgia myth throughout. Along the lines of "Forty years ago society supported families, but now it erodes them." Forty years ago many people lived in smaller communities. This did in fact help support families. But in reality, forty years ago parents were just as threatened by changes in society and their children's behavior as they are today. As a matter of fact, gender roles and expectations may have been more deterimental to strong families than many issues we face today. This problem is easily overcome for me by understanding that the basic idea behind the presentation of this mythology is that one must help children understand society, and that one must make commitments to the family that may meet with resistance in one's everyday life. I am sure the this problem will be overcome for most folks by readily accepting the nostalgia myth.
This book is proving to be a saviour in my situation. An American trying to join into a Brazilian family, with two children (girl 6 & boy 11)that don't speak English and me not speaking Portuguese. This book is avaiable in Portuguese and gives the mother and I a way to agree about things across cultural differences and to communicate to the children what we are trying to create in our lives as a family while including the children. The information is powerful and inspiring all you have to do is "DO IT" Read the book through and then go back and start doing. I am sure it will make an amazing difference in your life if you are not lazy and and want a better family life. His other books are great too. I have several on tape and frequently power up my brain by listening while driving or flying.