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Building Better Families: A Practical Guide to Raising Amazing Children [Hardcover]

Matthew Kelly

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Book Description

26 Feb 2008
For more than a decade, Matthew Kelly has been traveling the world inspiring people to become the-best-version-of-themselves. During this time he has been amazed at how regularly he is asked: How do I encourage my children to embrace this message? How does your message apply to a family? Now, for the first time, Kelly shares with us remarkable insights and sensible everyday strategies for transforming the family into what it should be: a place where each of us can become the-best-version-of-ourselves.

Beginning with an exploration of the changing face of the family in our culture, Kelly sets every reader at ease by explaining: “A family is not what we think a family should be, or what we hope to have, or should have, or what would be ideal–a family is what we actually have. A family is the one we’ve got.” Nor can a family ever be perfect, he goes on to explain. “Perfect families exist only in our minds, and it is these imaginings that are very often the enemy of our ability to enjoy the wonderful family we already have, or might have if we made it just that little bit more of a priority.”

In Building Better Families, Kelly explores important issues by raising evocative questions: What makes a successful parent? Do you realize that your children are in the middle of a cultural war? What are the five things children really need? Are you asking your children the right questions? What are you teaching your children about work, money, food, exercise, body image, and sex? What are the priorities of your family culture?

Every page of this book is filled with examples that can be applied to your daily experience of parenting and family, while at the same time illuminating the broader and deeper significance of family for society and the future of humanity. “The family is at once a deeply personal experience and the cornerstone of all great societies,” Matthew Kelly tells us. Allow this book of classic wisdom and practical insight to help you build a better family.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.9 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Have kids? You NEED this book! 17 Jun 2008
By Armchair Interviews - Published on
Matthew Kelly has taken a complex, difficult subject and made it simple. Not easy, but simple. He engages the reader in a series of conversations that run parallel to developing as an adult-and what we want for our children (or grandchildren).

Oftentimes his advice is a blinding flash of the obvious-but more often than not is something we know at some level-but are not acting on. For example he explores the four needs that every child has-and clearly differentiates between what we all can clearly recognize as a need-and something that is simply a want. I'd be more specific, but frankly, I want you to be curious and buy this book-it's that good.

He also clearly spells out the four things a child really needs from a parent, and then peppers the chapter with specific how-to's. One of the most poignant stories in the book is that of a five-year-old child asking his father how much he earned. The father got upset with this line of questioning, but eventually told his son "twenty dollars." Armed with that information his son asked if he could have ten dollars. This infuriated the father who proceeded to educate (or rather berate) his son in a very loud voice. He then sent him to bed. After a bit the father realized how harsh he had been and went to the son's room, apologized and asked forgiveness. He then gave his son the ten dollars that he had requested. With that the small boy pulled some crumpled bills out from under his pillow. This immediately caused the father to be upset again-until the boy said, "I was ten dollars short, but now I have enough. Can I buy an hour of your time?"

What a humbling experience. And this is the type of compelling story Kelly tells over and over again to make his key points come to life. This book is for anyone who truly wants to be a better parent or grandparent, and who is looking for answers to questions like:

* When should a child really have a cell phone?
* What types of video games are appropriate?
* How can I help my child deal with peer pressure?
* How can I have conversations that will help my child develop the values that will help them truly be their highest and best selves?
* How can I become the role model that I want to be as a parent (or a grandparent)?

Not only will the answers make sense. You will find practical strategies that can be readily implemented.

Armchair Interviews says: Run, don't walk to your bookstore and get this book.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Version of Myself 7 Mar 2008
By catholic carrie - Published on
Matthew Kelly is a motivating, dynamic and incredible messenger of truth for all. I would recommend Building Better Families to all members of the human family not just to the people who are raising children at the moment. He emphasizes filtering all your choices for yourself (or for those you are entrusted with caring for) through the question of "Will this help me to become the best version of myself?" That question brings clarity and reason back to the big decisions and the smaller choices in life.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for anyone who wish to build a wonderful family 23 May 2009
By L. Shunxing - Published on
Format:Audio CD
After reading it, I started to practise & I can see positive result within my family and most important is within myself. A must read for all who wish to have a wonderful relationship & family.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mighty powerful read/listen to! 27 Jun 2008
By Anne Elizabeth - Published on
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This product is for any parent out there interested in raising children successfully in this very scary and backwards world! By success, I mean "children that are happy, healthy, and know who they are both as persons and as memebers of their family". Besides being a great buy, it's also a GREAT GIFT! That came from the family that I purchased this CD set for. =-) If you ever get a chance to hear the speaker in person, I highly recommend it!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wish I could start over parenting 13 May 2008
By P. Guilford - Published on
Format:Audio CD
This is excellent advice to raising amazing children. I only wish my children weren't grown. I will be utilizing the information on my grandchildren. Don't wait another minute. Order this CD set today.
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