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Publisher's Summary

An encouraging guide to helping parents find more happiness in their day-to-day family life, from the former lead editor of the New York Times' Motherlode blog.

In all the writing and reporting KJ Dell'Antonia has done on families over the years, one topic keeps coming up again and again: parents crave a greater sense of happiness in their daily lives. In this optimistic, solution-packed book, KJ asks: How can we change our family life so that it is full of the joy we'd always hoped for? 

Drawing from the latest research and interviews with families, KJ discovers that it's possible to do more by doing less, and make our family life a refuge and pleasure, rather than another stress point in a hectic day. She focuses on nine common problem spots that cause parents the most grief, explores why they are hard, and offers small, doable, sometimes surprising steps you can take to make them better. 

Whether it's getting everyone out the door on time in the morning or making sure chores and homework get done without another battle, How to Be a Happier Parent shows that having a family isn't just about raising great kids and churning them out at destination: success. It's about experiencing joy - real joy, the kind you look back on, look forward to, and live for - along the way.

©2018 KJ Dell'Antonia (P)2018 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"KJ Dell'Antonia has been at the center of the conversation about modern parenting for over a decade. During that time, she's become an astute, experienced, sympathetic, and knowledgeable companion and provocateur. Also, a great writer. All of those qualities are on display here. How to Be a Happier Parent is sure to help many harried moms and dads find more joy in the everyday chaos of their lives." (Bruce Feiler, author of the New York Times best seller The Secrets of Happy Families)

“Finally! A parenting book not about fine-tuning your child for some distant (and questionable) marker of success, but a book that focuses on the real task of parenting - creating a safe, warm, loving, and yes, happy family.” (Madeline Levine, PhD, author of the New York Times best sellers The Price of Privilege and Teach Your Children Well

“An ideal blend of humble confessions, blunt reckonings, and relatable humor, offered with zero judgment and plenty of empathy. As this wise expert comes to feel like a close friend, we trust that we, too, can be far happier than we’d realized.” (Julie Lythcott-Haims, author of the New York Times best seller How to Raise an Adult

What listeners say about How to Be a Happier Parent

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Awesome! A must read!

Thoroughly enjoyed the whole book and I can really relate to every chapter! I encourage all parents to read/listen to it. You won't be disappointed.

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  • Jennie O'Brien
  • 23-04-2020

not useful for homeschooling families

This book feels like it's geared toward families with two parents who work full time, and kids who go to public school. I don't face 90% of the struggles she mentions because we homeschool and I work part time from home (while my husband works full time outside the home). Chores have always been part of our daily life together. There is no activity or homework over load. Our morning routine is whatever we decide it to be. I was hoping for something different from this book. Instead it left me feeling like a lot of time wasted to hear what most Facebook articles post about parenting tips (morning routines, bedtime routines, have your kids do chores, limit activities and screen time, etc.)

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  • Sarah
  • 09-01-2019

Will listen once a year until daughter is 18 :)

Thoroughly enjoyed content of this book. I'll have it on repeat once a year !

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  • Jessica H.
  • 23-10-2018

great read

love all the tips and tricks to help me be a better mom. I will definitely listen to this again as a reminder.

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  • Neily
  • 15-09-2018

I'm not even a parent and I loved it!

I've known of this book because for months I've listened to KJ's podcast #amwriting. Even though my 'kids' have fur, many of my clients are moms or grandmoms and thought it would be relevant.

It's a must read/listen for anyone curious how to raise a family well (and happier). As a certified health coach and registered dietitian nutritionist, I was especially interested in the section on eating well, as a family, good nutrition, etc. I had to wait till near the end for "Food, Fun, and Family Time" but whew, KJ...you nailed it!

Well done!

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  • kellianne cadigan
  • 04-08-2020

Mom life

My 12th parenting book and the third one I will recommend and review. Great listen start to finish. I will definitely be getting the paperback copy so that I can highlight and mark my favorite parts! I found it calming, realistic and very helpful.

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  • Cliente de Kindle
  • 26-04-2020

good job!

I took a lot of suggestions. I learned also I am not such a bad mother . thanks.

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  • Jennifer Sheffler
  • 28-03-2019

Good advice, but pretty common sense

I really wanted to love this book. I liked the anecdotal stories, and it did give some parenting tips that I know I will begin to use now and as my kids get older. But a lot of it was pretty common sense at least to me. I've never met any parent or adult who hasn't heard or tried any of the tips mentioned. But the overall message is a good one, to find joy in the every day things. Take the minor set back things less serious.

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  • "mcnamarc"
  • 24-08-2018

Happier Parenting

Like a chat over coffee with that mom from baseball practice who always seems to have it all together - but in an approachable rather than off putting way. I love the author’s podcast, #AmWriting With Jess and KJ, so I knew I wanted to listen to rather than read her book. Did not disappoint!

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  • Jessica
  • 20-08-2021

A good read

This book is full of good advice and opinion that can be useful in everyday lives. It may give another perspective on the way you parent or may reaffirm what you already do. I felt proud of myself when I would hear that other Moms do some of the things that I do. It made me feel like I'm not alone. While dual income parents may find this helpful, I don't believe this is specifically written for the working parent as other reviews have mentioned. Stay at home parents may find this book useful as well.

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  • Brie Tucker
  • 29-10-2020

So entertaining and practical!

KJ did a great job taking an often dry topic (parenting) and made it so funny and entertaining! Several times I was laughing out loud while listening to her researched and practical parenting advice! Loved it and am getting this book as gifts for my fellow parenting friends!!!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 14-11-2018

Useful

I listened to this while feeding my
Baby overnight. It gave lots of useful pointers about how to start as you mean to go on.

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