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Bruce Feiler Shares 'Secrets of A Happy Family'

Best-selling author Bruce Feiler shares tips from his latest book, 'The Secrets of Happy Families.' Read Transcript


TERRY: OUR NEXT GUEST SAYS

LOVE IS IN THE EYES.

IF YOU ROLL YOURS AT YOUR

SPOUSE, YOU ARE ASKING FOR

TROUBLE.

KNOWING HOW TO FIGHT SMART IS

ONE OF MANY SECRETS OF HAPPY

FAMILIES HERE IS MORE.

REPORTER: SOMETIMES WE TAKE

EACH OTHER FOR GRANTED, IN FACT

THAT IS ONE OF THE MAIN

CONTRIBUTORS TO THE BREAK DOWN

OF MARRIAGES AND FAMILIES.

STRESS OF WORK, TAKING CARE OF

HOUSE HOLDS AND JUGGLING KID'S

ACTIVITIES STEALS PRECIOUS TIME

FROM THE ONES WE LOVE.

"NEW YORK TIMES" AUTHOR BRUCE

FEILER TRIED AN EXPERIMENT TO

GET CLOSER TO WIFE AND TWIN

DAUGHTERS.

NOW MARRIAGE AND FAMILY ARE

STRONGER THAN EVER.

TERRY: PLEASE WELCOME BACK

TO "THE 700 CLUB" SEF BRUCE

FEILER.

HONORED TO BE HERE.

TERRY: YOU TOOK UNIQUE

APPROACHES IN STRENGTHENING YOUR

FAMILY, YOU HAVE A WIFE AND TWO

BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTERS.

YOU WANTED TO MAKE KEEPS

FAMILIES TOGETHER.

TELL US ABOUT THE EXPERIMENT.

WE WANTED TO TRY NEW IDEAS.

I WOULD SAY OUR EXPERIMENT TWO

BIG BLOCKS.

WE NEEDED TO ADAPT, TO CONTROL

ALL THE CHANGE THAT WAS GOING ON

AROUND US.

WE STARTED A WEEKLY FAMILY

MEETING, TAKES 15 MINUTES ON

SUNDAY EVENINGS.

WHAT IS WORKING?

WHAT WILL WE WORK ON IN A WEEK

AHEAD.

CREATED A SAFE ZONE.

WE WOULD TALK ABOUT OUR FAMILY.

YOU NEED TO CHANGE, YOU ALSO

NEED BEDROCK.

WE MADE A FAMILY MISSION

STATEMENT.

WHEN I FIRST HEARD IT SOUNDED

COLD.

IT WAS AN INCREDIBLE THING.

CAN YOUR CHILDREN REALLY SAY

WHAT VALUES ARE MOST IMPORTANT

TO YOU?

WE HAD A PAJAMA PARTY.

WHAT MATTERS MOST TO US.

WE MADE A LIST.

FAITH, SERVICE, TRAVEL, JOY,

BAKING, COOKING, DOESN'T MATTER.

IT WAS DEFINING WHAT IS OUR BEST

POSSIBLE SELVES AND ACHIEVE WHAT

IS OUR BEST POSSIBLE SELVES.

TERRY: IT WASN'T JUST YOU

AND YOUR WIFE MAKING THE

DECISIONS, THEY WERE A PART OF

THE PROCESS.

THAT MADE A DIFFERENCE, DIDN'T

IT?

WE HAVE FOUND INCLUDING OUR

CHILDREN IN THE PROCESS EMPOWERS

THEM MORE AND HELPS THEM TO BE

MORE MOTIVATED.

LATEST RESEARCH SHOWS IF KIDS

SET THEIR OWN GOALS, IT IS

BUILDING UP THEIR BRAINS.

YOU CAN'T GET YOUR KIDS TO 16

AND SAY GO FORTH.

YOU HAVE TO GIVE THEM PRACTICE

WITH THE SKILLS.

TERRY: IT SEEMS LIKE A

PRACTICAL THING, BRUCE.

I THINK ABOUT THIS BOOK, WE

ARE IN THIS STRAIGHT JACKET,

ONLY THINGS WE CAN IMPLEMENT

COME FROM EXPERTS.

THERE ARE ALL THESE IDEAS OF

MAKING TEAMS WORK.

200 NEW IDEAS ON TO THE TABLE.

IT IS NOT FIVE OR SIX OR SEVEN.

WHAT WORKS WITH YOUR FAMILY

MIGHT BE DIFFERENT FROM HER

FAMILY OR MY FAMILY.

IF YOU TAKE THREE IDEAS FROM

THIS BOOK, YOU CAN HAVE A

HAPPIER FAMILY IN A WEEK

TERRY: YOU LOOKED TO

CORPORATION AND ORGANIZATIONS

AND WHAT MAKES, THAT MADE SO

MUCH SENSE AS I WAS READING IT.

THIS IS A GREAT IDEA.

ONE OF THE THINGS THAT IS A

PROBLEM IN FAMILIES IS

COMMUNICATION AND KEEPING THOSE

DOORS OPEN.

YOU TALK ABOUT FIGHTING SMART.

MY WIFE AND I WOULD HAVE THIS

FIGHT EVERY NIGHT.

WHO IS PICKING UP DRY CLEANING

AND MILK.

IT WAS GETTING US DOWN.

I WENT TO TALK TO PEOPLE THAT

MAKE PEACE AROUND THE WORLD.

WE DON'T FIGHT BETWEEN

6:00-8:00, RESEARCH SHOWS THAT

IS THE HIGHEST STRESS TIME.

I WAS SITTING HIGH AT MY DESK,

SHE WAS LOWER, ARMS CROSSED.

I WAS IN THE POWER POSITION.

IF YOU SIT ACROSS FROM SOMEONE

YOU WILL BE MORE

CONFRONTATIONAL, SIDE BY SIDE

MORE COLLABORATIVE.

WE SIT SIDE BY SIDE.

REDUCES THE STRESS.

LET'S BRING THEM INTO FAMILIES.

TERRY: YOU MENTIONED

CUSHIONED SERVICE, THE WAY YOU

POSITION FURNITURE.

IF YOU ARE SITTING AT A RIGID

SERVICE, YOU ARE MORE RIGID.

CUSHIONED SERVICE MORE

CUSHIONED.

WE WENT THROUGH MY DAUGHTER'S

REPORT CARD, SAT ON A WINDOW

SEAT OUR GIRLS ON OUR SEAT.

WE ARE ON YOUR SIDE, YOU HAVE

THINGS TO WORK ON.

THERE IS ALL THIS KNOW HOW OUT

THERE.

HERE IS THE NO. 1 THING WE KNOW.

ALL FAMILIES HAVE CONFLICT.

IF YOU CAN LIMIT AND CONTROL

THAT CONFLICT, YOU CAN RECOVER.

WHAT YOU WANT TO DO, SPEND LESS

TIME WORRYING ABOUT THE BAD

TIMES, MORE TIME BUILDING UP THE

GOOD TIMES.

IF YOU FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE

MEMORIES, THEY WILL OUTWEIGH THE

BIG ONES.

TERRY: MARRIAGE ENHANCERS,

DATE NIGHT AND FAMILY DINNERS.

YOU SAY THOSE AREN'T AS

WONDERFUL OR QUITE THE SOLUTION.

ON THE DATE NIGHT, IMPROVING

MARRIAGE, IF YOU GO TO DINNER

AND A MOVIE, IT WON'T HAVE THAT

MUCH IMPACT.

GET LOST, COOK A NEW RECIPE,

TAKE A CLASS.

SOMETHING LIKE WHEN YOU WERE

FIRST MEETING, IT WILL REKINDLE

THAT MEETING.

AS FOR DINNER, IT IS GOOD FOR

OUR LIVES.

MY WIFE WORKS LATE OR SPORTING

PRACTICE.

TERRY: PEOPLE FIGHTING AT

THE DINNER

TABLE.

ONLY 10 MINUTES OF

CONVERSATION IN ANY MEAL.

REST TAKEN UP WITH TAKE YOUR

ELBOWS OFF THE TABLE.

YOU CAN MOVE THAT TO BREAKFAST,

OR SNACK.

WE TESTED TALKING GAMES TO FIND

THE ONES MOST RESTORE TIF.

FAVORITE PEACE OF ADVICE IF YOU

TALK TO KIDS ABOUT THEIR FAMILY

HISTORY WHERE THEIR GRANDPARENTS

WERE BORN OR AN ILLNESS THEY

OVERCAME, THOSE KIDS THAT KNOW

MORE ABOUT THEIR HISTORY.

NO. 1 PREDICT TO OF A CHILD'S

WELL BEING.

THEY UNDERSTAND THEIR LONG

NARRATIVE.

UPS AND DOWNS, KIDS THAT

UNDERSTAND THEIR RELATIVES HAVE

HAD GOOD TIMES AND BAD GIVES

THEM THE CONFIDENCE TO PUSH

THROUGH AND MAKE THEIR OWN LIVES

HAPPIER.

TERRY: DEFINES THIS IS WHO

WE ARE.

IT IS A WONDERFUL BOOK.

I REALLY ENJOYED IT.

BRUCE HAS OVER 200 IDEAS.

TOUGH FIND ONE THAT WORKS.

TO HELP BRING YOUR FAMILY CLOSER

TOGETHER, IT IS CALLED "THE

SECRETS OF HAPPY FAMILIES."

AVAILABLE WHERE BOOKS ARE SOLD.

NO. 5 ON THE BEST SELLER.

IN DEED.

EMBED THIS VIDEO


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