If you could give a family that feels disconnected one piece of advice what would you suggest to them?
Read my book! No, seriously, the first thing I would say is relax. You’re not alone. I’ve interviewed countless families, and we’re all frustrated to one degree or another. As Bill Ury, the author of “Getting to Yes,” told me, “No one knows the new rules! There’s a lot more fluidity, agility, and reinvention going on.” He was giving me some great tips about cutting down on fighting (my wife and I even changed when and where you do it!), but he said we should realize that all parents are pioneers these days.
At the end of three years of research, I found that happy families have three thing in common. They adapt all the time. They talk. A lot. They go out and play. And they do one more thing: They make the decision to keep working on their family. In the end, this may be the most enduring lesson of all. What’s the secret to a happy family? Try.