Wednesday, July 15, 2015

More than Happy: The Wisdom of Amish Parenting

Title: More than Happy: The Wisdom of Amish Parenting
Author: Serena B. Miller with Paul Stutzman
Publisher: Howard House
February 2015
ISBN:  978-1476753409
Genre: Nonfiction/Amish/Family and relationships

In the tradition of Bringing Up Bebe and Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, an in-depth look at the practices and principles of Amish parents and how they raise children who are self-sufficient, hard-working, and remarkably happy.

The more time Serena Miller spent in Holmes County, Ohio, doing research for her popular Amish novels, the more she began to notice something—Amish children were the happiest children she’d ever seen. Despite not having modern toys and conveniences, they are joyful, serene, calm, and respectful—not to mention whipping up full meals and driving buggies before most of us will allow our children to walk to school alone. And yet, when she started asking questions about what these parents were doing differently, she was startled to learn that happiness is not a goal Amish strive for at all.

In More Than Happy Miller uncovers many surprising insights, including the significance of real responsibilities, the wisdom of unplugging from technology, the value of unstructured time to play, the importance of firm rules, and the importance of each teenager’s freedom to decide what is best for their future.

Full of practical takeaways, More Than Happy shows you how to apply the basic principles and parenting techniques the Amish use, so you can raise happy, well-adjusted kids.

MORE THAN HAPPY is probably the first parenting book I read in it’s entirety as I would a fiction book. Usually I pick them up and put them down, for weeks and weeks. This one was read over a course of two or three days.  Ms. Miller writes in a friendly, communicative style that pulls the reader in, as if we’re sitting at the table sharing coffee. It was especially interesting reading how scenes were made from her movie Love Finds You in Sugar Creek, Ohio, which we’d just finished watching.

My grandmother left the Amish, and a lot of this I knew. Grandma settled in a German community in Michigan with her husband after they left, and they formed their own, new community that wasn’t Amish. Grandma attended a United Brethren church after she was saved. My grandfather was saved on his death-bed. But a lot of values mentioned in this book were ones I was raised with. The ones I tried to raise my children with.

If you are fascinated with the Amish, or need help parenting your children, then you want to read this book.  Highly recommended. My copy is going on my keeper shelf for my children to read as they start to have families. Perfect for church libraries and family libraries.

5 stars. Available in ebook and hardcover. 336 pages.

I obtained this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. 

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