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Book Review: KJ Dell’Antonia’s How to Be a Happier Parent

KJ Dell’Antonia’s book has just one goal: to help you be as happy as you can be while doing the hardest job in the world—being a parent. Dell’Antonia is the former editor of the New York Times Motherlode blog. Fans of her many parenting articles will find a lot to love here in her newest book, How To Be A Happier Parent: Raising a Family, Having a Life, and Loving (Almost) Every Minute.

How To Be A Happier Parent

With humor and wisdom, Dell’Antonia gets to the heart of nine common subjects that can make family life less happy. These include things like homework, chores, screen time, and sibling friction, among others. From getting the kids up and out of the house for school in the morning to managing family holidays and vacations, How to Be a Happier Parent offers today’s parents practical, actionable advice based on many years of research, interviews, and personal experience.

Dell’Antonia’s writing style is friendly, funny, and always understanding. She’s not going to judge how your family does things—she’s simply offering a less stressful alternative that might bring you greater happiness as a parent. Often, she recommends that the best course of action to ease parent stress is simply doing less. As in less obsessing, less planning, less expecting, less worrying … just less.

happier parentIt can be easy to overlook the happiness and joys of raising a family. KJ Dell’Antonia reminds us of that, even as she makes us laugh at the ridiculous expectations that so many of us have for ourselves. How to Be a Happier Parent really does deliver on its premise: When we let go of all the unnecessary stuff that weighs us down in our parenting, we absolutely are happier parents. Actually letting go, of course, is the hard part.

Kristina Wright

Kristina Wright is a freelance writer and frequent contributor to Your Teen Magazine.