52 Small Changes for the Family is a fantastic way to to make real, lasting changes to your family. Improve your family’s health, habits, contentment and well-being. Small steps that all up overtime to bring lasting change. Get with the program, help your family be the best it can be.
What I’m Reviewing
52 Small Changes for the Family: Sharpen Minds, Build Confidence, Boost health and Deepen Connections.
Danielle Shea Tan
366 pages, adult, non-fiction
Family, Wellness, Nutrition, Growth
Reviewed for Raincoast Books.
In 52 Small Changes for the Family, bestselling author Brett Blumenthal teams up with family health practitioner Danielle Shea Tan to reveal how to build a foundation of health and happiness in the family. The idea is simple: Make one small change a week for 52 weeks and at the end of the year, you and your children will enjoy a happier, healthier lifestyle.
Three main sections round out the pages of this meaty self-help book.
Section One: How to use the program.
In this section the symbols used are explained, as is the set up for each week of change. Each new habit comes with an explanation about why the change is important, tips to help you make the change, reference to tools needed to help you.
Section Two: 52 weeks of habits
Some of the habits we are encouraged to make include topics such as making laughter a daily part of life, eating more fruits and vegetables, respecting differences in each other, and taking charge of your health. Each type of change is scattered. This means you won’t find all the topics relating to food in one area, or finances together, or global consciousness. You will read about playing games as a family, and then move on to learning the importance of eating fish, and then wise consumerism.
Section Three: Tools and Resources
Menu plans, worksheets and various charts to support you as changes are made.
Honestly, I have VERY mixed feelings about this book.
There are parts that I love, seriously. Finding ways to connect as a family by laughing together, playing games, shutting off devices, reading and having fun together. Important, hugely important. Making deliberate choices about what you eat, drink, wear, conduct yourselves etc. It’s good to be aware of what you are doing.
I do love that for instance when talking about consumerism the stress was on helping your offspring make good decisions. For instance, would they rather have this new jersey, or would they like to actually PLAY the sport? Would they like this new gadget OR would they like to save and do a family vacation? Promoting last experiences over stuff. Good to do that.
It felt like all the hot button topics are included without taking into account budgets, variations on where people live and time constraints. I struggle with how it seemed like a checklist was being met. Discuss plastics, downsizing, donating, repurposing, eat veggies, do organic, etc etc. This is why we want you to join the bandwagon and here’s how to get on that train as well.
I think expecting people to make all these small changes, and some of them really aren’t that small, continuously over a year is setting a high bar. Take for instance avoiding additives in your food and medicine. Well.. is one simply to toss it all and then buy new and in that same week learn to do without your potato chips and change your brand of children’s tylenol? Doesn’t that seems wasteful and not conscious of your budget? Is it really a small change?
So pros and cons, like with all self-help books, take what you can do. Read, think, discuss, make good decisions that fit with who you and your family are. Some changes to be made will resonate well and others will not. 🙂