The Well-Balanced Family

Reduce Screen Time and Increase Family Fun, Fitness and Connectedness

Non-Fiction - Parenting
226 Pages
Reviewed on 04/11/2019
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Author Biography

Robert Myers, Ph.D. is a child psychologist with over 35 years of clinical experience. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Southern California. He is Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the UC Irvine School of Medicine. Dr. Myers also provides parent education through public speaking and media appearances. He is the founder of a popular website for parents, Child Development Institute.

Dr. Myers lives in Orange, CA with his wife, Pam. They were married in 1971 and have two adult children. He likes to listen to music and go to concerts, travel to new places, photography, and go hiking in the local mountains. Most of all he likes to spend time with his family, especially playing board games and having fun.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Dawn Weaver for Readers' Favorite

The modern American family tends to struggle with the balance between home, school, work, and activity demands. The distractions caused by ever-connected screens make the problem worse. The Well-Balanced Family by Dr. Robert Myers has the answers to help restore balance and teach families to connect in healthy ways. Beginning with outlining the problems seen in our modern families, Dr. Myers then offers a clear plan to help resolve common issues, restore family connectedness, and instill fun and meaning into the times family members share. Complete with guidelines, charts, and ample suggestions adaptable to any family, he covers such topics as family meetings; screen-time limits; types of parenting; healthy parent, child, and sibling relationships; physical activity and fitness; organization and much more.

I cannot say enough good things about The Well-Balanced Family by Dr. Robert Myers! I have three grown children and two that are almost grown. Although we have used many resources as they have grown to help us improve our parenting, I truly wish this book had been available years ago. Do you have a child that cannot seem to get enough screen time? This book teaches you how to address it in a healthy, affirming way to help your child realize the effects and learn to make healthy choices. Do you need help handling sibling rivalry, couch-potato syndrome, or family togetherness? This is the book for you! It presents clearly defined, obtainable objectives and gives you hope that, no matter how far from balanced your family is, the answer is here!

K.C. Finn

The Well-Balanced Family is a parenting and lifestyle work of non-fiction, by author Robert F Myers, which aims, according to its author, to ‘Reduce Screen Time and Increase Family Fun, Fitness and Connectedness’. Addressing the current digital age where phones and tablets rule the household, Dr. Myers offers a practical guide not only to cutting down on electronics time, but also how to replace that time with meaningful activities that will bring a family together, as well as offer improved physical and mental health to each family member in the process. From developmental growth for younger children to more open connectedness and self-esteem building for everyone, this comprehensive guide offers many new and innovative ways to get your family together again.

Even at the offset, I really enjoyed the fact that author Robert F Myers acknowledges and dispels the myth of the perfect family, encouraging readers to find their own ideal way of being amongst the media-spouted expectations put on people over the years. I enjoyed the chapter by chapter organization which takes readers through the four main areas of the book. Within the major sections, there are smaller areas to explain specific principles and outline activities that you can try out and put in place. Alongside the practical how-to moments, there’s a great sense of consideration that each family is different, and Dr. Myers works hard to cover all the bases to support whatever family type you have. Overall, The Well-Balanced Family reads like an essential lifeline for disconnected families in the modern age.

Gisela Dixon

The Well-Balanced Family: Reduce Screen Time and Increase Family Fun, Fitness and Connectedness is a non-fiction book that aims to draw attention to the widespread problem of excessive screen time in homes and ways to improve this and become closer as a family. In this book, Robert F Myers talks about the many disadvantages and even serious physical and mental illness issues that result from spending an excessive amount of time on digital devices. He then talks about various alternatives to these such as actual physical play, connecting personally with people, exercise, etc. that also help to bond people and bring families together in meaningful interactions. The book is divided into four broad sections: Connectedness, which includes what this means and ways to promote this within a family; Open Communication including a chapter on how to handle conflict; Healthy Living, which includes physical exercise, diet, and sleep; and Organization, which aims to bring the family together by working together. There are some short exercises provided at the end of these sections and there is also a detailed list of resources at the end of the book.

I think The Well-Balanced Family by Robert F Myers is a very relevant book in today’s times. More and more families and people these days have dysfunctional lifestyles and kids face all sorts of challenges in a fast-changing world. At this point, the importance of connecting with people and having solid, close relationships is crucial. The author rightly points out how a lack of solid relationships like these can have an adverse effect on young people’s lives, leading to depression and anxiety among other things. Robert F Myers writes in a very organized, thorough way and each topic has been explored in detail with plenty of ideas and suggestions. This is a great book and I would recommend everyone, and especially parents of young children, to read this.

Ruffina Oserio

The Well-Balanced Family: Reduce Screen Time and Increase Family Fun, Fitness and Connectedness by Robert F Myers is a book that every parent should read, a book about one of the most important aspects of our lives that is gravely suffering from the distractions of digital technology — the health of the family. In this book, the author makes a powerful argument on the importance of a balanced family and how it affects our emotional, physical, and psychological growth, articulating brilliantly on a variety of themes, including tips on connecting with family members, the power of play in the lives of children, understanding and creating personal space, the role of open communication, motivation and empowerment, healthy living and a lot more.

The author brings his expertise as a child psychologist into the writing and offers invaluable advice and insight to readers on effective parenting and how to create an environment where each member of the family experiences growth, connects meaningfully with other members of the family and with themselves. This book is packed with information and it gives readers the essential things they need to create an atmosphere of love, a deep sense of belonging, and a supportive family culture where kids can grow in confidence. In the opening lines, the author explains the reason why this book is written: “This book is meant to be a guide to help families cut back on all forms of screen time. Reducing the use of digital devices will help promote positive habits for everyone in the family, resulting in an improvement in physical and mental health, organizational skills, and academic achievement.”

The Well-Balanced Family is written in a conversational style and filled with insights, actionable advice, and wisdom that addresses the crisis felt by many families today. Robert F Myers is an expert whose wisdom will definitely help families establish the balance they need and experience lower stress levels when it comes to managing family time and connecting with members of the family. If you’re a parent or an adult who cares about the health of your family, then you need to read this book.

Sarah Stuart

Robert F Myers is a practicing psychologist and The Well-Balanced Family: Reduce Screen Time and Increase Family Fun, Fitness and Connectedness is the result of both his observations and his own experience as a father. It is packed with information backed by referenced evidence, and his advice to parents is to read the whole book before making changes. It is divided into four sections – connectedness, open communication, fitness, and organization. The premise that screen time - whether this is television, computers, tablets, Xboxes, or cell phones - invades all our lives is inarguable, and families are paying a high price. One another's company, reduced exercise, uncompleted homework, and chores resented are a hotbed for arguments so turn to chapter sixteen and learn how to change the situation amicably through family meetings.

The Well-Balanced Family by Robert F Myers is an intensely readable book, and it merits rereading until a new order in your home becomes second nature to every family member. There are detailed instructions for controlling screen time and child access to many gadgets. But I found the idea of family meetings, where everyone from pre-schoolers up has their uninterrupted say about outings, “playtime” (stories and board games), fair shares of chores, commitment to homework and, to a degree, finances, fascinating and practical. In The Well-Balanced Family, Robert F Myers has created a must-have book. Achieving a well-balanced family is the magic key to harmony and he has shared his secret!