More Than Happy HIRESMore Than Happy: The Wisdom of Amish Parenting came about because of a conversation I was having with my editor. I had mentioned to her that I thought the Amish children I knew were among the happiest and most contented children I had ever seen.

My editor, a New York City mother who was pregnant with her second daughter, was intrigued. She wanted to know exactly how Amish parents did this. I didn’t have an answer, but I promised to do my best to find out.

A year of research, interviews, pondering, writing, and re-writing went into this book as I tried to discern those things the Amish are getting right. I make no claims that it is a scholarly work because I’m no scholar. I’m just a grandmother who has been in many Amish homes and had a chance to talk with many Amish parents.

I learned an enormous amount of information during this process that I wish I’d known when my children were small. My prayer is that this book will give some useful tools to young parents trying to raise healthy, happy children.

Available at most Bookstores, and Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, iTunes, etc.

-Serena

12 thoughts on “New Release – More Than Happy: The Wisdom of Amish Parenting

    • Thanks for letting me know that you enjoy my books. I think that Patience and Prioritizing pretty much sums up the whole theme of Amish parenting. Not all Amish are good parents, of course, but so many of them are.

    • There’s really nothing to it, Glenna. Just whip up a couple of eggs and a pinch of salt, then stir in enough flour to make a stiff dough. Roll it out on the counter, cut it into long strips (I like to use a pizza cutter) and dump it in boiling water until the noodles rise to the surface and float. Scoop them out and drain, and you’re finished.

  1. i just finished More Than Happy. I originally borrowed it from the library but bought myself a copy. My husband jokes that he was reading it over my shoulder because I kept send him pictures of passages I wanted to share with him which was probably half the book. The other half he was home so I read it aloud. I cannot tell you what a blessing this book is to me. We have been longing for a simpler life style for us

    • Baby’s foot cut me off… Us and our kids and you showed how it plays out. I loved that you encouraged us to be the example for our kids. Thank you. Best parenting book I have read this year.

      • I hope things are going well with your family. Nothing iis more important–if one has children–than to raise them well. As you probably know by now, that doesn’t just happen. It takes real perseverance. I’m glad you enjoyed the book.

  2. Misty Crawford says:

    I’m only halfway through the book and it has helped me. I recognize more when my daughter is saying “I love you” in naughty ways and respond in more loving ways than I used to. Sometimes when she demands that I not go to work, I just look at her and say “I love you too” and will a big hug, I go to work with joy in my heart and a more contented daughter.

  3. I love to read -though only good, positive books and especially about children. And though the Amish wouldn’t want to say or hear it, your book has been the best practical book I read in years… Or maybe at all.
    Hopefully you won’t get hochmütig, but I LOVED your writing style, the way you built up your passages and chapters, your profound explaining, telling and sharing -especially by letting experts speak – and of course the content!! You are a good author and I’m happy my search led me towards your book.
    I searched a book on Amish Child raising and am very happy with your book. It is sad that I can’t visit them here in Europe.

    I only hoped to find some more practical information on how Amish mothers raise their babies (I did love the introduction). So I have some questions left. First of all, do the mothers find time to nap when pregnant or when feeding a baby at night? Where do their babies nap? And what time do they get up and go to bed?

    Something else: Can one get a membership on the Amish magazines? Would they be nice to read as non-Amish in Europe?

    And one more detail: do Amish use sourdough for bread and do they ferment a lot of their vegetables? And when not, are they open to learn about such things?

    Thank you very much for more information. Blessings to you, your family and writings!!

    • Hi Yvette,

      Such good questions!! I am happy to tell you the few things I know. I’m also very happy you enjoyed the book and got something from it.
      The biggest key to how Amish mothers raise their children is that the children’s needs are always cared for. They are not spoiled, nor are they undisciplined, but their needs are met. As far as babies, what I have observed is that they are constantly carried around and handled unless they are asleep and sometimes even then. This is easier for the Amish because they deliberately live in such a close network of family members. Aunts, uncles, big brothers and sisters, grandparents–a baby is a gift to the Amish–and they love to play with them and enjoy them. In the book I mentioned that old grandmother who shuddered when I asked if they ever allow their children to “cry it out.” Her comment was something along the lines of she couldn’t have stood it to let that happen. Personally, I think that is key to how they care for the babies.. The Amish don’t like to be left alone for long, and they don’t want their children to ever feel lonely, either.
      I think this struck me especially hard because as a young mother, I couldn’t bear to hear my baby “cry it out” either. And I didn’t do it. The idea of my child sobbing himself to sleep was more than I could bear. But I was criticized soundly for it by my doctor who seemed determined to make me put my baby down in a room and walk away. until he cried himself to sleep. An Amish woman would consider that abusive.
      Something else interesting–one of my Amish friends has seven children right now and the two youngest are 18 months and 3 years. The teenage sister (who comes and cleans for me each week–a job I’m thrilled to pay for because she does such a good job and is so cheerful about it) took me inside her home to show me a special clock in her bedroom she was proud of last week. In doing so, she happened to mention that the two littlest still sleep in their dad and mom’s room–even though the house is quite large.
      It is also customary for an Amish woman who has just had a baby to hire someone–usually an Amish girl–to come for two weeks to take care of the other children and household duties so she can completely rest and tend to her baby. I think this helps a great deal to have that time to just rest and recuperate. No stress also helps a mother and baby bond and the nursing to go better.
      Yes, they do take naps. They are very health conscious and take good care of their health. A nap when they are tired just makes sense to them. In my experience, non-Amish mothers work much harder than Amish women. I’m still trying to work out all the reasons my Amish girlfriends seem to be more relaxed than me. Here’s some reasons I think factor into it: No telephones to check constantly. No computer to check constantly. No TV to distract them. Also, the ones whose houses I’ve stayed in, have a much more relaxed standard of housekeeping. I would be apologizing to company. They do not. Perhaps it is because they do not see the perfect homes on TV? Plus, they do not try very hard at making their houses pretty. Plain is fine. Their homes are very utilitarian. Even their meals are simple. Always wholesome, but simple.
      Babies either nap with their mothers as she naps, in a carrier of some kind near their mother so she can watch over them while she engages in a chore or hobby, or in someone’s arms. (My daughter-in-law has fallen in love with a stretchy wrap that keeps the baby near her heart and leaves her hands free to do other things. Baby Rosie seems very content and happy with that. The Amish teenager who cleans for me is quite impressed also and says that she wants one of those when she has her family.)
      In general, they tend to get a lot more sleep than we do. Without electricity, keeping lights on at night are not very satisfying because the lights tend to be battery or gas operated. So they tend to go to bed soon after dark, and get up with the morning light unless a man has a job that requires getting up earlier.
      As far as magazines–there is an inexpensive newspaper that I subscribe to called The Budget. It is made right outside of Sugarcreek, Ohio. You can look it up online and subscribe. Most of the news is sent in by Amish and Mennonite families from all over. It is their way of keeping up with one another. I love reading it because it makes me feel good to read such homely news.

      Hope that helps.
      Serena

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