Family dinners for the busy family

Christine Carter, PhD Sociologist & Happiness Expert, shares advice for busy families on what they can do to be able to spend time together at dinner each night
Family Meals | Family Dinner Advice For Busy Families
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Family dinners for the busy family

It’s really hard for busy families today to get those 5 mealtimes a week in together. I want the parents to remember that the most important thing is that the kids have a little bit of time every day to feel like they’re a part of something larger than just themselves, they have this family time every day where they’re eating with their parents. To make it work, we need to think of ways to make it easier for ourselves. I have our meals completely rootenized, so I know, if it’s Thursday, it must be Thursday thaw – I’m going to be taking something out of the freezer; if it’s Friday, we’re going to have Friday favorites – there’s only 4 Friday favorite meals – we have them all once a month. Whatever it takes to make dinnertime easier for you. The important thing is that you’re all together. Now, it doesn’t have to be all together in the sense that if you are a two parent family, but one parent routinely can’t make it home to dinner, that’s okay. One parent is fine. The important thing is that the parent is sitting down and eating with the kids.
ALL PARENTS, Family Life, Family Time

Christine Carter, PhD Sociologist & Happiness Expert, shares advice for busy families on what they can do to be able to spend time together at dinner each night


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Christine Carter, PhD

Sociologist & Happiness Expert

A sociologist and happiness expert at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, Christine Carter, PhD is the author of Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents. Dr. Carter also writes an award-winning blog for Greater Good, which is syndicated on the Huffington Post and Carter has helped thousands of parents find more joy in their parenting while raising happy, successful and resilient kids. Known for her parenting and relationship advice, Carter draws on psychology, sociology, neuroscience, and uses her own chaotic and often hilarious real-world adventures to demonstrate the do’s and don’ts in action.

After receiving her B.A. from Dartmouth College, where she was a Senior Fellow, Dr. Carter worked in marketing management and school administration, going on to receive her PhD. in sociology from UC Berkeley. Dr. Carter has been quoted in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle and dozens of other publications. She has appeared on the “Oprah Winfrey Show,” the “TODAY” show, the “Rachael Ray Morning Show,” “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” “CBS Sunday Morning,” “ABC World News with Diane Sawyer” and NPR.

Carter has been a keynote speaker at hundreds of events and professional groups. In 2010, she received an award from the Council on Contemporary Families for her outstanding science-based reporting on family issues. In 2011 she won Red Tricycle’s award for the “Most Awesome Parent Education,” and so far in 2012 she has been nominated for a Bammy Award and for an award from the American Sociological Association for public sociology.

Dr. Carter teaches parenting classes online throughout the year to a global audience on She lives with her family in Berkeley, CA.

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