How to raise happy kids

Christine Carter, PhD Sociologist and Happiness Expert, shares advice for parents on the skills can help teach their children to be happy in life
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How to raise happy kids

I think it's really important for parents to think of happiness as a skill or a set of skills rather than an inborn personality trait. Now, I'm not saying that kids aren't born with certain personalities. We all know that certain babies are just born more cheerful while others are born a little bit on the grouchy side. But it is more productive and scientifically more correct in some ways for us to think of happiness as being like learning a language. Some kids are going to be really good at picking it up quickly, other people are going to struggle a little bit with it. But we all need to be taught the basic grammar. And we all need to practice that grammar in order to become fluent. So we can teach our kids to be happy by teaching them the skills that will lead to happiness and by practicing those skills with them.

Christine Carter, PhD Sociologist and Happiness Expert, shares advice for parents on the skills can help teach their children to be happy in life


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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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