The Formal Bio…
A sociologist and happiness expert at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, Christine Carter, Ph.D. is the author of RAISING HAPPINESS: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents. Dr. Carter also writes a blog for Greater Good, which is syndicated on the Huffington Post and PsychologyToday.com. 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 as a mom 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 Ph.D. in sociology from UC Berkeley. Her first book, The Other Side of Silence, is one of the most frequently stolen books out of university libraries. Dr. Carter has been quoted in Women’s Health and Parenting magazines, the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today and dozens of other publications. She has appeared on the “Oprah Winfrey Show,” the “Rachael Ray Morning Show,” “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” “CBS Sunday Morning,” “ABC World News with Diane Sawyer,” and NPR.
Carter loves to speak to parents, grandparents, and teachers. She has been a key-note speaker at hundreds of schools and professional groups. In 2010, she received an award from the Council on Contemporary Families for her outstanding science-based reporting on family issues. Dr. Carter teaches parenting classes online throughout the year to a global audience on her website www.raisinghappiness.com.
As a working mom, I know just how hard it can be to raise kids AND live a fulfilling, joyful life. My work is truly the intersection of my brain and my heart: my intellectual training in the social sciences and my very real, sometimes raw, experiences as a mother.
At the foundation of my work is this truth: our happiness as parents matters for the happiness of our children. When our lives are fulfilling and joyful, our children can more easily thrive. Unfortunately, the reverse is also true: our stress and unhappiness usually trickles down to our children.
Here’s the thing: for most of my life, I was not exactly the picture of happiness that you might imagine. As a child, I was very anxious, and I was so shy and so easily frustrated that I cried every day in school until I was halfway through 2nd grade. By the time I was 28, I was an over-achieving, tightly-wound, bossy, pregnant, perfectionist.
With my first child on the way, I knew that something had to give. I didn’t want my children to be anxious like me. In the same way that my own mother had rigged my schooling so that I always got all the good teachers, I wanted to rig my children’s lives so that they would be happy, rather than nervous and stressed out like me.
So I took up the study of happiness the way that normal people decide to learn a new language. My best friend wanted to learn how to speak Spanish fluently; I wanted to be more fluent in happiness.
I embarked on my new study of happiness from an academic angle, studying the sociology of happiness in childhood. I wanted to know what types of children were happy and why. I wanted to know their habits and beliefs; how often they ate dinner with their families and how involved their grandparents were.
I learned, in all of this study of happiness, that in order to be happy, that there are skills that we can practice ourselves, in our romantic relationships, and with our children that will help us all lead good, meaningful, happy lives. I intend to teach you those skills so that together we can spread happiness.
I’m so glad that you are joining me on this journey, and I hope that you find it as rewarding and wonderful as I do.