Raising Happiness


About Raising Happiness

subscribeThis blog is mostly science-based parenting advice. I’m a sociologist and happiness expert at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, and since I’m reading all the research related to raising happy children anyway, I thought we might as well make it useable to parents. My intention is to bring a scientific framing (what does the research actually say?) to our opinion-based parenting debates and advice.  As a parent myself, I know that sorting fact from fiction can be confusing when it comes to parenting.

This blog is also about me and my children. It represents 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.

Why should you be a part of this blog?

I think that together we can make the psychology, sociology, and neuroscience of raising happy children approachable. When you participate by commenting, participating in one of the forums—giving other parents examples from your family life—you enrich the information here, raise questions, and help other parents apply your learning to their own lives.

On good days, I believe that all this research-based parenting advice can make us better parents, and that when we become better parents, the world improves measurably. In our materially rich but spiritually sparse culture we often fail to act as though children are our future. But our parenting really does matter both for our children’s well-being and for the greater good of the world. 

Every single day I feel grateful for my children.  And I work hard for their happiness. But I am not a perfect parent. In fact, I’m against perfectionism in just about everything, especially parenting.

I believe that there are happiness skills that we can practice with our children that will help them lead good, meaningful, happy lives. I believe that nothing that doesn’t ultimately bring joy is worth doing.  And I believe that happiness and compassion are all we need to cure the world’s ills.

So welcome. Please sign up here to receive this blog by email, or here to get our monthly newsletter.  Thank you for joining me by sharing your thoughts—our real life experiences are more powerful than any academic study. 

About Christine Carter

Christine CarterChristine Carter, Ph.D., is the Director of Greater Good Parents and the author of Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents.  In 2010 she received an award from the Council on Contemporary Families for her outstanding science-based reporting on family issues. 

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 Working Mother, American Baby and Parenting magazines, the Boston Globe, the New York Times and dozens of other publications.  Her blog is syndicated on Psychology Today, the Huffington Post and other websites. She has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, the Rachel Ray Morning Show, and NPR, and is a regular on ABC’s View from the Bay.  Carter loves to speak to parents, grandparents, and teachers; she has been a key-note speaker at Harvard and numerous other schools and professional groups. 

She has two children and lives with her family near San Francisco.

Special thanks to

Quality of Life Foundation


Herb Alpert Foundation

Special acknowledgment and gratitude also goes to the following folks who made this project happen, within our limited budget, through hard work and sheer force of will (and who probably ended up donating many hours of their time and talent in addition):     

  • the middle place Kelly Corrigan, author of The Middle Place and Lift
  • Alexandra Davidson for her web development, research assistance, and all her other great project management work
  • Stephanie Harstrup for all her research assistance
  • Kalai Kubendran for all her help posting
  • Kristen Malan from Kristen Malan Design
  • Dan Moulthrop, of 90.3 WCPN ideastream in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Nan Davenport, web designer and illustrator
  • Dave Nold, web developer
  • Karen Gainer, producer

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The Greater Good Science Center Summer Institute for Educators 2017

Clark Kerr Campus, UC-Berkeley
Sunday, June 25 - Friday, June 30, 2017 OR Sunday, July 16 - Friday, July 21, 2017
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