Do your kids suffer from the “abundance paradox’? Do they feel entitled to having it all? Notice: Are they more likely to feel disappointed when they don’t get what they want than they are to feel grateful when they do? This short video is about the relationship between entitlement and gratitude.
Since my book Raising Happiness was published, I’ve met so many unhappy parents I’ve come to believe there might just be an epidemic of unhappiness in them—especially in the parents of young children. While there probably isn’t an epidemic of depression in parents, I’m pretty sure there IS an epidemic of busyness. Do this little thought experiment with me: imagine that you have some free time—a whole afternoon to yourself. Do you take that time to take a nap and read a good book? To work? To play with a friend? Do you catch up on the laundry, and then take your kids to that newish trampoline place they’ve been begging to go? This short video makes the case for NOT always spending more time with your kids.
Loving-kindness meditation does far more than produce momentary good feelings.
Research convincingly shows that it actually puts people on “trajectories of growth,” leaving them better able to ward off depression and “become ever more satisfied with life.” This is probably because it increases a wide range of those resources that make for a meaningful and successful life, like having an increased sense of purpose, stronger social support, and less illness. Research even shows that loving-kindness meditation ““changes the way people approach life”” for the better.
Moreover, doing a simple loving-kindness meditation can make us feel less isolated and more connected to those around us: one study showed that a SINGLE SEVEN MINUTE loving-kindness meditation made people feel more connected to and positive about both loved ones and total strangers, and more accepting of themselves. Imagine what a regular practice could do! For more information about loving-kindness meditation, check out this posting.
I’m Christine Carter, Ph.D, a sociologist and happiness expert at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center. This blog is mostly science-based parenting advice: 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. 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.