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Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents Hardcover – February 2, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; 1 edition (February 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345515617
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345515612
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #279,555 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

 
"Raising Happiness is an elegant, funny, and rigorous handbook for the humbling task of raising joyful children. Brimming with brilliantly distilled science, poignant stories from her family, and what parents so urgently seek—clear, practical, and informed guidance—it is an encyclopedia of wisdom for raising children in today's multitasking, multimedia world. Christine Carter offers thoughtful approaches to raising more grateful, playful, mindful children and she provides practical tips for how to handle the conflicts of siblings, the challenges of the new media, and countering the pressures of perfectionism and materialism. In reading this engaging book, you are very likely to find yourself a bit happier as well." —Dacher Keltner, author Born To Be Good: The Science of A Meaningful Life, Professor of Psychology, University of California, Berkeley

"This is THE parenting book. This is the one to read over and over. So much wisdom and empathy, all based in real science. My children owe Christine Carter big time."—Kelly Corrigan, author, The Middle Place 

About the Author

Christine Carter, Ph.D., is the executive director of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, an interdisciplinary research center that “translates” the study of happiness, compassion, and altruism for the public. A regular on ABC’s View from the Bay talk show, Carter has been profiled in a San Francisco Chronicle Magazine cover story and quoted in dozens of national online and print publications including The New York Times, The Boston Globe, American Baby, and Parenting. The mother of two young girls, she lives near San Francisco.

More About the Author

Christine Carter, Ph.D., is a happiness expert at UC Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center, an interdisciplinary research center that "translates" the study of happiness, resilience, and emotional intelligence for the public. Best known for her science-based parenting advice, Dr. Carter blogs for Greater Good, the Huffington Post, and PsychologyToday.com. Her parent-to-parent tone and humorous, tell-all approach make research accessible and fun for parents and teachers. Dr. Carter also teaches an online class (www.raisinghappiness.com) to parents worldwide.

Dr. Carter has written for and been quoted in dozens of national online and print publications, including Working Mother, American Baby, Parents, and Parenting magazines, the Boston Globe, and The New York Times. She has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, the Rachel Ray Morning Show, and NPR. She has two children and lives with her family in Berkeley.

Customer Reviews

Fun to read and very informational!
carly seidt
I enjoy Dr. Carter's anecdotes, but also appreciate that all her happiness advice is rooted in scientific study; both social and medical.
Allison Frey
There are also many other great suggestions in this book and I plan on slowly incorporating them into our lives.
D. Baskin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Allison Frey on March 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
To lump this book in with the myriad other books on parenting would be doing both the book and the reader a disservice. Raising Happiness goes beyond 'parenting' - it's truly a book on how to create a happiness lifestyle, and in turn raise happy kids. I enjoy Dr. Carter's anecdotes, but also appreciate that all her happiness advice is rooted in scientific study; both social and medical. This is the book that I will not only reread (and enjoy each time) but will keep on my bedside table and refer to time and time again when I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed and potentially down. Thank you for this book, for your insights, and for the happiness guidance. I have been implementing suggestion after suggestion, and to my delight, my children are flourishing and I'm a happier mom because of it! I will be recommending this to friends, giving this book for baby showers, and sharing the insights with my husband. And reading it again. And then probably again. And perhaps one more time for good luck!
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Denise Brown on February 4, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
Thanks to Christine Carter for giving us parents an actual step by step approach to engendering happiness in our childrens' and our own lives. I've enjoyed her blog at Half Full for sometime, but this is an excellent synopsis of her work.
If you read nothing but Step 3 "Praising Effort and Enjoyment" your childrens' lives will be forever changed.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By L. B. Nielsen on March 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is an excellent source of tips and techniques you can begin to implement TODAY that will change the overall feeling in your house immediately. Christine carter has translated literally hundreds of social science articles into practical steps you can take to help your child grow, learn, and feel happy and fulfilled. Need to get out the door on school mornings? She has a plan. Want your child to be happy with what they have rather than asking you to buy something else? She has strategies. This book helps everyone in the family be more attentive to what we already have, the joy of our relationships, and ways we can help each other. Not just a "parenting" book. It is a family-building book. You will benefit as much as your children.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Karina Richland on October 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover
We all want the best for our kids. We want our children to be successful, get good grades and have impeccable manners. On top of these goals we also want our children to have a happy life. How is this all possible? Dr. Christine Carter gives step-by-step advice on emotion-coaching your child. She does this in her book Raising Happiness. She focuses on these 10 items:

* Put on your own oxygen mask first
* Build a village
* Expect effort, not perfection
* Chose gratitude, forgiveness, and optimism
* Raise their emotional intelligence
* Form happiness habits
* Teach self-discipline
* Enjoy the present moment
* Rig their environment for happiness
* Eat dinner together

All of this can be practiced during a 9-minute meal! The chapter that gave me that "aha moment" was Chapter 10: Eat Dinner Together. Dr. Carter expresses that the benefits of family mealtime are remarkable. Having dinner as a family is the most important piece of science-based advice that she gives in her book. Studies show that kids who eat dinner with their families on a regular basis are more emotionally stable and less likely to abuse drugs and alcohol. They get better grades and they also have fewer depressive symptoms. Family dinner trumps reading to your kids in preparing them for school!

Why is family dinnertime so important? Well for starters many social skills are learned at the dinner table. Research shows a strong connection between language development and dinnertime, and language is THE most important aspect of social intelligence that we have.

Each of the ten steps that Dr. Carter presents in her book provides some resources for additional information on each of the steps if you find yourself wanting to learn more. I highly recommend this book - especially chapter ten.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Ariel Trost on March 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I really love this book. Its simplicity, optimism, and compassion for both parents and kids resonate with me as a parent and as a psychologist who works with families. I appreciate that nearly every one of Carter's happiness building skills can be initiated right now... making it a great book for new parents as well as for parents negotiating the teen years. In Carter's world, and supported by solid research, it's never too late to create new habits to build family happiness. I keep many copies of this book in my office and have found myself giving it to nearly every family with whom I work.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Coffee Klatch Reviews on November 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The front flap promises much, such as how to avoid raising a brat, changing good habits into bad ones, the right and wrong way to praise your children, how to turn their attitude into gratitude, how to avoid the pitfalls of perfectionism, and how teach them to be more self-motivated. But how many of these things do I predict I'll be able to change with my two recently inherited-through-marriage kids (10 and 11)? Not many. The most effective ones will be the ones I can institute myself: Eating Dinner Together; praising them properly. But as the author says on the final page, "finding even one thing here that works for your family . . . can increase your children's happiness, and yours as well."

Overall, I feel disappointed by the book because it promised so much. Part of that, I think, is that the author covers so much, she has little space to devote to HOW to achieve something. For a while as I read I was flipping back and forth to the "Notes" in the back of the book. Nearly every sentence or two the author writes is sourced to some study. This sounds good in theory, but what happens is that she can't do justice to any one idea in depth. So I'm going through the book and nothing is sticking in my brain and then when I come to the chapter that talks about Learned Optimism I think I realize why. I read Learned Optimism a long time ago and it had a big impact on me. Because the author covers so much in her book, though, she has little time to devote to any particular topic, and so does a poor job of describing Learned Optimism. Perhaps the reason nothing seemed to be "sticking" in my brain for the earlier chapters is that she is condensing them too much too. Another area with the same problem was her section on mindfulness.
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