Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents

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What do we wish most for our children? Next to being healthy, we want them to be happy, of course! Fortunately, a wide array of scientific studies show that happiness is a learned behavior, a muscle we can help our children build and maintain.

Drawing on what psychology, sociology, and neuroscience have proven about confidence, gratefulness, and optimism, and using her own chaotic and often hilarious real-world adventures as a mom to demonstrate do’s and don’ts in action, Christine Carter, Ph.D, executive director of UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, boils the process down to 10 simple happiness-inducing steps.

With great wit, wisdom, and compassion, Carter covers the day-to-day pressure points of parenting—how best to discipline, get kids to school and activities on time, and get dinner on the table—as well as the more elusive issues of helping children build healthy friendships and develop emotional intelligence. In these 10 key steps, she helps you interact confidently and consistently with your kids to foster the skills, habits, and mindsets that will set the stage for positive emotions now and into their adolescence and beyond. Inside you will discover
 
• the best way avoid raising a brat—changing bad habits into good ones
• tips on how to change your kids’ attitude into gratitude
• the trap of trying to be perfect—and how to stay clear of its pitfalls 
• the right way to praise kids—and why too much of the wrong kind can be just as bad as not enough
• the spirit of kindness—how to raise kind, compassionate, and loving children
• strategies for inspiring kids to do boring (but necessary) tasks—and become more self-motivated in the process
 
Complete with a series of “try this” tips, secrets, and strategies, Raising Happiness is a one-of-a-kind resource that will help you instill joy in your kids—and, in the process, become more joyful yourself.


From the Hardcover edition.
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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.


From the Hardcover edition.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Ballantine Books
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Published on
Feb 2, 2010
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Pages
256
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ISBN
9780345519320
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Language
English
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Genres
Family & Relationships / Parenting / General
Reference / Personal & Practical Guides
Self-Help / Personal Growth / Happiness
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Learn how to achieve more by doing less! Live in that zone you’ve glimpsed but can’t seem to hold on to—the sweet spot where you have the greatest strength, but also the greatest ease.

Not long ago, Christine Carter, a happiness expert at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center and a speaker, writer, and mother, found herself exasperated by the busyness of modern life: too many conflicting obligations and not enough time, energy, or patience to get everything done. She tried all the standard techniques—prioritizing, multitasking, delegating, even napping—but none really worked. Determined to create a less stressful life for herself—without giving up her hard-won career success or happiness at home—she road-tested every research-based tactic that promised to bring more ease into her life. Drawing on her vast knowledge of the latest research related to happiness, productivity, and elite performance, she followed every strategy that promised to give her more energy—or that could make her more efficient, creative, or intelligent.

Her trials and errors are our reward. In The Sweet Spot, Carter shares the combination of practices that transformed her life from overwhelmed and exhausting to joyful, relaxed, and productive. From instituting daily micro-habits that save time to bigger picture shifts that convert stress into productive and creative energy, The Sweet Spot shows us how to

• say “no” strategically and when to say “yes” with abandon
• make decisions about routine things once to free our minds to focus on higher priorities
• stop multitasking and gain efficiency
• “take recess” in sync with the brain’s need for rest
• use technology in ways that bolster, instead of sap, energy
• increase your ratio of positive to negative emotions

Complete with practical “easiest thing” tips for instant relief as well as stories from Carter’s own experience of putting The Sweet Spot into action, this timely and inspiring book will inoculate you against “The Overwhelm,” letting you in on the possibilities for joy and freedom that come when you stop trying to do everything right—and start doing the right things.

ONE OF GREATER GOOD’S FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEAR

“[For fans] of a certain kind of self-improvement book—the kind, like The Happiness Project or 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think or Getting Things Done, that offers up strategies for making certain areas of life work better without requiring that you embrace a new belief system.”—KJ Dell’Antonia, The New York Times (Motherlode blog)

“A breath of fresh air . . . Based on personal experiments with living life in what she calls the ‘pressure cooker,’ Dr. Carter offers advice in easily digestible nuggets.”—Working Mother

“Carter gives actionable ways to balance your life, your health, and your career. This book is packed with smart advice and hard-earned wisdom.”—Inc.

“Learn more about escaping the ‘busyness trap’ and uncovering a happier, less stressed you.”—Shape

“A highly readable, diligently researched advice book that offers concrete tips on how to get off the treadmill of busyness.”—Greater Good

“Chock-full of concrete tips on how to sharpen your focus, improve your efficiency, and use technology to your advantage.”—The Week

“Illuminates the simple and sustainable path toward a precious and happy balance.”—Deepak Chopra


From the Hardcover edition.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The authors of No-Drama Discipline and The Yes Brain explain the new science of how a child’s brain is wired and how it matures in this pioneering, practical book.
 
“Simple, smart, and effective solutions to your child’s struggles.”—Harvey Karp, M.D.
 
In this pioneering, practical book, Daniel J. Siegel, neuropsychiatrist and author of the bestselling Mindsight, and parenting expert Tina Payne Bryson offer a revolutionary approach to child rearing with twelve key strategies that foster healthy brain development, leading to calmer, happier children. The authors explain—and make accessible—the new science of how a child’s brain is wired and how it matures. The “upstairs brain,” which makes decisions and balances emotions, is under construction until the mid-twenties. And especially in young children, the right brain and its emotions tend to rule over the logic of the left brain. No wonder kids throw tantrums, fight, or sulk in silence. By applying these discoveries to everyday parenting, you can turn any outburst, argument, or fear into a chance to integrate your child’s brain and foster vital growth.            
 
Complete with age-appropriate strategies for dealing with day-to-day struggles and illustrations that will help you explain these concepts to your child, The Whole-Brain Child shows you how to cultivate healthy emotional and intellectual development so that your children can lead balanced, meaningful, and connected lives.
 
“[A] useful child-rearing resource for the entire family . . . The authors include a fair amount of brain science, but they present it for both adult and child audiences.”—Kirkus Reviews
 
“Strategies for getting a youngster to chill out [with] compassion.”—The Washington Post
 
“This erudite, tender, and funny book is filled with fresh ideas based on the latest neuroscience research. I urge all parents who want kind, happy, and emotionally healthy kids to read The Whole-Brain Child. This is my new baby gift.”—Mary Pipher, Ph.D., author of Reviving Ophelia and The Shelter of Each Other

“Gives parents and teachers ideas to get all parts of a healthy child’s brain working together.”—Parent to Parent
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