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Work hours and the pay gap

Claude Fischer, professor of sociology | June 10, 2014

Twenty-five years ago, Berkeley sociologist Arlie Hochschild coined the phrase “stalled revolution” to describe how far American women had come since the 1950s. What she meant (in my reading) is that, although gender relations in America, from workplace to bedroom, had changed radically, the pace of change had slowed tremendously. The quicksand that bogged the … Continue reading »

Five ways to encourage giving to disadvantaged public schools

Jeremy Adam Smith, Editor, Greater Good Magazine | February 7, 2014

As governments have slashed funding for public education, more and more school districts have turned to parents for help—and parents have responded to the call. Case in point: In San Francisco, PTA budgets have increased by 800 percent over the past 10 years, according to an investigation I conducted with colleagues at the San Francisco … Continue reading »

Tablet and smartphone boot camp for middle-school parents

Christine Carter, director, Greater Good Parents | December 6, 2013

Every day I read something that leads me to believe that tech devices are dramatically affecting our kids’ normal social, sexual, intellectual, and emotional development. What I’m most amazed by, frankly, is how uninvolved we parents tend to be in the online lives of our middle schoolers. Our tweeners tend to seem much more savvy … Continue reading »

Would working less make you happier?

Christine Carter, director, Greater Good Parents | October 3, 2013

Are you caught in a “Time Bind”— where you feel like you don’t have enough time to get your work done AND spend time with your children and spouse AND take care of your own basic needs? Sociologists have been very excited about a “natural experiment” occurring in Korea. In 2004, the Korean government began … Continue reading »

Working parents, are you maxed out?

Christine Carter, director, Greater Good Parents | September 17, 2013

I just finished Katrina Alcorn’s gripping memoir, Maxed Out, about her nervous breakdown. Although it is an absorbing, can’t-put-it-down kind of a book, her breakdown — harrowing as it was — struck me as ordinary. Ordinary in that her experience seems so common. Working parents are stressed. Women in particular are really suffering: They report … Continue reading »

Influencing teens and tweeners, part 2

Christine Carter, director, Greater Good Parents | March 25, 2013

In my last post, I introduced the idea of “motivational interviewing,” a way to engage with adolescents to make them feel heard, understood, and, ultimately, receptive to our wisdom. This technique, which has been proven effective in clinical psychology, is particularly useful when we want to influence our teens or tweeners to change their behavior. … Continue reading »

How to influence your teen, part 1

Christine Carter, director, Greater Good Parents | March 11, 2013

I frequently hear complaints from parents that their teenagers — or, more accurately, their adolescents — are irrational. Kids say they want to get into a good college, for example, but then they miss school because they’ve stayed up half the night watching movies. Or they say they’d like to keep taking guitar lessons so … Continue reading »

Essential school supplies that aren’t on your list

Christine Carter, director, Greater Good Parents | August 27, 2012

Art supplies, a cool thumb-drive, and a new backpack are nothing short of thrilling in my household. We love preparing for school. And like a lot of parents, I assumed for years that success in school would be a safe route to happiness in life. But a new study, which followed nearly 1,000 people over … Continue reading »

Fathers have more fun

Christine Carter, director, Greater Good Parents | June 13, 2012

Are parents happier than their childless peers? For the last five years or so, I’ve answered that question with a resounding “no.” Statistics (not to mention anecdotal evidence) led me to believe that parents tend to be more stressed and less happy. In some ways, this seems understandable, even obvious. Folks without kids can go … Continue reading »

Writers — and parents: Show, don’t tell

Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton, professor of psychology | April 17, 2012

One of the cardinal rules of writing is this: Show, Don’t Tell. The rule means that when one is trying to describe a character’s actions, a writer should avoid describing inner states when possible, relying instead on showing the character’s actions. You can think about it as if the writer’s job is to describe a … Continue reading »

The ‘good’ divorce

Christine Carter, director, Greater Good Parents | March 19, 2012

The title of this post is misleading: Divorce is difficult and painful for everyone involved, especially kids. I’ve never known anyone to have a “good” divorce, in that way you have a good meal or good sex — even when divorce was the right thing to do for everyone, including the kids. Divorce is horrible. … Continue reading »

Occupy parenting, part 2

Christine Carter, director, Greater Good Parents | December 13, 2011

“I’m only 6. I can’t afford a lobbyist.“ ―sign held by a little girl at Occupy Oakland “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.“ ―Martin Luther King Jr. Although I wish, now, that I’d been more involved in the Children’s Brigade in Oakland, I confess that I don’t … Continue reading »

What to do when a pet dies

Christine Carter, director, Greater Good Parents | October 3, 2011

We tend to be a pet heavy household. At one point, we had two dogs and two cats; when they started passing on, we started getting pet rats, which in my opinion are the perfect pet for kids, despite their horrible PR problem (those who don’t flinch at the word “rat” are few and far … Continue reading »

Comfortable with discomfort

Christine Carter, director, Greater Good Parents | June 30, 2011

Yesterday, I dropped my kids off at a rustic sleep-a-way camp in the high Sierras, where they will be for the next two weeks. The drop-off didn’t go very well. When I was a kid, I begged and begged to go to sleep-a-way camp with my best friend Rory.  I did extra chores to earn it, and I counted … Continue reading »

Helping kids deal with stress

Christine Carter, director, Greater Good Parents | June 2, 2011

This month on the Raising Happiness blog I wrote about some scary statistics revealing the huge stress that kids are under these days. After providing all that evidence that our children are clearly suffering, I promised a follow-up post about how parents can help kids cope with school-related stress and anxiety. Here are my three specific … Continue reading »