Christine Carter (Ballantine Books, 2010)
In a culture where Wii, Princess dresses, and iPads dominate, children from families of wealth can easily become focused on material gain rather than on creating meaning in their lives. At 21/64, we work with next generation inheritors of wealth and philanthropy who aspire to find their purpose, their passions, and direct their energy toward creating change in the world given their resources – ambitious pursuits for anyone, let alone for people who could easily be distracted by things they can buy rather than fund.
To inform our work, we¹ve benefited from following the books, blogs and online teachings of Christine Carter, Director of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley and author of Raising Happiness. Carter argues that happiness is neither an innate nor a fixed condition, and that parents are in a unique position to create the environments which will lead to their children being happier not only in childhood, but throughout their adult lives. Her new book outlines, in ten simple steps, how parents can actively engage children, offering methods by which parents can promote values such as gratitude to combat a child’s sense of entitlement or forgiveness to undermine anger.
Carter¹s approach is a balance of scientific research and techniques developed from her personal experiences as a mother. While every family could benefit from the various lessons outlined in the book, Carter focuses on teaching children how to be grateful and how to live meaningful lives – lessons that are particularly important for families with significant financial resources. Accessible to parents and advisors to families grappling with how to raise philanthropic children, we commend Raising Happiness by book or blog.