In 2008 I was up to my ears in parenting books and I couldn’t help but notice that many of these experts did not agree with each other. So I began to evaluate their works not on the basis of their words but rather on the abstract structures behind their words.
I know. It sounds boring. But it’s fascinating. So fascinating that it became the subject of my thesis A Linguistic Analysis of Parenting and the thesis won a fancy award (The Glushko Prize for Distinguished Undergraduate Research in Cognitive Science).
As I was compiling data for my research, I came across Christine Carter’s work. At the time she was the executive director for the Greater Good Science Center. It changed my life (and my thesis).
I’ll be the first to admit it. My thesis is rather dry. There are no pictures or exclamation marks anywhere. But I stand by the content. It’s pretty rad and gave me a way to navigate in the NICU when my husband and I were flanked by more experts who didn’t agree with each other. And Christine’s work (you can experience the Full Christine here) became the road map.
In 2012 I wrote a series of posts for Christine’s parenting site raisinghappiness.com, combining what I gleaned from her 10 Steps For Raising Happy Kids with stuffy abstract cognitive linguistics. I’m reposting them the essays for your enjoyment. Please check out raisinghappines.com and christinecarter.com if you have the chance. She offers a fantastic online class and all of her advice is science-based. Awesomeness. Exclamation point.