GreatSchools Cohosts Google+ Hangout on “Back to Happy”

Part of online series Emotional Smarts: Conversations on Parenting


In the third installment of our online series, Emotional Smarts: Conversations on Parenting, two experts share their secrets for banishing back-to-school blues — and setting your family up for a happy school year.

Ah, the joys of summer: staying up late, sleeping in, staring at screens, eating sugar — and more sugar. After 12 weeks of so much free time, summer can feel like a long weekend gone bad.

There’s good reason so many of us reach our wits’ end by the time school rolls around again. Sure, we all need a break from work and school, but experts say unlimited leisure time doesn’t make people happy. Setting goals, having structure, and working hard — these unlikely tasks actually instill a true sense of happiness.

With this in mind, for back-to-school season we’re taking our cue from two happiness experts (both parents) on how to approach the school year with a renewed sense of purpose, a reduced level of stress, and an abundance of joy.

Please join us for Back to Happy — our third Emotional Smarts: Conversations on Parenting Google+ Hangout featuring two of the nation’s most seasoned happiness pros. They’ve delved into the research and discovered how to get organized for a more streamlined, less stress-filled school year. We are proud to host Christine Carter, sociologist and author of Raising Happiness, and Bruce Feiler, author of The Secrets of Happy Families.

Carter and Feiler have made it their mission to unlock the secrets of happy families. They’ve been in the trenches, navigated their own parenting adventures, and taken their personal experiences and professional findings to make raising children a more satisfying, less stressful journey.

Join us on Wednesday, August 27 — and jump in with your questions — for a discussion on how to make the shift from back-to-school dread to a back-to-happy outlook.

Join us! Who, when, where details…

Christine Carter, author of Raising Happiness
Bruce Feiler, author of The Secrets of Happy Families
Moderated by Carol Lloyd, Executive Editor at GreatSchools

Wednesday, August 27, 11 am PST (2pm EST)

RSVP to:
Join our #emotionalsmarts live chat on Twitter.

How does our Google+ Hangout work?

Just sign up via and add your questions, then log on at 11 am PST Wednesday, August 27th to participate. In this unique forum, you’re invited to join the video conversation by contributing advance and real-time questions and comments via the Google+ Hangout page or via Twitter using the hashtag #emotionalsmarts. If you can’t make the live event, no problem, you can watch it later on GreatSchools or SocialMoms.

About our Emotional Smarts series

GreatSchools, SocialMoms, and social emotional learning consultant Jessica Berlinski created the Emotional Smarts series of Google+ Hangouts that bring together some of the most insightful voices in parenting, education, and other fields to talk about developing emotional intelligence in our kids — and ourselves.

Our past hangouts have included a chat about dealing with anger in the family with America’s Supernanny Deborah Tillman and Marc Brackett from the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, and a discussion of the benefits of letting kids fail with former NBA star Adonal Foyle and NBC parenting expert Michele Borba. For each hangout, we pair experts with divergent views to explore a common parenting theme and offer practical wisdom and tactical advice.

About the participants:

Christine Carter, PhD is a sociologist and happiness expert at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center. She is the author of Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents and The Sweet Spot: How to Find Your Groove at Work and Home (January 2015). A sought-after motivational speaker on happiness, Carter draws on psychology, sociology, and neuroscience — and uses her own chaotic and often very funny real-world adventures — to demonstrate the do’s and don’ts in action. A popular blogger, speaker, and parent coach who offers online classes, she has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show and the Dr. Oz Show. She lives with her husband and four kids near San Francisco.

Bruce Feiler is the author of six consecutive New York Times bestsellers, including The Council of Dads and Walking the Bible. For his most recent bestseller — The Secrets of Happy Families:  Improve Your Mornings, Rethink Family Dinner, Fight Smarter, Go Out and Play, and Much More — he goes on a three-year journey to find the smartest ideas, cutting-edge research, and novel solutions to make his family happier. He is also the writer and host of the PBS series Walking the Bible and Sacred Journeys with Bruce Feiler; he writes for numerous publications, including The New Yorker and The New York Times. Feiler is the father of identical twin daughters.

Carol Lloyd, Executive Editor at GreatSchools, is an award-winning writer and editor whose work on education and family life has been published in New York Times Magazine, Salon, and other national outlets, as well as being featured on NPR’s Talk of the Nation, KQED’s Forum, and NBC’s Class Action.

GreatSchools is a digital media nonprofit that helps millions of parents get a great education for their children, support their children’s learning, and find great schools. Every year, GreatSchools reaches more than half of all American families with school-age children, providing school information, educational activities, articles, and videos.

SocialMoms is a digital media company with one of the world’s largest networks of women influencers — comprised of more than 45,000 bloggers, sites, and social media personalities with a combined social reach of more than 200 million. Founded in 2008 by Megan Calhoun, the company creates high-impact, custom media campaigns that shape perceptions and drive action.

Jessica Berlinski works with educational organizations to build awareness and scale impact in social emotional learning (SEL). As co-founder of If You Can, she supported Electronic Arts’ founder in launching the first consumer video game designed to build emotional intelligence. She has a decade of experience leading organizations dedicated to supporting the “whole child” through academics and SEL.


GreatSchools is the leading nonprofit providing high-quality information that supports parents pursuing a great education for their child, schools striving for excellence, and communities working to diminish inequities in education. We are the only national organization that collects and analyzes data from all 51 state departments of education and the federal government to provide analysis, insights, and school quality ratings for parents, partners, researchers, and policymakers. Over 49 million users visit GreatSchools’ award-winning website annually to learn about schools in their area, explore research insights, and access thousands of free, evidence-based parenting resources to support their child’s learning and well-being.

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