Mom.me sat down for an interview with expert on happiness, Dr Sophie Keller. Keller is a British transplant who now lives in Santa Monica with her husband and 4-year-old son Judah. Dr Keller decided to become a happiness expert after being bullied as a young child, healing herself from a serious back injury, and suffering a miscarriage. She is one of only a handful of happiness experts in the world. Keller discusses several aspects about how to get happy and happy parenting in this interview, including:
- Don’t have too many children – Young people tend to have more children than they can handle, both economically and emotionally. Keller suggests starting with one child and then reassessing your ability to cope with adding more kids to your family.
- Don’t neglect your marriage – Your marriage or partnership is key to happy parenting. It’s important to keep your marriage happy while parenting by going on dates and setting aside time for each other. Your relationship is the backbone of your child’s future happiness. Also, make sure to resolve arguments quickly to model good argument skills for your kids.
- You will likely do more household chores than your male partner – If you’re a woman in partnership with a man, you will probably end up doing more than your fair share of the cooking, cleaning, and picking up. Keller believes it’s important to accept this fact in order to not build up resentments.
- Ditch Facebook and social media in general – One of the secrets of how to get happy is to ditch social media. Endlessly comparing yourself to the supposedly “perfect” lives of others has a detrimental effect on your happiness and self-esteem.
- Deal with trauma as honestly as you can – It’s important to be as authentic as you can with your emotions when working through personal trauma. Keller talks about how working through the pain of a miscarriage was ultimately a blessing in disguise. That experience was what convinced her she’d be good at teaching others how to get happy.
- Deal with bullying immediately – If your child is being bullied at school, go deal with it right away. Having experienced childhood bullying herself, Keller understands the importance of not letting it fester. Stopping bullying in its tracks is another important part of happy parenting.