Category Archives: For Parents

Are you a Relationship Professional?

imgresAre you going to iDate in January? It’s the world’s largest dating industry conference held at the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas on January 20th-22nd. Attendees include online dating operators, dating coaches, matchmakers and other relationship professionals. We spend 3 days collaborating, networking, learning and sharing tips and secrets to growing our businesses.

This year, I’m thrilled to tell you that I will be leading a pre-conference seminar that is part “Love Science Pro: The Psychology of Human Mating” and part business strategy for matchmakers. Find out more here:

To register for my special pre-conference seminar on January 20th, go to the iDate 2015 registration page, and click on: ADVANCED BUSINESS STRATEGY FOR MATCHMAKERS AND DATING COACHES

Hope to see you there! – Dr. Wendy Walsh

 

FOR COUPLES: The Secret of Love and Parenting

loving familyKids can be challenging. But so can our adult love relationships. But are they the same relationship? In many ways they are, and what we learn from one kind of relationship, we can apply to the other. The common link is emotional intimacy and the big tug-o-war in every intimate relationship is the struggle between independence and union. While many people have heard of co-dependence, that pop psyche term that means no one can remember whose problem is whose, not many fully understand the feeling of a healthy inter-dependence.

Independence and union are the yin-yang of human connections. Being in union with another fills us up with feelings of security, confidence, and heals our loneliness. And sometimes being together can also feel more like suffocation and imprisonment. Independence can help us feel powerful, free, and proudly self-sufficient. But independence can also bring feelings of isolation, fear, and, with no cheer leader, insecurity.

Every intimate relationship is a live action game, it’s partners on the same team with (hopefully) a common goal. Like basketball, sometimes one partner runs with the ball and scores, and other times is happy to assist or play defense. You steer the parent/child team when you make a firm rule. Your child steers the team when his/her unadulterated insight blurted out at a family dinner, awes and amazes you, and you change your behavior based on it. In an adult relationship, you may choose to lead by instituting firm boundaries between work life, couple-hood, and family life. He leads when you all move to a new city for his job and know that the long-run win will be family harmony.

The biggest difference between parenting and adult love is the direction separation runs. When you meet a stranger and fall in love, your journey together is one where you continue to grow closer and closer to create deep intimacy. A mother/child relationship runs the opposite course. You begin, literally as one body. And your journey is a long, slow separation from womb to dorm room. Both kinds of relationships share this: on their journey together each partner’s needs for closeness and autonomy will wax and wane as emotional needs ride the waves of daily life stresses.

Some people might think that another huge difference is that kids can’t leave. They are wholly dependent on their parents. But I beg to differ. Although kids may be financially dependent on their parents, they can emotionally leave the relationship. They can check out if their well-timed calls for some  autonomy are not heeded. They can check out if they are given too much independence, and feel unprotected by their parents. Lovers can do the same thing. They may leave physically or emotionally.

So, how can we honor the struggle between our desires to be an individual and our desires to be a partner? The answer is always to talk about it. To have empathy for another’s autonomy and not “take it personally.” To voice our own needs for autonomy or closeness in a non-threatening way. The road to intimacy is a prickly path. We will often make mistakes in judgement, or act from a place of fear. But the other wonderful thing about all relationships is that they are alive and growing and there is always room for repair. And in that very process of repair, where we may use empathy and humor, we will feel in union again, that is, until the next time we feel smothered.

For more watch my youtube video on: Why IN-dependence is OUT

Dr. Wendy Walsh Named Celebrity Spokesperson of The National Domestic Violence Hotline

ndvh_bubbleFor Immediate Release: Celebrities Gather to End Domestic Violence

OJ Simpson Prosecutor Marcia Clark, Academy Award Winner Marcia Gay Harden and The National Domestic Violence Hotline CEO, Katie Ray Jones, among women speaking at the “Women of Influence, Cocktail and Conversation” event in Santa Monica this Thursday, Nov.6th. At the event Dr. Wendy Walsh will be named celebrity spokesperson for The Hotline. A panel discussion will look at DV from OJ Simpson, to Chris Brown, to Ray Rice and the NFL’s recent donation to The Hotline.

Tickets and Media Inquires: Cameka Crawford, NDVH CCO, ccrawford@ndvh.org 

WHAT: Los Angeles, Women of Influence Cocktails and Conversation, (Party and panel discussion)

WHEN: Thursday, November 6th, 7:00 pm

WHERE: KidsInTheHouse.com, 1453 14th Street, Santa Monica, CA, 90404

WHO:   Dr. Wendy Walsh, America’s Relationship Expert, Katie Ray-Jones, CEO, The National Domestic Violence Hotline, Marcia Clark, Author and former OJ Simpson Prosecutor, Shannon Humphrey, President, LA Black Women’s Lawyer Association, Marcia Gay Harden, Activist and Academy Award Winning Actress, Kandee Lewis, Executive Director of the Positive Results Corporation, Leanna Greene, CEO, KidsInTheHouse.com and many more.

SPONSORS: Retrouvé Luxury Skin Care, Lorimar Vineyard and Winery, Adam Corolla’s Mangria, KidsInTheHouse.com, and Lawrence Adamo, Summit Financial.

TICKETS AND MEDIA INQUIRIES: Cameka Crawford, CCO, The National Domestic Violence Hotline ccrawford@ndvh.org

 

 

 

Ray Rice Appealing Suspension. #WhyHeHits.

1342481785_7079_Ray-Rice_01-300x286ESPN reports today that Ray Rice is appealing his suspension from the Baltimore Ravens for knocking his fiancé unconscious, under the grounds that “he was punished twice for the same offense.” Whatever the NFL decides, twenty years after the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and the ensuing OJ Simpson trial, we, as a culture are still confused about intimate partner violence.

A twitter hashtag flood called #WhyIStayed has victims desperately attempting to describe the invisible shackles that bind them into a cycle of love and violence. Others are firing back with tweets that this is the wrong conversation and the hashtag #WhyHeHits has emerged. Still others are taking the eye-for-an-eye argument, reminding us that women hit too. (Surely a 200 pound man has the ability to walk away. When a woman lies on the floor unconscious, she can’t retreat.) But all these conversations are the wrong ones.

If one in four American women will become victims of intimate partner violence in their life time, then one in four men are potential offenders. I remind you, these are not crazed psychopaths living on the street. These are our brothers, and fathers, and uncles, and boyfriends, and husbands. They are not monsters. In fact, to outsiders they may appear to be good boyfriends and good husbands. And too many women who had a father who abandoned them as a child, think long and hard before tearing a father from the lives of their children. But I am digressing here, into that #WhySheStays conversation.

The much bigger question for our society as a whole is, what are we doing wrong? How is it that twenty-five per cent of our boys are being raised to strike instead of negotiate? How is it that the only tool available to many men in moments of deep emotional frustration, is the fist? And, trust me, there is no environment more frustrating than our personal romantic relationships. It’s a hallmark of intimacy — we save the most sadistic parts of our personality for those we love the most. If our lover is still present after the infant inside emerges to take a tantrum, then we know it is real love. But violence is more than a tantrum. It is a the act of shutting down a perceived attack that hurts more than words. Too many men are not taught to manage their feelings. Boys are taught that crying is weak. Sharing prickly feelings like fear and shame are unmanly. And, because women excel at verbal communication, men may feel ill-equipped in comparison, when trying to express their feelings.

And there’s another problem. We teach boys to hit. When a parent uses corporal punishment, they are assaulting a tiny body full of love and trust and wonder. Some of my social media followers are quick to point out that not all children who were hit grow up to be hitters. While I can’t say that all abused boys grow up to be abusers, we know that abuse has devastating effects on the psyches of all. Let’s start a new hashtag today #StopHittingBoys. It’s time we stop raising domestic violence offenders. And we owe it to our boys (and girls) to help them make sense of their emotions.

FOR PARENTS: Becoming Woman – Teaching Daughters About Sexuality

mixed race confident teens on student vacationGirls are taught a total of two things about their sexuality: DO and DON’T. Today, sex education for females starts and stops in politics. With educators, mentors and sometimes parents silent about sexuality, young women turn to their friends, the media, or the internet for information on their changing bodies and minds.

This week on Wine with Dr. Wendy, we will be continuing the intriguing conversation from last week about teaching sexuality to our children, except this week we’re doing it with a focus on girls. Tune this Wednesday at 8:00 pm PT to see how you can talk to your daughters about sex. Joining Dr. Wendy will be Hangout producer Laura Hampikian, Amy Lang from Birds + Bees + Kids, and freelance writer and blogger on Wealthy Single Mommy, Emma Johnson.

This Hangout is Q&A enabled, which means that you can ask questions to the guests and I before the Hangout and even LIVE during the Broadcast.

If you have a Google+ page, you can participate in the event here. Don’t have Google+? Watch the broadcast from the steam below!