10 Tips for Single mothers raising sons – 5 Dos and 5 Don’ts

October 29th, 2014
10 tips for mothers raising sons 5 dos and 5 donts

10 Tips for mothers raising sons – 5 Dos and 5 Dont’s

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal 10 tips – 5 Dos and 5 Don’ts for single mothers raising sons.

 

First a quick update:

****  Is it ever a good idea to date a friend’s ex? – HerCampus.com posed the question and you can read my insights here: http://www.hercampus.com/love/relationships/dating-friend-s-ex-it-ever-good-idea

 

**** Follow me on Twitter – You can now choose to follow me and receive a few words of wisdom on Twitter: @Behavior_Expert   https://twitter.com/Behavior_Expert

 

 

Now, let’s talk about the 10 tips – 5 Dos and 5 Don’ts for single mothers raising sons.

 

Being a single mother is extraordinarily challenging with tremendous financial, physical, mental, and emotional pressures. Raising a son on your own, is even more difficult.

 

First, here are the words of caution – the 5 “Don’ts”:

 

1. Don’t make him your ‘man’

A client was revealing to me that he feels a romantic attachment to his mother. For him, it began when he was 4 years of age and she was being hit by her husband. She turned to her son and asked him for comfort. Soon, she divorced the abusive husband and said to her son, “You are my man.”

 

It is a common occurrence for single mothers (and even married mothers who feel disconnected from their husbands) to turn to their young son for emotional support. However, this creates enmeshment: the child is unable to form his own identity; he cannot psychologically and emotionally separate himself from his mother, is plagued with guilt, and grows up afraid and angry at the world. The child cannot replace or play the role of an adult male. He cannot process or understand your emotions.

 

Set physical and emotional boundaries for him and for yourself.

 

 

2. Don’t make him ‘the man of the house’

While this behavior seems to be similar to calling him your ‘man’, it is actually an added layer where he feels responsible for the household, for his mother’s wellbeing and even for the financial responsibilities. Some young boys will go and seek work to help or they will be overwrought with self-loathing and helplessness for not being able to turn things around. Remember, a young boy cannot be your emotional rescuer.

 

3. Don’t teach or encourage him to hate his father and all men

You can be angry at the father if he has failed to perform his responsibilities or failed to live up to your expectations. However, he is still the biological father of your son and your son has a right to connect or communicate with his father, until such time, that it is clear that it is damaging to the son to do so.

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Negative hallucination and false stories in our head

October 22nd, 2014
Negative hallucinations and false stories in our heads

Negative hallucinations and false stories in our head

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to discuss negative hallucinations and the false stories we create in our head.

 

First a quick update:

 

****  Why ISIS is succeeding in recruiting Western Youth – Boys and girls around the world, and as young as 13 years of age, are fleeing their country to join and fight alongside terrorists. Three girls from the US were just caught in Germany. Why is ISIS succeeding with youth? Read my insights here: http://patrickwanis.com/blog/western-youths-joining-isis/

 

 

****  Follow me on Twitter – You can now choose to follow me and receive a few words of wisdom on Twitter: @Behavior_Expert   https://twitter.com/Behavior_Expert

 

Now, let’s talk about negative hallucinations and the false stories we create in our head.

 

Many years ago when I was performing stage hypnosis shows I would hypnotize volunteers to perform hallucinations and negative hallucinations.

 

Hallucinations are things we see that don’t exist; negative hallucinations are things we don’t see that actually exist.

 

For example, I would hypnotize a volunteer and tell him that there is a UFO in the sky and now he must warn people about the danger (hallucination.) In another scenario, I would tell the hypnotized volunteer that the audience has completely vanished and it is so quiet and peaceful here. Next, I would ask the audience to shout loudly and have people come up and jump up and down in front of the hypnotized person who would see and hear nothing.

 

He simply could not see or hear what was happening right in front of him, and happening quite loudly and clearly. He couldn’t even feel the weight of the people jumping up and down in front of him.

 

It is amazing to see and experience the things hypnotized people will do and the way that they will react under hypnosis.

 

However, most of us fail to recognize that we do these same things on a daily basis – we engage in hallucinations and negative hallucinations.

 

We see things in our head that don’t exist and we fail to see the things that do exist in reality.

 

For example, a client told me that she was experiencing anxiety and feelings of rejection because she had not heard from a friend regarding a project with which she could have helped him.

 

She began to explain to me the hallucinations – she believed that he doesn’t care, isn’t interested, doesn’t think she is significant and doesn’t need her for the project.

 

That was her story.

 

In her mind she created a story about his actions or lack of actions.

 

She created a hallucination, which in this case was a negative use of her imagination and which, created feelings of anxiety, rejection, insignificance and unworthiness.

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Why Western youths are joining ISIS

October 17th, 2014
Why Western youths are joining ISIS. Samra Kesinovic, 17, and Sabina Selimovic, 15 fled Austria to join ISIS

Why Western youths are joining ISIS. Samra Kesinovic, 17, and Sabina Selimovic, 15 fled Austria to join ISIS

ISIS – the new online predator

US intelligence says more than 100 Americans have gone to Syria to join ISIS or have tried thus far – they are young and not just male.

Three girls from Minnesota left the US recently to join ISIS. One teenage US female who converted from Christianity to Islam, was arrested trying to fly to Syria to fight. Hundreds of teenage girls, many still underage are leaving their homes in Europe to join ISIS. In Austria, two teenage girls 15 and 17 fled to join ISIS in Syria and 12 others are believed to have done the same thing.

Update: The FBI said that it’s investigating the possibility that three girls from the Denver area tried to travel to Syria to join Islamic State extremists.  

The real answer to the uncovering the success of ISIS in recruiting American and other Western youth is to approach it with a multi-layered analysis.

 

The profile:

 

Age: Young – teens to mid 20s

 

Education: high school graduates and college students (in Europe, the females are college graduates)

 

Recruitment: self-recruited online via social media and web (not via radical Imams at Mosques)

 

Ethnicity: South Asian, East Asian, Caucasian, Middle Eastern and African-American descent

 

Identity – Unable to identify with American culture – identify more with Middle East or native country

 

Psychological issues – feelings of being alienated, potential trouble at home

 

Emotional needs – lack sense of purpose and belonging, lack of self-perceived significance; youth seem disengaged from community – outsiders, loners.

 

Emotions – Anger & frustration: Angry at society and the perceived immorality and filth; frustrated by feeling of displacement, feelings of being second-class citizens.

 

Emotions and religious beliefs & ideologies – Helplessness and betrayal – believe that the West is killing their people – killing the Muslims; Grievance of mistrust of government and US authorities for spying on Muslims; desire to achieve something

 

Emotional needs – lack sense of purpose and belonging, lack of self-perceived significance; youth seem disengaged from community – outsiders, loners.

 

Future goals 7 promises: Western girls are being enticed with romance – marriage proposals, family, love and a home

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The antidote to fear

October 15th, 2014
The antidote to fear

The antidote to fear.

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal the significance of taking action, acting in spite of fear and stepping out of your comfort zone.

 

First a quick update:

****  5 Ways to tell if your guy is lying – There are specific signs that reveal your man isn’t telling the truth. Read my insights in HerCampus.com, and learn the top 5 ways to tell if he is lying and the number 1 way to tell if he is cheating http://www.hercampus.com/love/relationships/5-ways-tell-if-your-guy-lying

 

****  Follow me on Twitter – You can now choose to follow me and receive a few words of wisdom on Twitter: @Behavior_Expert   https://twitter.com/Behavior_Expert

 

Now, let’s talk about the significance of taking action, acting in spite of fear and stepping out of your comfort zone.

 

A friend was explaining to me that she was unsure about what action to take; she had missed an international flight twice – three days apart.

 

“Everything happens for a reason, right? I am not supposed to go, right?”

 

‘Usually, the reason is us’ I replied.  ‘You obviously don’t want to go, and thus you keep creating that reality.’

 

“Are you saying I am sabotaging myself?”

 

‘I am saying that you have internal resistance and you don’t want to really go.’

 

“I do want to go. I love Europe.”

 

‘Okay. So there are 2 parts to you. Tell me about the part of you that doesn’t want to go.’

 

“I am afraid.”

 

‘Afraid of what? What has happened suddenly that you are preventing yourself from going to a place you consciously love but subconsciously fear?’

 

“I broke up with my boyfriend and now I feel afraid.”

 

‘So the relationship offered you security and was part of your identity, and now, you have fear and uncertainty.’

 

Fear is the anticipation of pain, obviously set in the future. We fear that something is going to occur; we focus on the potential pain (albeit negative imagination) and thus, we become paralyzed.

 

As we get older, we allow fear to control us, we shrink our comfort zone and it eventually becomes our prison zone.

 

When we stop and analyze fear, we realize that it is usually completely unfounded; again, it is the result of negative imagination.

 

The only antidote to fear is action.

 

Let’s first explain a key component of fear – the Amygdala Hijack.

Continue reading “The antidote to fear” »

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Overcoming your False Self

October 8th, 2014
overcoming the false self versus the real self

Overcoming the False Self

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal how to overcome your false self.

 

First a quick update:

 

 

****  Of course, an American  is colorless – Former Cosby TV show star Raven Symone says an American is colorless; nowhere in the world is citizenship determined by color. What does it mean to deny color and heritage? Read my insights and opinion in the article http://patrickwanis.com/blog/raven-symone-searching-identity/

 

 

****  Follow me on Twitter – You can now choose to follow me and receive a few words of wisdom on Twitter: @Behavior_Expert   https://twitter.com/Behavior_Expert

 

Now, let’s talk about your false self and how to overcome it.

 

It’s a simple question, which often stumbles many people: “Who are you?”

 

Most people respond with name, titles, positions, gender, etc.

Is that, though, the real answer to the question?

What distinguishes you from everyone else?

How do you know what is your real self and what is your false self?

 

The search for our identity and sense of self begins as early as age 12 when we begin to question  and  rebel against our parents and the search becomes more pronounced in our teen years as we try to establish our own identity separate from our parents. We start to clarify our beliefs, values, goals, dreams, hobbies and passion. (Watch the video of the way school children respond when asked “Who are you?”)


For some people, it is a quest without a clear destination; some people are unable to truly define themselves or clarify what they want in life. However, the greatest challenge is trying to distinguish the real self from the false self.

 

What is the false self?

 

In psychoanalysis, the “False Self” refers to a defensive façade, an inability to be spontaneous, coupled with a feeling of being dead or empty.

 

Here, I expand on that definition to include limiting beliefs and negative emotions.

 

I teach that we learn 3 ways:

 

1. We watch the people around us (usually our parents) and we naturally copy them

2. We listen to what the adults say and we believe what they say, and often we even repeat those phrases when we become adults and parents

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Raven Symone searching for identity

October 8th, 2014

An American is colorless but identity isn’t

Raven Symone, star of The Cosby Show and That’s So Raven, made a politically correct statement by telling Oprah that she is tired of labels, doesn’t want to be labeled as gay or African-American and that an American is a colorless person.

 

“However, Raven is actually saying she hasn’t yet found her identity, isn’t interested in her heritage, and is selectively choosing labels which she believes will benefit her” says Australian Human Behavior Expert Patrick Wanis PhD.

 

“Nowhere in the world is citizenship determined by color, but our identity goes deeper than our citizenship or nationality. If we are to remove all labels, then we must remove all hyphenations such as Italian-American, Cuban-American, etc., and we can never truly know ourselves until we can identify our heritage or ancestry. Are Jewish Americans still allowed to identify with their heritage? Can people still label themselves as Holocaust survivors, Christians, or mothers, sons or daughters? Can women call themselves women (gender identification) or do they have to refer to themselves as females?”

 

“Few of us want to be labeled with something that excludes us, divides us, victimizes us or potentially results in discrimination, bigotry or less opportunities. However, that is not equivalent to denying one’s roots, heritage or ancestry. Unless one is afraid or potentially ashamed of their heritage, there is little reason to not seek out one’s families and the richness of their history.”

 

“Symone says ‘I don’t know where my roots go to…but I do know my roots are in Louisiana.’ Unless her family is Native American, her roots do go beyond Louisiana, the same way that Irish Americans in NY have roots that go beyond NY.”

 

“If Symone is saying she doesn’t identify with African-Americans, she will still eventually have to find with which group she does identify (a religion, an organization, a community and so forth) since we all need a sense of belonging.”

 

“Identity is also connected to values, morals, principles, beliefs, interests, goals, dreams, meaning, purpose, culture, skills, talents, abilities and personality. When Symone says she doesn’t want to be labeled, and therefore doesn’t identify with  anything, anyone or any group in particular, she is also saying she doesn’t stand for anything and thus, lacks purpose and meaning.”

“We also need to understand that African-American isn’t just a political term; its true definition is the ethnic group whose members are those Americans who descended from the Africans brought and enslaved in the US from 1619 – 1865.”

 

“Finally, we label others as well as ourselves as a way of understanding, identifying and distinguishing ourselves, and as a way of bonding with people who are similar to us. We can be different and still equal! We cannot fully appreciate what makes someone special if we refuse to acknowledge and appreciate what also makes them different, though of the same nationality.”

 

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Emma Watson, feminism and gender stereotypes

October 1st, 2014
Emma Watson feminism gender stereotypes

Emma Watson feminism gender stereotypes

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to discuss Emma Watson’s new push for feminism and a viral letter by a 15-year old boy responding to her.

 

First a quick update:

 

**** Hollywood and it’s gender stereotyping of men - 

Advertising, TV and film portray men as inept idiots; will it change? Read my insights and opinion in the article about the attack on men on Foxnews.com 

 

****  Follow me on Twitter – You can now choose to follow me and receive a few words of wisdom on Twitter: @Behavior_Expert   https://twitter.com/Behavior_Expert

 

 

 

Now, let’s talk about Emma Watson’s new push for feminism and a viral letter by a 15-year old boy responding to her.

 

British actress Emma Watson gave a speech to the UN asking men to join in the push for gender equality and feminism. The global response was generally positive. She was criticized for omitting poor and colored women who face many more challenges than white women.

 

Ed Holtom, a 15-year old boy in the UK wrote a letter, which was published in the Telegraph and it went viral.  He supported Emma’s speech:

 

“We’re lucky to live in a Western world where women can speak out against stereotypes. It’s a privilege. Gender equality and feminism is not about ‘man-hating’ or the idea of ‘female supremacy.’ It is, by definition, the opposite…The definition of feminism is, ‘a person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes.’ It’s pretty simple really, and if you believe in those things, then you’re a feminist… If we want equality, it will take more effort than paying women the same as men, or giving women equal opportunities…We must not let gender define us.”

 

It is true that feminism began as the push for equality for women. Plato supported child care so women could be soldiers, and according to Professor Elaine Hoffman Baruch of York College, Plato “[argued] for the total political and sexual equality of women, advocating that they be members of his highest class…those who rule and fight”.

 

In the 15th century French author Christine De Pazin wrote against misogyny.

 

In the 19th century, Sojourner Truth gave a speech calling for equality for black women. “Ain’t I a woman?”

 

However, the Women’s Liberation Movement which began in the 1960s was later criticized for promoting female superiority rather than female equality.

 

Kurt Cobain of Nirvana was a feminist even though he actually longed for the maternal comfort of traditional relationships (something he didn’t receive as a child.)

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The Halo Effect and your beauty

September 24th, 2014
The halo effect and your beauty

The Halo Effect and your beauty

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to explain the Halo Effect and reveal how to discover the beauty in you.

 

First a quick update:

 

****  “Why saying get over it doesn’t work for people” – Read the interview I gave to Michael Toebe, negotiation and conflict management consultant about what it truly takes to “get over it” and why will power alone is ineffective. http://www.michaeltoebe.com/2014/09/why-saying-get-over-it-doesnt-work-for.html

 

 

****  Follow me on Twitter – You can now choose to follow me and receive a few words of wisdom on Twitter: @Behavior_Expert   https://twitter.com/Behavior_Expert

 

 

 Now, let’s talk about the Halo Effect and reveal how to discover the beauty in you.

 

“If you could see yourself through my eyes, you would realize how beautiful you are.”

-       Rumi

 

Beauty is that aspect that we identify in someone or something that gives us a sense of pleasure or satisfaction.

 

Of course, in today’s western culture, we tend to define beauty as only a physical, external quality. Rarely, or not often enough, do we choose to use ‘beauty’ to refer to a person’s inner qualities.

 

In other words, we have created judgment about people based on their physical beauty, and those whom we deem beautiful, we also view as more valuable and we extend or perceive them to be valuable in other ways; we might see him/her as being more likable, more intelligent or more capable than someone who lacks the external beauty and is less attractive.

 

This is known as the “Halo Effect” – we rate attractive individuals more favorably for their personality traits or characteristics than those who are less attractive, and, we assign overall value and likability to someone based on one aspect of that person. Thus we make bias judgments and we label people as simply good or bad.

 

The Halo Effect extends further after death: we shift our perception and we view the person as ‘good’, discarding our previous negative perceptions of him/her.

 

Thus, we might have criticized the person while alive, but now dead, we see only the good in him/her.

 

Think of Whitney Houston who had been harshly criticized for her substance abuse and addictions but was redeemed upon her death – the media posted photos of her in her prime and we focused on her achievements and contributions throughout her life, ignoring her failings.

 

There are 2 key points here:

We judge and value people primarily on their external beauty

We wait till someone dies to elevate them or recognize their total beauty

Continue reading “The Halo Effect and your beauty” »

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Women engage in domestic violence as much as men?

September 17th, 2014
women enagge in domestic violence as much as men Kelly Brook laughing on TV about punching her boyfriends in the face

Kelly Brook laughing on TV about punching her boyfriends in the face in separate incidents

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to explore the studies that reveal women engage in domestic violence as much as men, and explore our attitudes to women hitting men.

 

First a quick update:

 

 

****  You’re wrong  about the  Ray Rice video - The media and public became outraged by the second video of Ray  Rice hitting  his wife, but the revealing video was the first showing him without concern for her when she  was unconscious. http://patrickwanis.com/blog/wrong-ray-rice-video/

 

****  Follow me on Twitter – You can now choose to follow me and receive a few words of wisdom on Twitter: @Behavior_Expert   https://twitter.com/Behavior_Expert

 

 

 Now, let’s talk about the studies that reveal women engage in domestic violence as much as men, and explore our attitudes to women hitting men.

 

Is domestic violence a gender issue?

 

John Wayne, the epitome of rugged masculinity, was beaten by his wife Conchita Martinez; Humphrey Bogart who played the cool masculine male, ranked as the greatest male star in the history of American cinema, was battered by his wife Mayo Methot; Abraham Lincoln’s wife Mary broke his nose with a lump of wood because he didn’t put enough wood on the fire; Christian Slater’s first wife Ryan Haddon Slater, threw a whisky glass at him, it shattered against his head and he needed 20 stitches around his ear and neck; Phil Hartman was murdered by his abusive and battering wife.

 

Before we go any further, with the exception of extreme cases such as the murder of Phil Hartman by his wife and the mutilation of John Bobbitt by wife Lorena, please note that when men engage in domestic violence, they are more likely to seriously injure their partner and, women are the greater victim of domestic violence.

 

International research suggests that almost 50% of domestic violence is committed against men.

 

“It turns out that in close relationships, women are plenty aggressive. Women are if anything more likely than men to perpetrate domestic violence against romantic partners, everything from a slap in the face to assault with a deadly weapon. Women also do more child abuse than men, though that’s hard to untangle from the higher amount of time they spend with children. Still, you can’t say that women avoid violence toward intimate partners…Women don’t hit strangers. The chances that a woman will, say, go to the mall and end up in a knife fight with another woman are vanishingly small, but there is more such risk for men.”
- Roy F. Baumeister, Florida State University psychology professor Roy F. Baumeister, 2007

 

John Archer, professor of psychology at the University of Central Lancashire and president of the International Society for Research on Aggression, in 2000 analyzed studies of 34,000 men and women in the US and UK dating back to 1972. He found that women lash out more frequently than their husbands or boyfriend, female aggression tends to involve pushing, slapping and hurling objects, and; men made up 40% of the victims in the cases that he studied.

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Is there anything good about men?

September 17th, 2014
Is there anything good about men  Roy F Baumeister

Is there anything good about men? (photo: The Three Stooges)

This is the text and transcript of a presentation by Florida State University psychology professor Roy F. Baumeister to the American Psychological Association in San Francisco, August 24, 2007. You can also read his book “Is There Anything Good About Men?: How Cultures Flourish by Exploiting Men” published in 2010.

 

You’re probably thinking that a talk called “Is there anything good about men” will be a short talk! Recent writings have not had much good to say about men. Titles like Men Are Not Cost Effective speak for themselves. Maureen Dowd’s book was called Are Men Necessary? and although she never gave an explicit answer, anyone reading the book knows her answer was no. Louann Brizendine’s book, The Female Brain, introduces itself by saying, “Men, get ready to experience brain envy.” Imagine a book advertising itself by saying that women will soon be envying the superior male brain!

Nor are these isolated examples. Alice Eagly’s research has compiled mountains of data on the stereotypes people have about men and women, which the researchers summarized as “The WAW effect.” WAW  stands for “Women Are Wonderful.” Both men and women hold much more favorable views of women than of men. Almost everybody likes women better than men. I certainly do.

My purpose in this talk is not to try to balance this out by praising men, though along the way I will have various positive things to say about both genders. The question of whether there’s anything good about men is only my point of departure. The tentative title of the book I’m writing is “How culture exploits men,” but even that for me is the lead-in to grand questions about how culture shapes action. In that context, what’s good about men means what men are good for, from the perspective of the system.

Hence this is not about the “battle of the sexes,” and in fact I think one unfortunate legacy of feminism has been the idea that men and women are basically enemies. I shall suggest, instead, that most often men and women have been partners, supporting each other rather than exploiting or manipulating each other.

Nor is this about trying to argue that men should be regarded as victims. I detest the whole idea of competing to be victims. And I’m certainly not denying that culture has exploited women. But rather than seeing culture as patriarchy, which is to say a conspiracy by men to exploit women, I think it’s more accurate to understand culture (e.g., a country, a religion) as an abstract system that competes against rival systems — and that uses both men and women, often in different ways, to advance its cause.

Also I think it’s best to avoid value judgments as much as possible. They have made discussion of gender politics very difficult and sensitive, thereby warping the play of ideas. I have no conclusions to present about what’s good or bad or how the world should change. In fact my own theory is built around tradeoffs, so that whenever there is something good it is tied to something else that is bad, and they balance out.

I don’t want to be on anybody’s side. Gender warriors please go home.

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