Parenting Seminar

“Using Emotional Intelligence to Raise Compassionate and Resilient Children”

Sunday, June 12

12:30–5:30 p.m.


$50 General

$40 Skirball Members

$30 Full-Time Students


In this seminar, participants learn to help their children become emotionally intelligent and find ways to express their feelings authentically and appropriately.

Through a keynote presentation and multiple workshops, participants will learn how to use Mindsight with their children to help them discover their feelings as a source of strength.

Techniques for cultivating resilience and well-being will be explored. The seminar will also enable parents and caregivers to strengthen bonds with children, leading to stronger families and communities.

Designed for parents, expectant parents, mental health care practitioners, and teachers, the program includes the keynote lecture and two ninety-minute workshops, Session A and Session B.

Dr. Joan A. Friedman will be offering a worshop during Session B, from 4:00pm till 5:30pm.

Raising Emotionally Healthy Twins

Facilitator: Joan Friedman, PhD, author of Emotionally Healthy Twins

Drawing on her experience as a twin, the mother of twins, and a psychotherapist specializing in twins, Dr. Friedman outlines seven key concepts for helping twins develop into self-realized, resilient individuals. Her current research about adult twin development will enhance parental awareness about twins’ ongoing emotional growth.

A heartfelt congratulations and welcome to Angelina and Brad’s newborn son and daughter – healthy fraternal twins! However, let’s not allow celebrity births to minimize the realities of raising twins…

What is not brought to light in these star-studded reports about twin births are the real life day-to-day emotional and physical hardships particular to raising twins. I know that many moms of twins have no forum or outlet to feel validated for their sacrifices and challenges.

So, to add a bit of balance, here’s my list of my top ten twin parenting challenges that impact moms who are raising twins:

  1. Surviving an uncomfortable pregnancy filled with anxiety and fear times two
  2. Deciding if you can withstand the social challenge and pressure to breastfeed two babies
  3. Feeling guilty and heartsick about not feeling bonded in an equal way with both babies
  4. Harboring murderous feelings toward your partner who got you into this mess in the first place
  5. Secretly ruminating about how you can feel so upset and disappointed after you have spent thousands of dollars on infertility treatments
  6. Silently envying how your friends who have just one baby can juggle their lives with such ease and meet a friend for lunch
  7. Acknowledging that having preferences does not mean that you love one twin more than the other
  8. Hating to ask others for help because you wish you could feel masterful and competent on your own
  9. Wanting to kill the curious people who ask you the dumbest questions about twins
  10. Managing the constant comparison and labeling of your twins by well-intentioned friends and family who are not into “individuality”

Of course, as usual, all feedback and comments are welcome! Am I on target or am I just way off base - have any of you mothers (or fathers) of twins ever felt any of the above?

To Raising Emotionally Healthy Twins,

Dr. Joan Friedman

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have plenty of money.

With unlimited monetary resources and limited personal time, I would advise them to do the following with their older three children and twins to be.

First, I would advise the expectant couple to prepare their kids for the birth of two babies and try to minimize the use of the word TWINS. While it is so ingrained in all of us to use the word, the word itself conjures images and stereotypes about twins as ESP conjoined soulmates who inhabit the private and exclusive world belonging solely to twins.

Second, I would set up two separate rooms with nonmatching accessories. Twin babies do not have to sleep together although they have shared the same womb for 37 weeks (hopefully). Their names should not begin with the same letter and their distinct personalities should be identified and respected from birth going forward.

Third, the parents need to spend time with their older children so that they do not feel eclipsed by the birth of two babies. The media will be jumping all over this because a twin birth captivates the public. These new twins are fortunate to have older siblings because their relationship will hopefully be a source of loving support when the parents are unavailable.

Shall each twin have his own caretaker? Absolutely – every baby needs that one-on-one relationship.

Will Angelina feel resentful about the babies’ bonds to the caretakers?

Time will tell.

To Raising Emotionally Healthy Twins,

Dr. Joan Friedman

The media announces that the quadruplets born in Baltimore will be presented to the media next week!

The keynote speakers at the upcoming annual convention of the National Organization of the Mothers of Twins Club (NOMOTC) are the parents of twins and sextuplets. Their family life is filmed and aired frequently on the Discovery Channel and the Learning Channel and they have been Oprah’s guests.

I remember hearing about the Dionne quintuplets. They were identical quintuplets whose lives were sensationalized and destroyed by the exploitation of the Canadian government and their family. Their books reveal the horrific aftermath of their lives’ ordeals.

Perhaps, seeing other parents with so many children to care for makes some of us feel less burdened by our parental obligations and tasks. Having twins is a breeze compared to these broods of children.

I think about these large families and wonder how the kids will develop.

Certainly they will thrive emotionally and physically within the framework of their sibling network. They will grow up in a rich communal environment. Yet, will these experiences provide them with any opportunity to know themselves as individuals?

Jon and Kate plus 8 put enormous faith in God to help them with their large family. Faith is a viable resource along with the monetary benefits of television fame and exposure. They certainly will need all the help they can get.