Fostering self-esteem through a mother-daughter group

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Fostering self-esteem through a mother-daughter group

There are a number of things that a mother daughter project group does that helps foster self-esteem in girls. First of all, just the time you take and set aside to be with your daughter implicitly conveys to her that she is important. Secondly, in a mother daughter project group, girls take turns planning and facilitating meetings for other mothers and daughters. What this means is she gets to see herself being capable in this leadership role. In addition, a mother daughter group is constantly asking the girls what their preferences are for what they want to do and then they do what the girls want to do. It also is asking girls their opinions and their beliefs about things and also take action on those kinds of beliefs as well. Finally, a mother daughter project group explicitly teaches that girls are as important as boys, women are as important as men, and that they do not need to tolerate the denigration of girls or women.

View SuEllen Hamkins, MD's video on Fostering self-esteem through a mother-daughter group...


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SuEllen Hamkins, MD

Psychiatrist & Author

SuEllen Hamkins, MD, is a psychiatrist, author and founding member of the Mother-Daughter Project, a community of women and girls that developed powerful, practical ways to help mothers and daughters stay connected and thrive through adolescence. Co-author of The Mother-Daughter Project: How Mothers and Daughters Can Band Together, Beat the Odds and Thrive Through Adolescence, Dr. Hamkins has given numerous presentations for parents and psychotherapists around the world, focusing on mothers, daughters, their relationships and the kinds of communities that nurture them.  As the psychiatrist for the Smith College Counseling Service from 1992-2004, SuEllen offered consultation to over a thousand women ages 16 to 23 to help them resist and overcome problems such as anorexia, bulimia, depression, anxiety, trauma, assault, and self-injury.  In addition to her work on behalf of mothers and daughters, as the Assistant Director for Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, she has been instrumental in developing strengths-based, narrative approaches to psychotherapy and psychiatric practice, helping people cultivate their values and strengths in the face of serious difficulties.  SuEllen is the mother of two daughters, now 17 and 22, and raising them has been the most thrilling and rewarding work of her life. She lives with her husband and younger daughter in western Massachusetts, where they love to swim outdoors, cross country ski, shoe snow, dance, cook and lounge around in the living room, reading. 

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