How supporting a mother helps daughters

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How supporting a mother helps daughters

There are two main reasons why getting support for yourself as a mother is good for your daughter. First of all, getting support is actually what makes it possible for you to stay true to parenting in a way that you really want to. So in addition to your good intentions, the things that let you, for example, keep your cool and engage in creative problem solving rather than yelling at your kids may be something like getting a good night’s sleep or exercise, or time with your spouse or with friends. The second reason why it’s good for your daughter for you to get support as a mother is because she is watching you. You are her main role model and when she sees that you feel that you deserve to get your own needs met and have your own preferences honored, then she also will feel as a girl and then later as a woman that she deserves to have her own needs met as well.

See SuEllen Hamkins, MD's video on How supporting a mother helps daughters...


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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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