Having a parenting compass and plan

Learn about: Having a parenting compass and plan from SuEllen Hamkins, MD,...
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Having a parenting compass and plan

Setting your parenting compass is identifying the values by which you want to be parenting so that when you hit a rough patch or you need to make an important decision, you will have a north star that can guide you. So parenting values can include things like mutual respect, honesty, flexibility, playfulness, constentency, and things like that. One way that you can discover what your parenting values are and clarify them for yourself is to bring to mind a parenting moment that you feel really good about and ask yourself what parenting value does that moment exemplify. And then also ask yourself what supported me or what helped me in being able to be true to that parenting value in that moment. And this way, you will have both a north star to guide you as well as a sense of what kinds of things help you stay true to parenting in the way that you really want to.

Learn about: Having a parenting compass and plan from SuEllen Hamkins, MD,...


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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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