Preemptive measures against tough conversations

Watch Video: Preemptive measures against tough conversations by SuEllen Hamkins, MD, ...
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Preemptive measures against tough conversations

It’s helpful to address hot issues like sex or body image before they become too hot to handle and you can do this by doing humor, play and personal stories. So, for example, when your daughter is 9, she’s not yet self-conscious about her body so you can address the whole issue of cycles in a fun way by introducing her to the moon and its patterns. You can go on nighttime picnics of finding the moon and then she will be delighted to learn that her own body is linked to the cosmos through her menstrual cycle. Since she’s not self-conscious, you can give her all the information she needs to be able to take care of her period. Then later, maybe a few years later, when she actually gets her period and maybe she is self-conscious about it, you'll know she has all the information that she needs to be able to handle it confidently.

Watch Video: Preemptive measures against tough conversations by 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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