Milestones and tips for 11-year-old girls

Learn about: Milestones and tips for 11-year-old girls from SuEllen Hamkins, MD,...
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Milestones and tips for 11-year-old girls

At 11, girls are developing their capabilities and they're also beginning to figure out who they are. At 11, girls are either in the midst of puberty or else they're self-conscious that they're not. Fitting in and belonging are the most important things to 11-year-olds. At 11, a girl has a foot in two worlds. One minute she’s happy to snuggle up next to you and be your little girl and the next minute, she’s criticizing your hair and how you talk before she runs off with her friends pretending to be teenagers. To connect with your daughter at 11, it’s helpful to really cut her a lot of slack and realize this is a really difficult and critical time as she’s growing up. In addition, it can be great to do comforting activities with her at home like give her at-home pedicure or watch a movie together. She is working hard out in the world, figuring things out for herself. In addition, at 11, it can be great to plan activities with another mother-daughter pair because at 11, she may be starting to get self-conscious about being seen alone with you out in public.

Learn about: Milestones and tips for 11-year-old girls 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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