Milestones and tips for 12-year-old girls

Learn about: Milestones and tips for 12-year-old girls from SuEllen Hamkins, MD,...
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Milestones and tips for 12-year-old girls

At 12, your daughter is growing in her capabilities and is trying out different ways of being in the world commonly. Friends are all important. In addition, her body is still changing and developing and like it or not, she maybe feeling the first strings of sexual interest which may be directed toward boys or 10 percent of the time, toward girls. Twelve is a great age for you to connect with your daughter by doing things with another mother-daughter pair whether it's going on a trip together or doing something simple in sun like going apple picking. Twelve is also a great time to start talking to your daughter about relationships and start giving her some basic information about sex. In this teen age, girls get a huge amount of information very early on from the internet but what they really want is to be able to talk to their mothers about these really important issues. If you start talking to your daughter in basic ways about relationships and sex when she’s 12, this sets the stage for her to feel that she can be comfortable coming to you when she’s older with her new concerns about sexual relationships.

Learn about: Milestones and tips for 12-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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