Supporting your daughter at college

Learn about: Supporting your daughter at college from SuEllen Hamkins, MD,...
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Supporting your daughter at college

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Parents often want to know how they can help their son or daughter adjust to college in a way that meets their needs. One of the ways, of course -- And you've been doing this their whole life -- helping them articulate what they care about and how they are going to behave. They already have a good sense of their values and who they are when they are leaving for college. College is such an exciting time. There are so many opportunities for developing new relationships and new and fascinating ideas. It is really rich and exciting time. College students are enjoying their freedom. They are living in dorms, often times, with their peers. They really love that. At the same time, college students really benefit from contact with home. Even though people talk about these fears and what they call "helicopter parents," in fact, students develop best, including a sense of autonomy if parents are actually more involved in their lives in college. Figure out how you want to connect with your kids in college. Do you want to have a twice a week phone conversation, do you want to text. Figure out a way that works for you. If your child is having a good connection at college, things are going well, and that's great. What happens if you are worried if things are going well at college? Talk to your child. Check in with them about how things are going and ask them. There are a lot of services of students in college. There is a lot of academic support they can get. There are college counseling service you can get. There is a Dean of Students. Your son or daughter may not know how to negotiate some of those things, so you can find out what the resources your college offers and help steer your student in that direction. You can call these offices yourself and find out what they have to offer your child.

Learn about: Supporting your daughter at college 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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