• Great seminar. Really useful as a teacher to cover parent/ teacher/ student responses and prompt questions. Really helpful to hear explicit strategies to assist in the classroom and hear real examples and how to apply them.

    Teacher
    – Australia

  • Karen is an effortless and passionate presenter – a world of knowledge on this topic. Felt this [Anxiety in the Classroom] was a great add on to previously attended workshop ‘Hey Warrior!’

    Psychologist
    – Townsville

  • I found her amazing. I found it relatable and accessible. There were lots of good practical strategies and I acquired a much deeper understanding. It gave me tools, tips and hope.

    Teacher/Counsellor
    -Perth, Australia

  • Great session! So much information and knowledge. I could listen to Karen all day.

    Counsellor
    – Perth, Australia

  • I can’t put into words how helpful this seminar has been for me, personally as well as professionally.

    Counsellor
    – Central Coast, Australia

  • Great! I love the deep and wise understanding of what can be an elusive concept, and then Karen’s ability to make that understanding ‘come alive’ with her storytelling. I appreciate the tangible sense of deep understanding and care for children with practical, loving help – also extended to their parents. Warm, authentic, wise, and practical.

    Guidance Officer
    Brisbane, Australia

  • So well organised and expertly presented. Karen is an engaging, entertaining, and professional speaker who balances heavy information with relevant, memorable anecdotes. Karen is well-informed and imparts her knowledge with ease.

    Teacher
    – Newcastle, Australia

  • One of the best trainings I have attended. Nice to have a seminar whose facilitator is real, down-to-earth, and doesn’t use a lot of jargon. Fabulous to have had Karen as a presenter, lots of knowledge and brilliant to listen to! Thoroughly useful training to continue using with families. Lots of tools and ideas.

    Social Worker
    – New Zealand

  • The seminar was one of the best I have attended. Karen presents in an easy to understand and engaging manner. Her use of anecdotes made the day interesting and practical. She is one of the best presenters I have had the privilege of listening to.

    Art Therapist
    – Brisbane, Australia

  • Awesome presentation! Great break down of anxiety. I liked how there were lots of practical ideas and separation between working with parents and children. I feel much more equipped to work with children and families with anxiety.

    Occupational Therapist
    – Melbourne, Australia

  • Karen was absolutely wonderful – so engaging and informative. This has been one of the most useful and inspiring seminars I have ever been to.

    Counsellor
    – Melbourne, Australia

  • I hung on to Karen’s every word! Fantastic seminar with comprehensive background and fantastic practical strategies.

    Paediatric Occupational Therapist
    – Canberra, Australia


Upcoming Events

Neuro-Nurture (NZ)

Recent developments in neuroscience have expanded our capacity to be more effective in all areas of practice in child development. We now have remarkable insight into what the growing brain needs to thrive from infancy through adolescence and beyond. Drawing on neuroscientific insights, we can ‘neuro-nurture’ the developing child and dramatically influence the growth and development of the young brain to provide the foundations for a happy, successful life. As the need for neuroscientific knowledge amongst practitioners increases, its convergence with key approaches to attachment, trauma, and learning have seen watershed changes in how we understand and support optimal development, behaviour and social-emotional wellbeing. This opens the way for us to take a more compassionate, targeted and effective response when working with children and adolescents in any capacity. This dynamic workshop will translate neuroscience into powerful insights and practical strategies to support the holistic development of children and adolescents. 

Tuesday 21 September 2021, 9:00 am-3:00 pm
Alexandra Park, Auckland, NZ
Wednesday 22 September 2021, 9:00 am-3:00 pm
Novotel Tainui, Hamilton
Thursday 23 September 2021, 9:00 am-3:00 pm
Plymouth International, New Plymouth, NZ
Monday 27 September 2021, 9:00 am-3:00 pm
Rutherford Hotel, Nelson, NZ
Wednesday 29 September 2021, 9:00 am-3:00 pm
Rydges Latimer Christchurch, Christchurch, NZ
Thursday 30 September 2021, 9:00 am-3:00 pm
Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Dunedin, NZ

Hey Little Warrior

Designed specifically for early childhood settings, this workshop is based on ‘Hey Warrior’ and Hey ‘Awesome’, the best-selling, highly-acclaimed children’s books which turn anxiety into an ally, and explore and explain anxiety through a neuroscientific, child-friendly lens. The workshop will provide early childhood educators with the practical strategies and information to support a class-based approach towards strengthening all children against anxiety, expanding their capacity for brave behaviour, and understanding more about the brain. Upon completion of the workshop, early childhood educators will have the information and practical tools to work with children on a group or individual level to strengthen them against anxiety, build their capacity to calm big feelings (including anxiety and anger) and move towards brave behaviour.

Tuesday 15 February 2022, 9:00 am-12:00 pm
Atura Hotel Dandenong, Doveton, Vic, Australia
Wednesday 16 February 2022, 9:00 am-12:00 pm
Vibe Hotel Melbourne, Melbourne, Vic, Australia
Thursday 17 February 2022, 9:00 am-12:00 pm
Leopold Library, Leopold, Vic, Australia

Hey Warrior (Aus)

For as many as one in five young lives, anxiety is an intrusive part of everyday life, with the effects often stealing into families, classrooms and friendships. Anxiety can potentially undermine the way children see themselves, the world and their important place in it – but it doesn’t have to be this way. Anxiety is very manageable when it is recognised and responded to. This dynamic workshop will help participants to recognise anxiety in children and adolescents (5 – 18yrs). It will delve into the obvious and not so obvious signs of anxiety, discuss where they come from and why they exist, and offer a range of practical, powerful, research-driven interventions to assist participants to respond effectively within their own professional context.

Monday 15 November 2021, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Wollongong City Diggers, 82 Church Street, Wollongong, NSW, Aus
LIMITED SEATS Register Now
Monday 13 September 2021, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Rydges Geelong, Cnr Gheringhap and Myers Streets, Geelong, Vic, Aus
SOLD OUT Register Now
Monday 25 October 2021, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Vibe Hotel Melbourne, Melbourne, Vic, Australia
Wednesday 23 February 2022, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Rydges Sydney Central, Surry Hills, NSW, Australia
Monday 28 February 2022, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Rydges Esplanade Resort, Cairns, Qld, Australia
Tuesday 01 March 2022, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Rydges Southbank Townsville, Townsville, Qld, Australia
Wednesday 02 March 2022, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Souths Leagues Club, Mackay, Qld, Australia
Friday 04 March 2022, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Best Western Plus North Lakes Hotel, North Lakes, Qld, Australia
Tuesday 15 March 2022, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
ANZAC House, Perth, WA, Australia

Neurodevelopmental Theory to Practice (Aus)

Recent developments in neuroscience have expanded our capacity to be more effective in all areas of practice in child development. We now have remarkable insight into what the growing brain needs to thrive from infancy through adolescence and beyond. Drawing on neuroscientific insights, we can ‘neuro-nurture’ the developing child and dramatically influence the growth and development of the young brain to provide the foundations for a happy, successful life. As the need for neuroscientific knowledge amongst practitioners increases, its convergence with key approaches to attachment, trauma, and learning have seen watershed changes in how we understand and support optimal development, behaviour and social-emotional wellbeing. This opens the way for us to take a more compassionate, targeted and effective response when working with children and adolescents in any capacity. This dynamic workshop will translate neuroscience into powerful insights and practical strategies to support the holistic development of children and adolescents. 

Tuesday 16 November 2021, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Skye Suites Parramatta, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Wednesday 17 November 2021, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Rydges Sydney Central, 28 Albion Street, Surry Hills, NSW, Aus
Tuesday 31 August 2021, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
ANZAC House, Perth, WA, Aus
SOLD OUT Register Now
Wednesday 15 September 2021, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Vibe Hotel Hobart, Hobart, Tas, Aus
Thursday 16 September 2021, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Launceston Conference Centre, Launceston, Tas, Aus
Tuesday 26 October 2021, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Vibe Hotel, Melbourne, Vic, Australia
SOLD OUT Register Now
Tuesday 22 February 2022, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Fort Scratchley Function Centre, Newcastle East, NSW, Australia
Monday 21 March 2022, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Vibe Hotel Melbourne, Melbourne, Vic, Australia

Previous Events

Neurodevelopmental Theory to Practice (Aus)

Recent developments in neuroscience have expanded our capacity to be more effective in all areas of practice in child development. We now have remarkable insight into what the growing brain needs to thrive from infancy through adolescence and beyond. Drawing on neuroscientific insights, we can ‘neuro-nurture’ the developing child and dramatically influence the growth and development of the young brain to provide the foundations for a happy, successful life. As the need for neuroscientific knowledge amongst practitioners increases, its convergence with key approaches to attachment, trauma, and learning have seen watershed changes in how we understand and support optimal development, behaviour and social-emotional wellbeing. This opens the way for us to take a more compassionate, targeted and effective response when working with children and adolescents in any capacity. This dynamic workshop will translate neuroscience into powerful insights and practical strategies to support the holistic development of children and adolescents. 

Monday 22 February 2021, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Rydges Esplanade Resort, Cairns, Qld, Australia
Register Now
Tuesday 23 February 2021, 12:00 am-4:00 pm
Mecure Townsville, Townsville, Qld, Australia
Register Now
Wednesday 24 February 2021, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Souths Leagues Club, Mackay, Qld, Australia
Register Now
Thursday 25 February 2021, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Rockhampton Leagues Club, Qld, Australia
Register Now
Friday 26 February 2021, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Northlakes Hotel, Northlakes, Qld, Australia
Register Now
Wednesday 17 March 2021, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
City Golf Club, Toowoomba, Qld, Australia
Register Now
Friday 19 March 2021, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
The Glen Hotel, Brisbane, Qld, Australia
Register Now
Monday 19 April 2021, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Kingscliff, NSW, Aus
Register Now
Monday 07 June 2021, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
The Function, Glenelg, SA, Australia
Register Now

Hey Warrior (Aus)

For as many as one in five young lives, anxiety is an intrusive part of everyday life, with the effects often stealing into families, classrooms and friendships. Anxiety can potentially undermine the way children see themselves, the world and their important place in it – but it doesn’t have to be this way. Anxiety is very manageable when it is recognised and responded to. This dynamic workshop will help participants to recognise anxiety in children and adolescents (5 – 18yrs). It will delve into the obvious and not so obvious signs of anxiety, discuss where they come from and why they exist, and offer a range of practical, powerful, research-driven interventions to assist participants to respond effectively within their own professional context.

Friday 21 August 2020, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
The Glen Hotel, Eight Mile Plains, Brisbane, Qld, Australia
Register Now
Thursday 03 September 2020, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Rydges Esplanade Resort, Cairns, Qld, Australia
Register Now
Monday 14 September 2020, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
The Function, Glenelg, SA, Australia
Register Now
Friday 06 November 2020, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Mantra Twin Towns, Tweed Heads, NSW, Australia
Register Now
Friday 13 November 2020, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Gosford RSL Club, West Gosford, NSW, Australia
Register Now
Monday 15 February 2021, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Liverpool Catholic Club, Prestons, NSW, Australia
Register Now
Tuesday 16 February 2021, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Adina Apartment Hotel Sydney, Surry Hills, NSW, Australia
Register Now
Wednesday 17 February 2021, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Vibe Hotel Melbourne, Melbourne, Vic, Australia
Register Now
Thursday 18 February 2021, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Best Western Hobart, Hobart, Tas, Australia
Register Now
Friday 19 February 2021, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Launceston Conference Centre, 50 Glen Dhu Street, South Launceston, Tas, Australia
Register Now
Tuesday 09 March 2021, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Mantra Parramatta, Cnr Parkes St and Valentine Ave, Parramatta, NSW, Aus
Register Now
Thursday 11 March 2021, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
ANZAC HOUSE, Perth, WA, Australia
Register Now
Friday 23 April 2021, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Commercial Club, Albury, NSW, Australia
Register Now
Monday 03 May 2021, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Vibe Hotel, Melbourne, Vic, Australia
Register Now

Anxious to Brave: An online, interactive program for parents of children and teens with anxiety.

Parents don’t cause anxiety, but they can make the most profound difference in moving children from anxious to brave. The move through anxiety isn’t an easy one, for children or the adults who love them, but it is certainly possible. Like so many good things, sometimes the way through is clearer and easier with a little help – enter ‘Anxious to Brave‘, a series of eight weekly live online 60-90 workshops for parents of kids and teens with anxiety. Throughout the course of the program, I’ll be guiding parents through research-backed information and strategies to help strengthen children and teens against anxiety and move them towards brave behaviour. If you can’t make it to every session, not to worry – the workshops will be recorded and available to registered participants for a short while after the event. Groups will be kept small, to keep interaction big.

Thursday 22 July 2021, 7:30 pm-8:30 pm
Online. Every Thurs for 8 weeks from 22 Jul-9 Sep. (Time is AEST Brisbane)
Register Now
Wednesday 21 July 2021, 7:00 pm-8:30 pm
Online. First 7 sessions - every Wed from 21 July + 8th session on Tue 14 Sep.
Register Now

When They Push the Boundaries – A Webinar

In this webinar, I’ll be teaming up with Michelle Mitchell to equip parents, carers and professionals with strategies to help stay connected to tweens and teens, and build positive influence during the most challenging of moments. We’ll explore why all tweens and teens will push the boundaries at some point, why they might make risky decisions or break the rules, and how to respond in ways that strengthen them and preserve your connection. With some very specific strategies and solid information, those tricky teen years can be much easier. If you can’t make the date, not to worry – the webinar will be recorded and made available for you to watch any time.

Thursday 08 July 2021, 7:00 pm-8:00 pm
Online (Time is AEST, Brisbane)
Register Now

Overcoming Anxiety – Helping Children & Adolescents Find Their Brave (NZ) – (Interactive Live-Stream)

Anxiety is the most common child and adolescent mental health concern. Anxiety is a very normal human response, but for as many as 1 in 5 young people in New Zealand the symptoms become so intrusive so as to interfere with day to day living. The effects can ripple from children, to their families, to the classroom, and into friendships. Anxiety can potentially undermine the way children see themselves, the world and their important place in it – but it doesn’t have to be this way. With the right support, children can be empowered with the skills and knowledge to manage anxiety and move forward with courage and resilience. 
This dynamic workshop will help participants to recognise and respond to anxiety in children and adolescents. It will delve into the obvious and not so obvious signs of anxiety, discuss where they come from, why they exist and offer a range of practical, powerful interventions to assist participants to respond effectively within their own professional context. It will also explore how to work with parents and carers in ways that strip shame and guilt, and unlock their capacity to move their children through anxiety and towards brave behaviour.

Tuesday 26 November 2019, 9:00 am-3:00 pm
Invercargill
Register Now
Wednesday 27 November 2019, 9:00 am-3:00 pm
Dunedin
Register Now
Thursday 28 November 2019, 9:00 am-3:00 pm
Christchurch
Register Now
Friday 29 November 2019, 9:00 am-3:00 pm
Nelson
Register Now
Wednesday 02 June 2021, 9:00 am-3:00 pm
James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor, Wellington NZ
Register Now

Strengthening Children and Teens Against Anxiety at School and Beyond (NZ)

As much as school can nurture, nourish and build children and adolescents, the very nature of school means that it can also be abundant with anxiety triggers that can significantly compromise their growth and development. Anxiety can be fuelled by anything unfamiliar or any situation that comes with the potential for embarrassment, failure, humiliation, shame, or separation – and school is ripe with all of them. School presents many children with some of the greatest challenges to their mental health, but it also presents some of the greatest opportunities to strengthen against anxiety. 

This workshop is for any professional who works with or within the education system, or with children or adolescents struggling with anxiety at school. Participants will learn practical strategies to effectively respond to children and teens with anxiety, as well as ways to capture the powerful buffering role school can play in strengthening all young people against anxiety at school and beyond. 

(At this stage, this event will be live-streamed to the event because of COVID-19 travel restrictions.)

Tuesday 20 October 2020, 9:00 am-3:00 pm
Auckland, New Zealand
Register Now
Friday 23 October 2020, 9:00 am-3:00 pm
Distinction Hotel, Palmerston North, New Zealand
Register Now

Strengthening the Relationship With Your Teen (Scotland, online)

Scottish Centre for Conflict Resolution International Online Conference.

Cyrenians Scottish Centre for Conflict Resolution are holding an all-digital festival of events in place of their annual conference. This exciting programme includes several internationally-renowned special guests. SCCR have made this available for free, and you are welcome to sign up to as many as you wish. I will be speaking on 15 October from 10:00-10:30am (Brisbane time) about ways parents and other important adults can strengthen the relationship, connection, and influence with their tweens and teens. The 30 minute presentation will be followed by a Q&A with the audience.

Thursday 22 October 2020, 7:00 pm-8:00 pm
Scottish Centre for Conflict Resolution, Online (Time is Brisbane, Aus AEST)
Register Now

Superpowered! – Transforming Anxiety into Courage and Resilience, with Renee Jain & Dr Shefali Tsabary

Join me for this Facebook Live event where I’ll be speaking with Renee Jain and Dr Shefali Tsabary about anxiety, courage and resilience.

Tuesday 22 September 2020, 10:00 am-11:00 am
Facebook Live (Time is Brisbane, Aust - AEST)
Register Now

Strengthening Children and Teens Against Anxiety at School and Beyond (Aus)

As much as school can nurture, nourish and build children and adolescents, the very nature of school means that it can also be abundant with anxiety triggers that can significantly compromise their growth and development. Anxiety can be fuelled by anything unfamiliar or any situation that comes with the potential for failure, shame, embarrassment, humiliation, or separation from a loved one – and school is ripe with all of them. School presents many children with some of the greatest challenges to their mental health, but it also presents some of the greatest opportunities to strengthen against anxiety. This workshop is for any professional who works with or within the education system, or with children or adolescents struggling with anxiety at school. Participants will learn practical strategies to effectively respond to children and teens with anxiety, as well as ways to capture the powerful buffering role school can play in strengthening all young people against anxiety at school and beyond.

Friday 04 September 2020, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Mercure Townsville Resort, Townsville, Qld, Australia
Register Now

Supporting Children in Post-COVID Era (India, online)

Experts from the fields of education, psychology, paediatrics, philosophy and Montessori education will be joining together in a live Q & A to discuss how best to support children in a post-COVID era.
Wednesday 02 September 2020, 6:00 pm-7:30 pm
Vidyanjali Academy, Bangalore - Webinar
Register Now

Nurturing Self-Control

Self-control – what every parent/carer needs to know about this essential skill, including why it matters, how it impacts a child’s behaviour and how we can best support our children now and into their future.

Friday 05 June 2020, 7:00 pm-8:30 pm
Mother Duck Childcare & Preschool, Lawnton, Qld, Australia

Building Brave – For anyone who lives with or works with kids or teens.

What could our children do if they truly believed they were brave? In this transformational, heartfelt event, Karen Young and Michelle Mitchell come together to equip parents, carers and professionals with powerful strategies to help children and teens build resilience, thrive through anxiety and reach their potential. We will explore:

  • the powerful role that caring adults play in building brave;
  • a new way of understanding the role of anxiety and resilience in your child’s life;
  • the often unrecognised and different ways anxiety can manifest in children;
  • the impact of anxiety on friendships and school work;
  • proven, practical ways to respond to anxiety and make way for calm and courage;
  • how to build social resilience and equip them for the challenges of life;
  • how to strengthen your connection and influence.

    You know your child is capable of greatness. With some very specific strategies and solid information, we can make sure they know it too.

    If you would like BUILDING BRAVE to come to your school or community, please let us know. We will be touring nationally with this new project.

    Wednesday 11 September 2019, 6:30 pm-8:30 pm
    Wellington Point, Brisbane
    Register Now
    Thursday 12 September 2019, 6:30 pm-8:30 pm
    Bray Park, Brisbane
    Register Now
    Tuesday 22 October 2019, 6:30 pm-8:30 pm
    Rochedale, Brisbane
    Register Now
    Wednesday 23 October 2019, 6:30 pm-8:30 pm
    Toowong, Brisbane
    Register Now

    Raising Brave Kids

    With anxiety in children (and parents) on the rise, it’s more important than ever to learn what we can do as parents to help children thrive in this chaotic world. Join us for this 4 hour parenting event, with Maggie Dent, Karen Young, and Warren Cann.

    Sunday 13 October 2019, 9:00 am-1:00 pm
    UNSW Roundhouse, Sydney, NSW, Australia
    Register Now

    Strengthening Kids and Teens Against Anxiety

    This transformational session will provide parents and carers with the essential information and strategies to support their children and teens to build courage and resilience, uncovering their strengths, and take anxiety back to small enough.

    Thursday 11 April 2019, 1:00 pm-3:00 pm
    Whitby School, Greenwich, CT, United States

    The Adolescent Brain

    During adolescence, the brain goes through a massive ‘renovation’. This talk is for anyone who lives or works with adolescents, and will explores changes that happen in the adolescent brain and how these influence relationships, friendships, and behaviour. 

    Tuesday 09 April 2019, 8:15 am-10:15 am
    Whitby School, Greenwich, CT, United States
    , -

    Follow Hey Sigmund on Instagram

    For our children, we start building the foundations for adolescence in their earliest years - the relationship we’ll have with them, who they are going to be, how they are going to be. One of the things we’ll want to build is their capacity to know their own minds and be brave enough to use it. This isn’t easy, even for adults, so the more practice we give them, the more they’ll be able to access their strong, brave, beautiful minds when they need to - when we aren’t there.

This means letting them have a say when we can, asking their opinions, and letting them disagree.

When kids and teens argue, they’re communicating. We need to listen, but the need won’t always be obvious. When littles argue because it’s spaghetti for dinner and ‘I hate spaghetti so much’ (even though last week and the 5 years before last week, spaghetti was their favourite), they might be expressing a need for sleep, power and influence, or independence. All are valid. When your teen argues because they want to do something you’ve said no to, the need might be to preserve their felt sense of inclusion with their tribe, or independence from you. Again, all valid. 

Of course, a valid need doesn’t mean it will always be met. Sometimes our needs might need to take priority to theirs, such as our need to keep them safe, or for them to learn that they can still be okay if everything doesn’t go their way, or that sometimes people will have conflicting needs that need to take priority. What’s important is letting them know we hear them and we get it.

It’s going to take time for kids to learn how to argue and express themselves respectfully. In the meantime, the words might be clumsy, loud, angry. This is when we need to hold on to ourselves, meet them where they are, let them know we hear them, and step into our leadership presence. We might give them what they need because it makes sense and because there isn’t enough reason not to. Sometimes, after giving them space to be heard we’ll need to stand our ground. Other times we might solve the problem collaboratively: This is what you want. This is what I want. Let’s talk about how we can we both get what we need.♥️
    Anxiety will always tilt our focus to the risks, often at the expense of the very real rewards. It does this to keep us safe. We’re more likely to run into trouble if we miss the potential risks than if we miss the potential gains. 

This means that anxiety will swell just as much in reaction to a real life-threat, as it will to the things that might cause heartache (feels awful, but not life-threatening), but which will more likely come with great rewards. Wholehearted living means actively shifting our awareness to what we have to gain by taking a safe risk. 

Sometimes staying safe will be the exactly right thing to do, but sometimes we need to fight for that important or meaningful thing by hushing the noise of anxiety and moving bravely forward. 

When children or teens are on the edge of brave, but anxiety is pushing them back, ask, ‘But what would it be like if you could?’ ♥️

#parenting #parent #mindfulparenting #childanxiety #positiveparenting #heywarrior #heyawesome
    Except I don’t do hungry me or tired me or intolerant me, as, you know … intolerably. Most of the time. Sometimes.
    Growth doesn’t always announce itself in ways that feel safe or invited. Often, it can leave us exhausted and confused and with dirt in our pores from the fury of the battle. It is this way for all of us, our children too. 

The truth of it all is that we are all born with a profound and immense capacity to rise through challenges, changes and heartache. There is something else we are born with too, and it is the capacity to add softness, strength, and safety for each other when the movement towards growth feels too big. Not always by finding the answer, but by being it - just by being - safe, warm, vulnerable, real. As it turns out, sometimes, this is the richest source of growth for all of us.
    When the world feel sunsettled, the ripple can reach the hearts, minds and spirits of kids and teens whether or not they are directly affected. As the important adult in the life of any child or teen, you have a profound capacity to give them what they need to steady their world again.

When their fears are really big, such as the death of a parent, being alone in the world, being separated from people they love, children might put this into something else. 

This can also happen because they can’t always articulate the fear. Emotional ‘experiences’ don’t lay in the brain as words, they lay down as images and sensory experiences. This is why smells and sounds can trigger anxiety, even if they aren’t connected to a scary experience. The ‘experiences’ also don’t need to be theirs. Hearing ‘about’ is enough.

The content of the fear might seem irrational but the feeling will be valid. Think of it as the feeling being the part that needs you. Their anxiety, sadness, anger (which happens to hold down other more vulnerable emotions) needs to be seen, held, contained and soothed, so they can feel safe again - and you have so much power to make that happen. 

‘I can see how worried you are. There are some big things happening in the world at the moment, but my darling, you are safe. I promise. You are so safe.’ 

If they have been through something big, the truth is that they have been through something frightening AND they are safe, ‘We’re going through some big things and it can be confusing and scary. We’ll get through this. It’s okay to feel scared or sad or angry. Whatever you feel is okay, and I’m here and I love you and we are safe. We can get through anything together.’

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