For Parents

Strengthening Children and Teens Against Anxiety

Anxiety is a very normal part of being human, but for as many as one in five children it can reach intrusive levels, interfering with family life, friendships, and school performance. This transformational session will provide parents and carers with the essential information and powerful, practical strategies to help their children and teens thrive through anxiety, whether it’s everyday levels of anxiety or more intrusive.

The Power of the Adolescent Brain – What All Parents Need to Know About the Changes During Adolescence

During adolescence, the brain goes through remarkable changes to support the transition from childhood to adulthood. Understanding these changes can be powerful in helping parents strengthen their connection, increase influence, and support their teens as they navigate towards becoming healthy, happy adults. It will also help make sense of the behaviours and challenges that can be so confusing during adolescence, for both adolescents and the adults who love them.

Building Courage and Resilience.

Courage and resilience are vital qualities that help children adapt in the face of adversity and challenge. It is impossible to ensure our children will always have a smooth path ahead of them. What we can do is nurture in them the qualities they need to move through change, challenge and adversity in ways that will flourish them. Learn the language and strategies that will encourage brave behaviour and resilience in children, and strengthen them from the inside out. Both courage and resilience are qualities that can be cultivated in any child, and parents are in the perfect position to do this.


Building Self-Control and Emotional Regulation in Children – Why It’s So Important and What Parents Can Do

Self-control is a vital skill that is instrumental in helping our children develop into healthy, happy adults. It will take time to take shape – nobody was born knowing how to manage big feelings and delay immediate wants in favour of a longer-term goal, but parents have enormous power to provide children with the experiences that will build this vital skill in their children. This seminar will explore the powerful ways parents can, quite literally, influence the strengthening of the brain in ways that will build self-control, emotional regulation, and resilience in their children for life. We will look at the importance of relationship in nurturing self-control, and how parents can strengthen their connection and influence with their children during childhood and beyond.

For Professionals (Therapists, Educators, Teachers)

These talks can be adapted to be full-day workshops or presentations for one, two, or three+ hours.

Working With Anxiety in Children and Teens

Anxiety is a very normal human response but for as many as 1 in 5 young people, the symptoms become so intrusive, they significantly interfere with day to day living. They can undermine the way children see themselves and shrink their world – 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 offer a range of practical, powerful interventions to assist participants to respond effectively within their own professional context. 

Anxiety in the Classroom – Helping Children Thrive Through Anxiety at School

Anxiety loves anything unfamiliar or any situation that comes with any potential for embarrassment, failure, humiliation, shame, or separation from a loved one – and school is ripe for all of them. Anxiety can significantly affect friendships, confidence, and school performance – but it doesn’t have to be this way. All children and teens need the right support to thrive, and even the smallest considerations can go a long way to helping children with anxiety find the very best version of themselves. This presentation is for teachers or any professional who works with children. It will be packed with practical, powerful, proven ways to strengthen kids and teens against anxiety and build courage and confidence at school.  

For Adolescents (High School)

Anxiety During Adolescence – How to Strengthen Against Anxiety.

Everyone experiences anxiety at some point, but add in the whirlwind of changes that come with adolescence, and anxiety can feel like an intrusive beast of a thing that undermines and overwhelms – but it doesn’t have to be this way. This presentation will provide adolescents with information and powerful strategies to strengthen themselves against anxiety, and discover their remarkable capacity for courage and resilience – because the world can’t be brilliant without them.

Thriving Through Adolescence – Making Sense of the Changes and Challenges by Understanding Your Changing (and Amazing) Brain

During adolescence, the brain goes through the most remarkable changes. This is to provide adolescents with the neural power to learn new skills, experiment with the world and their place in it and stretch beyond the familiar as they make the transition from dependent children to independent, healthy, happy adults. The adolescent brain is wired to drive them through this transition, but there will be challenges along the way. Information is power, and with the right information, adolescents will have an expanded capacity to navigate through the challenges, and see the changes they are going through as positive and dynamic.  

For Primary School Children

‘Who Doesn’t Get Anxiety!’ – Discovering Your ‘Brave’

 Children are powerful when we empower them. The more children and young people can understand about the workings of the brain, the more empowered they will be to make choices that help them thrive. This presentation will focus on providing young people with the information and strategies they need to strengthen and protect themselves against anxiety, so they can discover the calm, courage, and resilience that is in them.

How to be the Boss of Your Brain – Building Social and Emotional IQ

 If you could teach one set of skills to every child in the world, what would it be? What if it could be something that would bring intelligence and compassion to decision-making, reduce (or end?) violence, embed within humanity a drive towards kindness, empathy and relationships that connect, heal, nurture and flourish those who are in them? Social-emotional intelligence lies at the heart of this. It has also been shown by abundant research to be vital to individual success and happiness at school and in life. This presentation will provide children with information and strategies to strengthen emotional IQ.

    Work With Me.

    Karen is available to deliver talks to school, parent and professional groups. These dynamic presentations offer key insights and practical strategies for understanding and strengthening children and adolescents. Presentations can be delivered as professional development seminars, staff in-services, keynotes, or presentations to parents, and/or students, and tailored to suit the individual needs of your audience.

    Topics include:
    For Parents:
    • Kids and Anxiety – How to Help Kids Find Their ‘Brave’.
      (This talk can also be adapted to be given directly to children.)

      Anxiety is a very normal part of being human. Who hasn’t felt anxious sometimes! This presentation looks at discuss where anxiety comes from, what kids need to know to thrive through anxiety and ‘be the boss of their brains’, and how parents can empower kids to find the courage that is in them.

    • How to build courage and resilience in children.
      (This talk can also be adapted to be given directly to children.)

      Courage and resilience are vital qualities that help children adapt in the face of adversity and challenge, and give them the confidence move towards life-giving opportunities. We will discuss why resilience is so important, and how to nurture these essential qualities in our children.

    • Play and the Developing Brain – A Talk for Parents/ Teachers
      Play is vital for the development of happy, healthy, socially and emotionally intelligent children. This presentation discusses the role of play in development, and ways to maximise the potential for play to build creativity, and social and emotional intelligence in children.
    • Dealing with School Anxiety
      How to find happy goodbyes and empower children to find calm at school.
    • Building Self-Control in Children
      In a landmark study, self-control has been found to be one of the greatest predictors of success. In this talk, we will discuss why it is so important, and ways to strengthen this vital skill in children.
    • Strengthening the Connection With Your Teen
      What Parents Need to Know About The Changes That Come With Adolescence, and Using This to Increase Influence and Connection.
    • They’ll Do What!?
      Understanding the changes that come with adolescence with a view to increasing your connection and influence with your teen. This talk explores adolescent brain development and its impact on family relationships, friendships, and all forms of adolescent behaviour.
    • Anxiety in Teens.
      What parents need to know about anxiety to empower their teens to thrive through anxiety.
    • Friendships – Nurturing the Good, Thriving Through the Bad, Dealing with the Difficult
      In this talk, we will focus on how to empower teens and/or children to have healthy, happy relationships. Specifically, we will focus on how to deal with bullying, rejection and exclusion, how to be a good friend, why kind kids are cool kids, how to deal with peer pressure, and how to set and protect healthy boundaries.
    • Nurturing Social and Emotional Intelligence in Children (This talk can be adapted and given to children, teens and teachers).
      This talk explores how to help children develop emotional and social intelligence, and how to be the ‘boss of their brains’. We will cover anxiety, self-control, anger, empathy and kindness, and why mindfulness, sleep and exercise are so important for developing brains.
    For Teens:
    • Stress, Depression and Anxiety
      The signs to watch out for and how to manage them.
    • The Adolescent Adventure
      Your brain is changing and it’s AMAZING! What you need to know about your changing brain and how to use this information to manage behaviour, friendships addiction and family.
    • Who Doesn’t Get Anxiety!?
      How to thrive through anxiety.
    • Let’s Talk About Your Tribe
      Bullying, friendships, healthy relationships and how to identify and steer clear of the ones that cause breakage.
    For Teachers:
    • Anxiety in the Classroom
      How teachers can bring out the best in anxious kids & teens.
    • Understanding Adolescence: A Brain Under Construction
      A talk for teachers.
    FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT (Educators, Teachers, Counsellors):

    Each of these topics can be delivered as keynotes or professional development workshops. Topics will be tailored specifically to meet the individual needs of your audience, and presentations can be designed to run from one and a half hours to full day.

    • Working with Anxiety in Children and Adolescents
    • Anxiety at School – Primary Teachers
    • Anxiety at School – High School
    • Anxiety at School – A PD for School Professionals

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    Would you be more likely to take advice from someone who listened to you first, or someone who insisted they knew best and worked hard to convince you? Our teens are just like us. If we want them to consider our advice and be open to our influence, making sure they feel heard is so important. Being right doesn't count for much at all if we aren't being heard.
Hear what they think, what they want, why they think they're right, and why it’s important to them. Sometimes we'll want to change our mind, and sometimes we'll want to stand firm. When they feel fully heard, it’s more likely that they’ll be able to trust that our decisions or advice are given fully informed and with all of their needs considered. And we all need that.

 #positiveparenting #parenting #parenthood #neuronurtured #childdevelopment #adolescence 
    "We’re pretty sure that when you say no to something it’s because you don’t understand why it’s so important to us. Of course you’ll need to say 'no' sometimes, and if you do, let us know that you understand the importance of whatever it is we’re asking for. It will make your ‘no’ much easier to accept. We need to know that you get it. Listen to what we have to say and ask questions to understand, not to prove us wrong. We’re not trying to control you or manipulate you. Some things might not seem important to you but if we’re asking, they’re really important to us.❤️" 
#neurodevelopment #neuronurtured #childdevelopment #parenting #positiveparenting #mindfulparenting
    The move towards brave doesn’t have to be a leap. It can be a shuffle - lots of brave tiny steps, each one more brave than before. What’s important isn’t the size of the step but the direction.

 #parentingteens #neurodevelopment #positiveparenting #neuronurtured #anxiety #anxietyinchildren
    You know who I love? (Not counting every food delivery person who has delivered takeaway to my home. Or the person who puts the little slots in the sides of the soy sauce packets to make them easier to open. Not counting those people.) You know who? Adolescents. I just love them. 
Today I spoke with two big groups of secondary school students about managing anxiety. In each talk, as there are in all of my talks with teens, there were questions. Big, open-hearted, thoughtful questions that go right to the heart of it all. 
Some of the questions they asked were:
- What can I do to help my friend who is feeling big anxiety?
- What can I do to help an adult who has anxiety?
- How can I start the conversation about anxiety with my parents?

Our teens have big, beautiful, open hearts. They won’t always show us that, but they do. They want to be there for their friends and for the adults in their lives. They want to be able to come to us and talk about the things that matter, but sometimes they don’t know how to start. They want to step up and be there for their important people, including their parents, but sometimes they don’t know how. They want to be connected to us, but they don’t want to be controlled, or trapped in conversations that won’t end once they begin. 

Our teens need to know that the way to us is open. The more they can feel their important adults holding on to them - not controlling them - the better. Let them know you won’t cramp them, or intrude, or ask too many questions they don’t want you to ask. Let them know that when they want the conversation to stop, it will stop. But above all else, let them know you’re there. Tell them they don’t need to have all the words. They don’t need to have any words at all. Tell them that if they let you know they want to chat, you can handle anything that comes from there - even if it’s silence, or messy words, or big feelings - you can handle all of it. Our teens are extraordinary and they need us during adolescence more than ever, but this will have to be more on their terms for a while.  They love you and they need you. They won’t always show it, but I promise you, they do.♥️
    Sometimes silence means 'I don't have anything to say.' Sometimes it means, 'I have plenty to say but I don't want to share it right here and right now.' We all need certain things to feel safe enough to put ourselves into the world. Kids with anxiety are thoughtful, observant and insightful, and their wisdom will always have the potential to add something important to the world for all of us.

 #positiveparenting #parenting #parenthood #neuronurtured #parentingtip #childdevelopment #braindevelopment #mindfulparenting #adolescence #positiveparentingtips #heyawesome #mentalhealth #heysigmund #motherhoodcommunity #parentingtips #anxiety #anxietysupport #anxietyrelief #parentingadvice #anxietyinchildren #heywarrior #childanxiety #anxietyawareness #mentalwellness

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