Seminars for Parents, Teachers, Health Professionals and Youth Workers 


Calm and Confident Kids - A Parents Guide to Helping Children manage worry, learn to calm themselves and to cope in tough times

Many children go through periods of time when they feel anxious, stressed, worried and sad.  Sometimes this is because of a tough life experience – parents separating, family illness, grief and loss, bullying, struggles coping at school. 

Sometimes there is nothing in particular which seems to be causing problems, but the child has a tendency to be a “worrier” or get sad and they are having a hard time coping with their own emotions.

Research tells us that what parents do makes a big difference to how well children get through these times.  There are specific actions parents can take to help the child manage and resolve problems, to help build their resilience - and unfortunately there are also things parents accidentally do which make the situation worse. 

This seminar covers the 12 most important steps parents can take to help worried, sad and stressed kids

It is designed to be practical and give strategies that parents can immediately use with children in all situations. It includes advice on "what to say", what to NOT do, how to answer tricky questions and how to increase resilience and coping skills in children themselves.

Despite the serious topic, there is plenty of humour and fun in the seminar, videos, case examples - as well as time allowed for questions about tricky kids and tricky situations. 

The parents and staff of our schools found the ‘Worried and Sad Kids’ seminar to be very beneficial and insightful. The information was easy to understand, coupled with practical strategies which helped parents to feel more equipped in helping their families. I would highly recommend the seminars from Developing Minds Psychology as a fantastic resource
— Holly Taylor, Chaplain, Braeview Primary School and Happy Valley Primary School

This seminar is approximately 75 -90 minutes in length.


Understanding and Communicating with the Next Generation

Our world has changed. In every area, life has changed dramatically in the last fifty years. What we often fail to recognise however is that a changed world has produced a changed generation.

Young people today are very different from us. They have different values, different expectations, different moral codes, different ways of thinking, speaking and acting. And when we fail to take this into account when dealing with young people we become confused and frustrated.

This seminar is a humorous, fascinating and invaluable consideration of how young people are different from previous generations, why this has occurred and the impact of these changes on our world.

Specifically this seminar covers:

  • The developmental (biological and cognitive development) differences between adults and teenagers (we are less alike than you might think)
  • The generational differences between adults and teenagers

Then How to use this information to:

  • Communicate with the next generation
  • Work alongside the next generation
  • Feel hopeful about the next generation
  • And more

Feedback:

  • “Well researched, very relevant, practical - start earlier and talk for longer!”
  • “Amusing, interesting and interactive!”
  • “I learnt skills, hope, alternatives, awareness. Great to put into black and white
  • our concerns.”
  • “This seminar was polished, practical and inspirational”
  • “Kirrilie never fails to impress and educate”
  • “Kirrilie is an excellent speaker with a strong empathy with her audience”

This seminar can range in length from a 30 minute keynote up to a three hour training session. It is particularly suitable for conferences, parent nights, educator professional development and business meetings.


Understanding and Communicating with the Next Generation (for Educators)

This seminar is specifically for educators who work with teenagers and young adults. It covers the material as stated in the “Understanding the Next Generation” seminar above and goes on to address issues faced by teachers and educators in particular. Topics discussed include communication with young people, managing behaviour, incorporating youth culture into education and using interactive learning strategies. 

Comments from audience members who have attended this seminar in the past include:

  • I learnt skills, hope, alternatives, awareness. Great to put into black and white our concerns.
  • Kirrilie is an excellent speaker with a strong empathy with her audience
  • Well researched, very relevant, practical – start earlier and talk for longer!

Characteristics of Successful Senior School Students:  A Parents Guide

Years 10, 11 and 12 can be a stressful and worrying time for parents. They are often unsure about how to help their teenager, how to work with the school and what to do in difficult times. Research and experience shows that parents are eager for any information that helps them care for their teens during this process. If seminars on these topics are included as part of a regular school evening, attendance rate increases dramatically.

In this seminar specific topics include:

  • Understanding the differences between generations
  • Helping young people with homework - without nagging!
  • Most common pitfalls in dealing with a Year 12 student
  • How to work with the school
  • Enjoying the year!
  • And others…

This seminar for parents is far from dry, dull and academic. Using humour, stories, anecdotes and real life examples, parents are usually engaged and interested from the very beginning.

Feedback from parent seminars in the past has been excellent:

  • There was lots of of information, it was extremely worthwhile and challenging (Parent)
  • Great to feel we were doing things right, I learnt practical suggestions of how to talk to my daughter (Parent)
  • Wonderful to find out we are not alone. Many thanks. (Parent)
  • Parents find her presentations highly valuable and other parents who are unable attend hear about how good they are - and ask for a copy of the notes! (School counsellor)

These seminars are often incorporated as part of a school evening but can also be a “stand alone” night for parents. Sometimes parents are charged a small entrance fee to cover the costs or the school or community group sponsor the evening. Seminars range in length from a 20 minute keynote to a 2 to 3 hour interactive workshop.


    Calm and Confident Teens: A parents' guide to helping teens stay calm, manage stress and frustration and cope in tough times

    Parenting teenagers can be a job filled with frustration, anxiety and concern. Even harder is when young people are dealing with a crisis of some kind: depression, relationship break-up, loss of self-esteem, problems with peers or learning difficulties just to name a few. At these times, parents often feel helpless and don’t know what to do to help, while everything they do try seems to backfire.  

    This seminar is designed to give parents of teenagers confidence and skills in dealing with teenagers in difficult times. Specific topics covered include: 

    • Understanding the differences between generations - and how this results in particular crises for teens
    • Helping teens when they shut down
    • Building resiliency in young people
    • Helping young people to make their own simple plans to get through difficult times
    • Helping young people learn to stay calm and reassure themselves
    • Maintaining boundaries when teens are stressed
    • What not to do and pitfalls to avoid  

    And others… 

    Feedback from parent seminars in the past includes:

    • I felt more confident about the positive things I am already doing - learnt to hang in there!
    • I came away with strategies to deal with teens’ behaviour
    • I realised other parents are going through the same difficulties - and that there is hope!
    • Clear and simple steps - interactive presentation - good focus on the positive

    These seminars are often incorporated as part of a school evening but can also be a “stand alone” night for parents. Sometimes parents are charged a small entrance fee to cover the costs or the school or community group sponsor the evening. Seminars range in length from a 20 minute keynote to a 2 to 3 hour interactive workshop.


    Calm and Confident Teens for Educators: An education professional's guide to helping teens stay calm, manage stress and frustration and cope in tough times

    ncreasingly teachers and educators are becoming concerned about the prevalence of tough situations for young people - depression, self harm, grief and loss, eating disorders, suicidality - just to name a few. Teachers often feel “out of their depth” in dealing with teens in these situations. They do not feel adequately equipped or resourced to handle these difficult issues.

    In addition, teachers are increasingly reporting to me their concerns about teenagers' lack of resilience. They would like to know how to empower young people to respond capably and confidently to difficult life events.

    This seminar is a professional development session for teachers and other educational/health professionals which covers the following topics: 

    • How to effectively help and support young people in crisis - in very short periods of time (eg in between lessons)
    • Some basic phrases to use with mad, sad and stressed young people:  what to say and what not to say to teens who are struggling
    • What to look out for and warning signs
    • Protective factors: simple steps to keep teens afloat and safe
    • Helping young people to make their own simple plans to get through difficult times
    • Helping young people learn to stay calm and reassure themselves 

    This seminar is usually approximately 90 minutes in length.  It is designed for teachers, coaches, support services officers, youth workers, school counsellors and others' who work professionally with young people.


    Gaming and Social Networking - A Parents' Guide

    Young people are the greatest users of the internet in Australia. More than 80% have regular access to a mobile phone. Most teens are regular users of social networking, and the majority check Facebook at least once a day. Many teens spend increasing amounts of time on online gaming, interacting with people all over the world.

    Whilst social networking and gaming brings many benefits, it also brings about new challenges. Cyber-bullying is on the rise. Teens have fights with friends online.  Students get addicted to spending time on the net, at the expense of family time, homework and physical exercise. Increasingly, parents are unsure about how to manage this aspect of their teenagers’ lives. 
     
    In this seminar parents learn about the common pitfalls for teens in cyber-life and how they can help protect, guide and support them in their use of this technology. Ideas are raised about appropriate guidelines for net use, gaming and social networking, helping teens deal with cyber-bullying and learning about the websites teens most often visit.

    Comments from audience members who have attended this seminar in the past include: 

    • I have some new ideas to stop my teen getting hurt on the net.
    • This was an extremely useful session – I feel much more confident in dealing with the issue
    • I didn’t realise the extent of the problem until I saw the survey results. I will be watching my teens phone use much more carefully now.

    Please note all seminars are the intellectual property of Kirrilie Smout Copyright 2014 ©