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Anxiety: How to Support Our Children and Youth

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In this workshop, you will learn what anxiety is, the causes of anxiety, and how to address anxiety in children, particularly during COVID.

About this Event

Fear is a normal response that humans have. It has helped us to survive and evolve up until this point. However, more and more people are experiencing anxiety. This anxiety is presenting in a variety of situations and ways.

Our children and youth are more anxious as a collective group, than ever before. So where is this coming from and how do we help them cope with it? Even children and youth who weren’t anxious before, during this time of Covid restrictions, are presenting with symptoms of anxiety. Teachers, parents and community members are struggling with how to support these young people.

Anxiety is often connected to feeling as though one may be rejected, humiliated or abandoned by others. It is a perceived fear that is often difficult to overcome.

When Might You See Anxious Behaviour

  • The days or minutes leading up to a test or presentation
  • First day of school
  • Going out in public and meeting new people
  • Playing sports or performing activities in front of other people
  • Before going on a trip
  • When a parent leaves to go to work on going away for extended periods of time
  • Conforming to the Covid restrictions and health guidelines
  • Moving
  • Changing schools
  • During caregiver separation or divorce
  • Death or illness of loved ones
  • Death of a pet

Symptoms of Anxiety

Anxiety presents in many different ways, even in children. You may know a child experiencing anxiety if you notice or they report:

  • Stomachaches
  • Headaches
  • Perfectionistic tendencies
  • Rapid breathing or shortness of breath
  • Intense fear of specific social situations such as having conversations with people, giving class presentations or eating in front of others
  • Restlessness
  • Being easily fatigued
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension
  • Sleep disturbances (difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep)

Sadly, many caregivers and educators do not feel well equipped to support children during these times.

Children and teens will often hear messages from people about “bucking down” or “pushing through.” They also hear people criticize them for not being able to handle stress, or that their problems aren’t big or important enough to be worry that much.

As parents and educators, we have an opportunity to change the messaging and in doing so, reduce our child or teen’s experience. We can provide them with tools and skills to not only overcome their anxious feelings right now, but also prepare them for whatever may come in the future.

In this workshop, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Understand the difference between anxiety and fear
  • Expand your understanding of what anxiety is, and the various situations that can create feelings of anxiousness in children and adolescents
  • Strengthen your knowledge of the physiological response of anxiety and the nervous system
  • Learn to help your students communicate their emotional truth regarding their anxiety
  • Identify the emotional and behavioural symptoms of anxiousness that may be present in the children and adolescents around you
  • Learn how to support children and teens in positive and healthy ways during times of stress

Your workshop facilitator, Kimberly Hamilton, is a Mental Health Therapist, experienced teacher, and Certified Grief Recovery Specialist. Through her own experiences as a teacher and school counsellor, Kim has seen and worked with students from a variety of backgrounds and losses. She is passionate about connecting with students from the heart and supporting them during some of the most difficult times of their lives.

Upon registering for this workshop, you will receive a link to join us virtually on Google Meet.

For questions or inquiries please contact Kimberly directly at kim@healmyheart.ca.

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Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

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