Acclaimed parenting author, educator and podcast host Maggie Dent will offer Illawarra parents practical strategies to address what she says is one of the most popular topics she covers: anxiety in children.
Survey results from the Australian Psychological Association released in November 2022 show psychologists saw a significant increase in the number of children experiencing anxiety disorders from two years prior.
"What children need to grow up to be happy and healthy and resilient hasn't changed, but the world has changed," Ms Dent said.
The world was "noisier", she said, more parents were working, and developmental expectations of children had risen as the age at which they entered formal education dropped.
"The 'hurry up' of childhood has definitely had an impact," Ms Dent said.
She said anxiety kicked in when a child did not feel strongly attached because they then registered the presence of a threat.
But Ms Dent said this was not the fault of parents - it was the world in which we now lived.
The solution, she said, was to develop habits that created more predictable home and school environments for children.
At Saturday's talk, 'Exploring Children's Anxiety', Ms Dent will offer techniques and hacks parents and teachers can introduce to achieve this.
She said we needed to stop demonising anxiety, but recognise when it became a problem and implement strategies to address it.
All proceeds from the event will go to the Illawarra Women's Health Centre to provide services to women experiencing hardship, a cause close to Ms Dent's heart.
She said she had a "deep and profound passion" for parents everywhere, and she did what she could to help women in "incredibly stressful" situations.
Ms Dent is the author of nine books and other e-books, and the host of ABC podcast Parental As Anything.
Tickets for Saturday's talk are $35 and available online at www.trybooking.com/events/landing/1090994. The two-hour talk begins at 2pm.
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