Clammy palms. Racing thoughts. Pounding heart. We’re all familiar with the signs of anxiety. To some it’s of little consequence. To others it’s a debilitating, life-long battle.
Author, educator and parenting specialist Maggie Dent knows a thing or two about it. Especially when it comes to children and adolescents. She has dedicated much of her career to the aforementioned demographic through her work as a teacher, counsellor and advocate for suicide prevention.
Later she turned her hand to authoring nine bestsellers, hosting the award-winning ABC podcast, Parental As Anything, and chatting regularly on national television. In what little spare time she has left, Maggie works on other resources – blogs, news site, public speaking and such – for parents, adolescents, teachers and early childhood educators.
On Saturday, 19 August, the woman journalist Tracey Spicer refers to as a national treasure is set to appear at Shellharbour Civic Centre.
Maggie’s talk – titled Exploring Children’s Anxiety – will offer commonsense strategies for parents and educators to create a calmer home or classroom. Not only that, the proceeds of the event will go to Illawarra Women’s Health Centre.
“With the fast pace of modern life and the hidden pressures on our children, they need our guidance more than ever to better manage fear, worry and anxiety – especially after the pandemic,” said Maggie.
But Maggie doesn’t stop there. In her book From Boys To Men, she navigates screen time, failure, loss, intimate relationships and such. She unpacks why boys thrive with stability, engagement, and connection. Doubtless, she should know – she is the mother of four sons and grandmother to many.
“Boys To Men looks at guiding our teen boys to become happy, healthy men. Adolescence is a confusing time for teens and their parents and carers — and our boys have some particular needs. It’s about teaching them resilience, communicating effectively to diffuse conflict and helping them foster healthy relationships,” she explained.
However, boys are not the sole focus of the author’s attention. In July 2022 Maggie’s book Girlhood was published by Pan Macmillan. It demonstrates how to help our girls build an emotional and psychological base. The book draws on around 5000 survey results, the latest research, and her own extensive experience.
“Secure foundations will help insulate our girls against anxiety and other mental health challenges as they grow into their teens and feel more capable and resilient while keeping their own authentic voice as they enter womanhood,” she said.
The upcoming Shellharbour event is set to offer her thoughts on the cognitive and emotional benefits of silence and stillness, for children as well as adults.
“The capacity for building coping and enabling abilities, as well as help-seeking strategies and tangible life skills will help your children navigate the world ahead,” she explained.
It’s about finding the calm in the chaos.
Book here for the seminar at the Shellharbour Civic Centre, Saturday 19 August 2023, 2 pm to 4 pm, cost is $35.