Helping children with “big feelings”
and life challenges
calm, confident and co-operative.
Do you have a child with “big feelings”? For example they might:
Often worry, feel anxious or need a lot of reassurance.
Get frustrated easily, find it hard to follow instructions or have “meltdowns”.
Find it tough to make and keep friends, manage school or have had other tough life challenges.
Might have a diagnosis (ASD, anxiety, ODD, sensory processing, learning problems) – or not – but regardless: life seems to be not quite as easy for them as some others
Kids with big feelings are wonderful in many ways but caring for them is often frustrating, worrying and exhausting.
Calm Kid Central helps kids with “big feelings” and challenges (and their parents) in THREE important ways.
1. Child psychologists on standby to help you with unlimited questions and concerns about children within 48 hours.
Ask or tell us about any question or concern you have about your child. Our panel of experienced and fully qualified child psychologists (from the Developing Minds Clinics in South Australia) will read and answer your questions within 48 hours, 48 weeks of the year. No waiting for appointments.
On Calm Kid Central there are short courses and over 20 videos (plus activity sheets) for children on:
1. Managing worry, anxiety, sadness and increasing confident and brave behaviour.
2. Staying calm, coping with frustration and co-operate with others
3. Improving social skills and coping with problems with friendships
Learn what to say to your “big feelings” child to help them calm down, feel more co-operative, confident and manage tough situations.
Over 50 video lessons (with example audio recordings of parent/child conversations), articles and tips sheets specifically for parents of children with emotional challenges.
Over 1500 parents and carers have signed up for Calm Kid Central in the last 2 years.
Analysis of the data collected prior to and after 4 months of having access to Calm Kid Central shows:
94% of children (as reported by their parents) experienced a significant reduction in a) anxiety, worry and stress symptoms, b) difficulties managing frustration, following instructions and co-operation behaviours and c) attention and concentration problems after 4 months of being part of the program.
In addition, on average, parents reported a statistically significant increase in parental adjustment and well-being
97% of parents said they believed Calm Kid Central had been either “quite”, “very” or “extremely helpful” for their family
(Data collected from 81 families, measures used were the Pediatric Symptom Checklist and the Parent and Family Adjustment Scale)
or $177.50 per year
(Or FREE! if you have a coupon*)
No minimum time commitment. Cancel anytime with three clicks
Learning Centre for Kids (All courses, videos, activity sheets and posters)
Learning Centre for Parents (All courses, videos, tip sheets, transcripts, Questions guides)
Question/Help Centre (ask questions of our child psychologists)
(*Coupons: We currently have a limited number of FREE coupons for a year of access to Calm Kid Central. These are available for families who live in the Adelaide metro area in South Australia who have a health card – as funded by Adelaide Primary Health Network or who live in the Gippsland Region (Victoria) – as funded by Gippsland Primary Health Network. If this applies to you, click below:
But don’t worry – we have a special Calm Kid Central program just for you: CalmKidPro. It’s designed to make your life as a profesisonal working with children easier! Click on the button below to find out more.
Are all the videos and resources available as soon as I sign up? Will there be more released?
What if I sign up and then don't find any of the resources helpful?
What if I want to cancel my membership?
How do I pay? Are there any extra charges?
I have a child diagnosed with an anxiety disorder,autism, ADHD, learning disorder, speech and language disorder or global delay. Will Calm Kid Central still be useful for my family?
Can I use Calm Kid Central instead of taking my child to therapy?
It’s important to know that Calm Kid Central is NOT traditional therapy. We don’t have you or your child in the room, we haven’t conducted an assessment and can’t talk with you in real time. This means there are limits to what we can do. In addition, if there is a safety issue for your child, getting help over the internet is never a good idea and we recommend you see someone in person as soon as possible. Understanding this is part of the conditions for accessing this site.
However, there are some families with children who need some training and support – but who don’t need traditional therapy. In this case, Calm Kid Central can potentially be an extremely useful way to support and help kids and parents. We can provide ideas, information and reassurance. Often families see a therapist in person as well as belong to Calm Kid Central.
I'm a child psychologist/teacher/other profession with lots of experience in working with children. Will membership of Calm Kid Central still be helpful?
I'm worried about my privacy, I don't want everyone to know about the questions and struggles I have with my child
Firstly, Calm Kid Central is not open to the public – only signed up members who have signed a disclaimer and been provided with education about confidentiality. No information on Calm Kid Central is accessible via a public google search.
Second, all members when they sign up are asked to choose their own username – an alias. We have the details of people’s names “behind” the site (for safety reasons) but no real names are used within the Calm Kid Central program.
Third, we also ask parents to NOT use the name of their child, disguise any identifying details of their children. If we see any identifiable details on the site, we remove them as quickly as possible. This way families don’t accidentally identify themselves – and you can feel free to ask any questions without feeling worried that about being judged negatively in some way.
One final note – it is important to know that like all professionals, we are mandated notifiers of child abuse. This means that if we receive information on this site that a child is being abused, then we are legally obliged to report this (which we will do using the details members give us when signing up for the site). This happens very rarely, but it is important to know upfront.
I'm worried about the cost
Who is the behind this site? Who creates the resources? And what is Developing Minds Psychology?
I’ve also presented seminars and training to more than 50 thousand students (and their teachers and parents) in schools across Australia to help them learn to manage their difficult emotions and challenges in life. All these experiences have been a privilege for me. I’ve learnt an amazing amount about families, and this has helped me write several books about and for children.
Do I have to download any programs or software?
Why did you create Calm Kid Central?
Our team of psychologists really do care about the young people they work with, and I have all my fingers and toes crossed that Calm Kid Central helps us ultimately reach and support hundreds of kids to feel calmer, more confident and act in more positive ways.
How do I get a free coupon?
I have more questions about Calm Kid Central, how do I get in touch with you?
You can also call us during business hours 9-5pm AEST on 08 8357 1711
My child doesn’t have any particular challenges with emotions, tricky behaviours or social relationships. Is this program still useful?
I don't have much time
The Calm Kid Central Team
Our clinical child psychologists all have Masters degrees in psychology, have worked exclusively with children and families for between 8 and 22 years and are fully registered and accredited by APHRA. We are also passionate about children’s well being.
We use a “third wave” cognitive-behavioural, systems and attachment approach to children’s mental and emotional health. For more information about each of our team, you can click on the “plus” signs below.
Kirrilie Smout (Clinical Child Psychologist and Director of Developing Minds Psychology)
Today Kirrilie is the director of Developing Minds Psychology and provides supervision to the team of child and adolescent psychologists who work with her there. She also provides seminars and training for young people, teachers, health professionals and schools around Australia.
Kirrilie has received a number of awards, grants and prizes for her speaking, research and consultancy work. She is regularly consulted by print, radio and TV media in relation to psychological issues and has numerous articles published in a variety of newspapers and journals. She has written three books about and for young people, is the developer of the online program Calm Kid Central, and is the SA convenor of the Child, Adolescent and Family Interest group for the SA chapter of the Australian Psychological Society.
Kirrilie has also been invited by the Australian Psychological Society to be interviewed for the Australian “InPsych” magazine about Developing Minds. She is an an APHRA approved psychologist supervisor and has presented to other psychologists at several APS national conferences, and state clinical college workshops.
Penny Sih (Clinical Child Psychologist)
Penny has always been passionate about working with young people and their families and has a talent for connecting with young people. She has worked as a psychologist since 2004 in both the private sector and a variety of government settings including Child Protection, Community Health and Education. Penny’s roles have included providing therapy and conducting assessments with kids and teens and providing professional development and support for families, teachers and health care workers.
Penny aims to help children and young people understand that their wide ranging emotions are all part of what makes them human but to also equip them with skills to better manage their tricky emotions (e.g. anxiety, depression, sadness, anger) and adapt their behaviour (e.g. conflict management, social skills, avoidance, challenging behaviour) to lead a full and rewarding life despite any hardship they experience. In her work with families, she works to support parents and caregivers to better understand and be attuned to their child’s needs in order to more effectively support their emotional and behavioural development.
Penny is a team leader (providing clinical and professional supervision and crisis supervision) of the Aberfoyle Park Developing Minds clinic.
Taryn Gray (Clinical Child Psychologist)
Taryn takes an eclectic approach as a Clinical Psychologist, and has worked in specialist settings with adults and young people.
She works particularly with children and young people, and has experience in working with separation anxiety, phobias, mutism, behaviour problems, substance use, and friendship difficulties among many other issues.
Taryn is the clinical programs and systems manager for Developing Minds and develops and monitors systems to make sure the practice complies with all relevant funding body (including NDIS, Medicare and others) requirements.
Jacinda Fisher (Clinical Child Psychologist)
Jacinda has worked as a psychologist over the last twelve years working in both the public and private sectors. She worked as a psychologist with the Department for Education and Child Development (DECD) for many years and therefore has extensive knowledge in childhood development and the assessment and treatment of learning difficulties, social, emotional and behavioural issues. Within DECD, Jacinda provided support to teachers, SSO’s and families about how to support kids with extra emotional/social/learning needs at school and in the classroom. Jacinda has also worked previously as a psychologist within an Adelaide R-12 school and as well as providing support to students, provided significant numbers of hours of consultation to school staff and parents about how to manage student well being within a classroom and home setting.
Jacinda has also worked as a research psychologist with the Women’s and Children’s hospital within the neonatal department and the child nutrition team, and also for sleep clinics at Flinders University and the Repat Sleep clinic. Through her PhD research, she is also knowledgeable in the areas of caregiving, coping, illness and grief and loss.
Finally, Jacinda has also had many years of working with children and teens individually in a therapy setting. As a result, she is passionate about helping young people who are finding life difficult because of learning issues, eating problems, sleep difficulties, family and relationship concerns, anxiety, depression, issues related to gender and sexuality and other issues.
She is keen to help people learn ways of managing such issues so that they don’t get in the way of living the life they want.
Kate Manning (Clinical Child Psychologist)
Kate has worked for 8 years providing support to children and young people who are encountering difficulties with their emotions, adjustment, peer and/or family relationships, behaviour or learning, as well as supporting their families. Kate has gained knowledge and experiencing through working with children and young people with a wide range of medical conditions or disabilities and has specialist knowledge in the area of paediatric acquired brain injury.
Kate draws on a number of evidence-based approaches, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, in addition to her knowledge of child development and paediatric neuropsychology, to assist in her understanding of the challenges children and young people face. This understanding allows Kate to tailor her therapeutic approach to suit each child or young person individually.
Kate aims to work in collaboration with children, young people, and their families to assist them in building on their strengths and learning further skills to help them to manage the difficulties they are experiencing. Kate is passionate about supporting children and young people of all ages and enjoys using humour and play in her therapy sessions to facilitate children and young peoples’ understanding and engagement in the therapeutic process.
Sandra Massey (Community Education Officer)
Want to see some examples? Click the play buttons below for snippets of videos.
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