Calm Kid Central
Helping children with “big feelings”, social/emotional challenges and tough life circumstances feel
calm, confident and co-operative.
Does any of this sound familiar?
Your child:

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Often worries or feels anxious.  Avoids scary or difficult tasks. You get tired of constantly reassuring them.

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Often gets frustrated, or finds it hard to manage changes in routines.  You get tired and frustrated by their frustration!

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Has had tough life circumstances: grief, family changes, illness, trauma or other difficult situations

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Is prone to meltdowns  – yells/hits/stomps – sometimes leaving you frustrated, embarrassed or disappointed.

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Sometimes finds finding or getting along with friends tough – and you feel sad for them about this.

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Often talks negatively about themselves/life – and it doesn’t seem to matter how often you praise and encourage them

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Finds school work hard or boring – and homework is sometimes exhausting for all of you.

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Might have a diagnosis of anxiety disorder, ASD, ADHD, ODD, sensory processing problems or speech/language delay – or not.  But either way, they find life tougher to manage than many kids.

Calm Kid Central helps kids with “big feelings” (and their parent/carers) in THREE important ways.

1. We help children learn to cope with negative feelings, act confidently, stay calm, learn social skills and act co-operatively.

On Calm Kid Central there are three short courses for children –
1. Managing worry and stress and learning to act confidently.
2. Coping with frustration and learning to feel calm and co-operate with others
3. Friendship skills (help with being assertive, kind and making/keeping friends)

Here are some of the individual videos within the three courses.  

Calm Down Tricks

Why do I get so mad?

Sentences to say to stay calm

Calming My Body

Acting Confidently

Danger Checkers; Why we worry

Each course has 5 or 6 three minute videos, an activity sheet to complete, discussion questions to answer with a parent and poster to colour/post in their bedrooms. Click the play buttons below for snippets of videos about anxiety and for snippets of the videos about frustration management.

2. We teach you to feel calmer, more confident and effectively support kids with “big feelings” and life challenges

After working for 20 years with parents/caregivers in our psychology clinics, we know that there are things you can do which will help your child with big feelings.  On Calm Kid Central, we teach you – in your own home – what to say to your child when they are distressed, what to do to help them calm down, how to help them act in more co-operative ways.  You’ll learn what child psychologists say and do with children with anxiety, distress, tough life circumstances, friend problems and difficulties managing their impulses and frustration – and you’ll be able to do it too.

Video titles include:

Upset Children: What to Say First (5 mins)

Helping Angry/Panicked Children Calm Down (6 mins)

Important Questions to Ask Stressed Kids (6 mins)

Easily frustrated children – what’s going on and what to do

Using Praise with Children with Big Feelings

The skills and knowledge children need/how to coach this (8 mins)

How we accidentally encourage tricky behaviour in some children (4 mins)

One way to increase instruction following in children who struggle with this (6 mins)

Question Asking Mistakes we make when children are upset, and how to fix (6 mins)

Each video includes: A “real life” section with an audio recorded conversation with real parent/child,  a transcript of the video, downloadables/printables for the fridge with points to remember, sample questions to ask and strategies to use with your child. Press play below for some sample videos for parents/caregivers.

3. We have a panel of child psychologists on standby to answer unlimited numbers of your questions and concerns within 48 hours: no waiting for appointments.

Talking to a child psychologist is not easy. There’s travel, cost, availability, fitting in with work and more. And often you don’t need therapy anyway. With Calm Kid Central, you can get quick ideas and support from a child psychologist via your phone from work/home. Send through any question that you have about your kids, their behaviour, their stress, tricky situations and managing tough emotions and our panel of experienced and fully qualified child psychologists (from the Developing Minds Clinics in South Australia) will carefully read and answer your questions within 48 hours, 48 weeks of the year

For example, in the Question Centre we’ve had questions such as:

  • How do I help my siblings stop fighting?
  • What is the right age for a mobile phone?
  • How do I help my 8 year old be less sad/anxious about going to school?
  • What do I do about meltdowns in my 10 yo?
  • How do I help my 9yo manage grief?
  • How do I cope with my own feelings about my child’s learning disorder?
  • How do I help my 7 and 10yo be more organised/look after their possession?
  • What do I do about my 5 yo not focussing at school?
  • What do you do about children constantly getting out of bed at night?
  • And many, many more.
The Calm Kid Central Team

The Calm Kid Central Team is made up of a five person child psychologist panel, our community education officer and our admin and technical support 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)

Kirrilie is a clinical Psychologist, member of the Australian Psychological Society and of the College of Clinical Psychologists. She has a First Class psychology Honours degree and a Masters degree in Clinical psychology, both awarded from Flinders University of SA. She has worked as a psychologist for 22 years in many different settings, with a variety of client groups.

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 is a clinical Psychologist and a full member of the Australian Psychological Society. She has a Psychology Honours degree from Flinders University and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Adelaide. During her studies, Penny was conferred the KPMG Prize for Psychology and published research on psychological outcomes for children in various care arrangements.

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 is a clinical Psychologist, a full member of the Australian Psychological Society, and an associate member of the College of Clinical Psychologists. She has a Psychology Honours degree from Adelaide University and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from James Cook University. She has worked as a Psychologist for thirteen years in a variety of settings, with a variety of client groups.

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 is a clinical Psychologist and a Full Member of the Australian Psychological Society (APS) College of Clinical Psychologists.  She has a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology and a PhD from Flinders University.

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 is a clinical Psychologist and a full member of the Australian Psychological Society. She has an Honours degree in Behavioural Science awarded from Flinders University and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology awarded from the University of Adelaide.

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)

Sandra is a social worker with 12 years of experience working in the child and family well being and mental health fields.  She has worked in management, consultation and clinical roles within government, education and private settings.  She is passionate about helping clinicians and services to provide high quality support to families.  At Calm Kid Central, Sandra helps professionals and families learn about the Calm Kid Central program and help them access and find the resources in the program they need.

Evidence for Calm Kid Central – does it really help?

Over 1000 parents and carers have signed up for Calm Kid Central in the last 2 years.

Statistical analysis of data collected prior to and after 4 months of having access to Calm Kid Central showed the following:

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)

I really liked the regular emails with relevant information, the range of info on the website (so I can spent a short time watching a video or spend longer looking into the areas I need support with). There is also a wide range of topics to provide relevant info in different situations (including really difficult issues like self harm in children). Kirsty

Parent

We watched the mean behaviour video altogether and afterwards practised (with much hilarity) all the different scenarios you posed for dealing with mean behaviour. Fantastic!! thankyou. Just perfect specific tips that can be enacted immediately and that can be easily remembered. We had a lot of fun – I don’t think they will ever be forgotten. Thankyou SO much. So practical and helpful….really appreciate it. Rachel

Parent

Calm Kid Central is interactive, up to date and helps students, parents and children. It has helped me really help the students I work with. I’m enjoying using the videos to help children learn social skills…I would recommend it to any school well being staff. R. Fairlie

Community Carer

I am always excited to get the Calm Kid Central emails with the “video of the week”. They always contain pearls of wisdom.. Your work is my “go to” when something new pops up for my kids. S. Evans

Parent

I love the articles. They’ve given me good ideas to address topics with my kids, particularly regarding screen use

Parent

I’ve been able to relate to the solutions and language used in all the videos, – they seem to suit me and my level of understanding and ability to implement/follow through etc. Ursula

Parent

Easy to apply suggestions and ideas, and the cartoon format makes the information understand and applicable

Parent

My children love watching the videos. There are some great parenting tips I have been able to refer to, so thank you very much!

Parent

$28.50 per month
or $177.50 per year

 (Or FREE! if you have a coupon*)

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No minimum time commitment.  Cancel anytime with three clicks

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Learning Centre for Kids (All courses, videos, activity sheets and posters)

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Learning Centre for Parents (All courses, videos, tip sheets, transcripts, Questions guides)

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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 cardwho live in sections of rural SA (Yorke or Fleurieu peninsula) or who live in the Gippsland Region (Victoria).  If this applies to you, click below:

Get my free coupon code   

If you already have your coupon code, click on the Join Now buttons above or below and use your coupon code when asked.

Are you a therapist, teacher, child psychologist, allied health professional or another professional who works with children and families?  The program and pricing listed above is for parents and personal use only.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions
Are all the videos and resources available as soon as I sign up? Will there be more released?
Yes, all of our existing videos and resources are instantly available after you sign up and log in. There are new videos, articles, activity sheets and resources are released each month.
What if I sign up and then don't find any of the resources helpful?

As child psychologists who have been working with families and professionals for 20 years, we have designed our videos and resources very carefully to make sure they are useful, reassuring and helpful.  But if you disagree – that’s completely fine.  We have a 30 day money back guarantee.  Just email us at [email protected] within 30 days of signing up and let us know you haven’t found the resources helpful and we will refund your money, no questions asked.

What if I want to cancel my membership?
You can cancel your membership at any time by simply clicking on “cancel” in your dashboard. It takes about fifteen seconds.
How do I pay? Are there any extra charges?
You pay using either your credit card or a paypal account. Your credit card or paypal will be charged every 30 days (or once a year, if you sign up for the annual membership) for the amount advertised, with no extra charges applied  Also, we let you know every month when you’ve paid so that you don’t forget you are a member and don’t continue to pay for a membership you don’t want because you’ve forgotten about it (I hate it when that happens!).  We’ll also let you know BEFORE your annual charge, if you sign up annually – to make sure you want to continue for another year.
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?

Yes. Calm Kid Central is specifically FOR children with diagnoses like this, or who have big feelings and find life tough.  We work with hundreds of children each year with these diagnoses, and in Australia see children under the National Disability Insurance scheme. We are very familiar with the particular issues that these children have and are conscious of making sure our adult and child resources have information that applies directly to this group of families.  

Can I use Calm Kid Central instead of taking my child to therapy?

It depends!

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?

If you are a teacher, psychologist, youth worker, allied health professional – or other education or health professional working with families – we have a program especially for you – click here on Calm Kid Pro to find out more.

I'm worried about my privacy, I don't want everyone to know about the questions and struggles I have with my child
Excellent question.  We are committed to protecting privacy and confidentially.  Here’s how we do this.

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.

Who is the behind this site? Who creates the resources? And what is Developing Minds Psychology?
My name is Kirrilie Smout. I’m a child psychologist from Adelaide, Australia. I’ve spent more than 20 years working with families and now direct the Developing Minds team. Our team consists of 12 child psychologists (many of whom also provide resources and answer questions here at Calm Kid Central) who see more than 150 families each week, and provide training and supervision to other professionals who work with kids.

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?
No, there is no downloading of programs or software. Provided you have an internet connection everything is streamed directly to your phone or computer. Everything is optimised for mobile phones too – so you can watch/listen while you are out of the house.
Why did you create Calm Kid Central?
In mid 2015 I worked with a family in a rural area via skype. We discovered that private health cover didn’t allow them to claim their sessions and I was really disappointed for them. I started thinking that there must be a better way – and the idea of Calm Kid Central was born. I was hoping that we could start to help families and professionals who not only live in rural areas; but who can’t afford to get to make an appointment; work full time and are time poor; work fly in/fly out jobs – or for whatever reason can’t attend our clinics in an ongoing basis. This means we can provide support, answers, supervision and education to many more people.

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?

If you live in metro Adelaide, SA and have a health care card, if you live in the Yorke Peninsula or Fleurieu region in SA, or if you live in the Gippsland region of Victoria, we have been funded to provided a year of Calm Kid Central access to you for free (as supported by Adelaide SA Country and Gippsland Primary Health Networks).  If you meet this critera, click on the “Get my free coupon code” sentence above to be sent your coupon via email.  

My child doesn’t have any particular challenges with emotions, tricky behaviours or social relationships. Is this program still useful?

This program is specifically designed for families with children with “big feelings”, social/emotional challenges and dealing with tough life circumstances.  All the resources and questions are designed to help these children learn to manage stress and worry, feel and act more confidently and co-operatively.  If your child doesn’t have any challenges in these area, you are still welcome to join the program but it may be more useful for you to get more general “parenting education”.

I have more questions about Calm Kid Central, how do I get in touch with you?
We are real people here and answer our phone and emails! If you have any questions about Calm Kid Central, then you can contact us anytime at [email protected]

You can also call us during business hours 9-5pm AEST on 08 8357 1711

Your code has been successfully applied and gives you free access to Calm Kid Central for 30 days. Please note that after this period, your credit card/paypal account will be charged monthly at the usual monthly rate.

If you don't wish to be a member/have your card charged - please make sure you cancel your membership before the 30 day period expires..

  • Want help for a child who sometimes struggles with worry, "big feelings", frustration or friendships?

    SUBSCRIBE TO OUR FORTNIGHTLY EMAIL

    NO VAGUE, CONDESCENDING THEORY.
    JUST PRACTICAL IDEAS YOU CAN USE WITH YOUR CHILD TODAY TO HELP THEM FEEL CALM, CONFIDENT AND COOPERATIVE.

    These emails are gold. Thanks for your wisdom! J. Sampson (Cornerstone College)