We offer helpful and informative resources to parents of children with anxiety
Happier Parents, Calmer Kids
Hello, I'm Anita Ness - I’m a mum of 2 girls, who is crazy passionate about making parent's lives easier and lighter, and children’s lives calmer and more fun.
I realised my eldest daughter was struggling a little, just after she started Kindy at the age of 5. She went from a happy, social and friendly little girl to one that was genuinely consumed by what we called ‘the red beast’. It took me lots of googling, several specialists, many sleepless nights and heaps of advice searching, to realise that her angry outbursts were masking her anxiety.
And so I began my mission, which soon became a quiet obsession, to find tips, tools, techniques, professionals, strategies, books, courses, anything to help me, help my daughter, manage her anxiety and other big emotions.
This was a huge job on top of work and all the other things life throws at us as parents, but there was one day when my daughter was in year 2 that really shifted things; she came home and told me, ‘Mummy I’m stressed’ -
it was heartbreaking! And I knew I had to change things for her. I was working full time which meant she was attending before and after school care each day, and it just didn’t give her enough time to stop, breathe, get things done and reduce the overwhelm.
My daughter was my inspiration to leave my corporate career, and in a way I welcomed it as I had always wanted to do something more - something different. In many other ways, it was one of the most challenging times of my life.
It has been a couple of years since I made the huge decision to stop working full-time in my chosen career, my life for over 15 years, and to give my daughter more space to breathe and find ways to help her manage her worries.
My daughter is now 10 and doing a really good job of managing her anxiety. Although, every day is different and each week can bring new challenges. I am truly grateful to have the opportunity to spend this extra time with my daughter, I am also very aware that this isn’t possible for many parents.
So I want to give back
I want to share with other parents of anxious and highly sensitive children, the things that helped us. I want to share with you our ongoing journey, because it is a journey that will continue. Just like my research as a crazy passionate mum will continue, to find the next thing, the next book, the next inspiring and motivational online course. Something to help us through the tough times, and provide hope and peace where sometimes it’s really very hard to find.
I hope you find some helpful tips and resources to make your journey with your son or daughter just that little bit easier, lighter and calmer.
I'm not a psychologist or trained counsellor, I’m a mum with an anxious child. And I want to share with you what I've learned, and the links to what we have found so helpful. I have created this hub of resources to make it easier to find what you're searching for; bringing you some of the best resources, strategies, courses and specialists, all to the one place, from all over the world, links to books, courses and expert websites.
I have done the hard yards to find the resources, now it’s your turn to choose what suits you and your child’s situation.
My family and I live in Sydney Australia, but the resources you find here are both locally and internationally sourced. There are links to everything from books, to online and F2F courses, e-programs, mindfulness apps, links to professionals and much more.
It’s a one-stop-shop, where you can find (hopefully) whatever you want with ease.
My wish is for parents to feel the true Embrace of hope and the possibility of a Calmer, more peaceful
and fun future with their child.
What lead me to create the Embrace Calmer Kids website
I was in my early 30’s, reading an article about Professor Fiona Stanley, the 2003 ‘Australian of the Year’. The article just grabbed me. She was talking about Early Intervention and Prevention Programs for children and how critical they were to so many aspects of our society. Professor Stanley stated that Australia was currently number 2 in the world for youth suicide and the key was to support and educate both children and parents when the children are young.
It hit me like a tonne of bricks.
This was the key. It was the most important thing I could be involved with. This needed to happen. So I left my full time corporate job and spent the next 6 months speaking with people, cold calling, networking to try to get myself a role, any role within the area of Early Intervention and Prevention Programs. I was incredibly determined, but it seems that determination, passion and belief in a mission aren’t enough…
I went back into corporate, but found myself wanting to work much more closely with people. So I worked in recruitment and people management roles, as well as being a Volunteer Kid Coach.
I have been drawn to working with children and parents for over a decade. It feels so incredibly important to me that we help our little ones while they are young, so that they can learn to help themselves as they get older. So that they have the tools to become happy, self-regulating, confident and courageous young people.
In 2015, as previously mentioned, my daughter came to me and told me she was ‘stressed’, this was another serious 'A-ha' moment for me. She said she had too much homework to do, that she wanted to do more after school activities, but everything was just all too overwhelming.
I knew I had to make a change. After listening to anti-anxiety CDs, reading many books, doing several courses, trying desperately to find the answers to help my daughter cope better with the crazy world of today, I gave in and gave her (and my mission) my time. She was my inspiration to leave the corporate world after over 15 years and I embraced it.
I wanted to help her, I wanted to help other children like her. And, I wanted to help other parents like me that had a full schedule, even before trying to take this on, but needed something more to help their child.
So after another couple of years of soul searching and research, I created ‘Embrace Calmer Kids’, a website for parents to go to and find … whatever they need to help them along their journey with their anxious child. From day to day strategies to simplify life, to tools to help calm down the anxious minds, it’s all here.
I’m hoping to provide some light to those that are feeling well and truly in the midst of darkness. I want to create some hope when it seems like things just aren’t getting better. I want to help parents lift their heads above water when everything seems so overwhelming. I want parents to know that it will get better, that their child will learn awareness, resilience and most importantly acceptance, as well as the capacity to manage their own anxiety and emotions with courage and confidence.
The past couple of years have been a wonderful, yet challenging time for me personally.
I count my blessings as I see my daughter is blossoming now, and I know that through all the tricky times ahead, we will continue to learn and face things together.
Thanks for reading my story.