The Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) and Parents for Children’s Mental Health are proud to announce the Parenting Essentials video series, featuring recordings of webinars that took place in the fall of 2020. The second video in this series focuses on information for parents and caregivers, interested in learning more about supporting kids in coping with their intense emotions.

Need more tips on how to support your worried child?

This video offers an opportunity to learn and practice strategies that help understand, validate, co-regulate, and calm worries and anxiety.

Presented by:

  • Lisa Bechtel, Kathleen Mak-Fan, Lisa Mulvihill and Anna Polotskaia of WRDSB Psychological Services
  • Angela Sider and Sharon Hutton of Parents for Children’s Mental Health

Tips for Supporting Your Anxious Child: Learn, Practice, Validate and Co-regulate

Brain, Body and Anxiety

  • The emotional brain can take over the cognitive brain, activating the fight-flight-freeze response
  • This is helpful when in real danger, but can also be triggered when there is no danger
  • Strategies can help to calm the response system down
  • Because of this response system, kids can experience big feelings and worry in their bodies (e.g. tummy aches or headaches, tense muscles, shaking)


  • Although validation is hard, it helps label emotions and helps kids feel understood(it brings the anxiety elevator down)
  • Here is how: “I understand/no wonder you feel (event/emotion) because…” x 3


  • Self-regulation can be learned. It develops in co-regulation
  • As a parent, regulate your emotions first
  • Watch for red thoughts: “ This is too hard and impossible to do” and help turn it into a green thought “This is hard, and i might need help completing this work”
  • Modeling is a powerful tool, practiced together.


  • Understand where anxiety comes from
  • Continue learning new tools with your child
  • Engage the mind-body connection
  • Practice, practice and practice together

Need help right away? Crisis Support Contacts

Kids Help Phone

Here 24/7 (Waterloo Region Crisis Line & Access to Services)

Crisis Services Canada

  • Call: 1-833-456-4566

WRDSB Resources and Videos

Apps to Support Well-being

Guided meditation, sleep and movement exercises, breathing tutorials and mindfulness missions:

More Resources and Links

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