Psychologist Nigel Latta has provided advice on parenting, along with exploring many other topics, in a range of television shows.
He has been brought to Whangaparaoa by the Coast Youth Community Trust (CYC) to talk about how parents and caregivers can support the emotional wellbeing of children and young people.
Nigel says that the community is becoming a lot more open in discussing the effects of stress and anxiety.
He says his talk will look at “the brain stuff behind anxiety and stress, why it happens and what you can do to help your kids deal with it”.
“The good news is that there are some practical things we can do to help kids,” he says. “It’s about understanding where anxiety and stress comes from, how it impacts behaviour and the importance of developing skills such as self-control.”
He says another important skill is the ability to calm down using things such as mindfulness. “There are tried and tested ways to help children and teenagers calm themselves that can be taught from a very young age, including toddlers.”
He says it is helpful for parents to be clear about the things that really make a difference, and not to worry about the rest.
“What’s important is how your kid is doing, and how do you help them deal with stuff,” he says.
The event, on December 5, includes a question and answer session with a panel that includes Nigel, Whangaparaoa College guidance counselor Kim Osborne and counselor Tina Jones from Youth in Transition Trust.
A range of support agencies will set up stands to provide information.
CYC director Josh Sanford says he hopes the evening will help adults and young people on the road to more positive interactions and conversations.
“Some of the ideas we will discuss can be helpful for parenting and emotional wellbeing in general, not just mental health issues,” he says.
An Evening with Nigel Latta is on Wednesday December 5 at Whangaparaoa Baptist Church, 7pm-9pm. Tickets, which are limited (almost sold out as Hibiscus Matters goes to print) cost $10 per person from cyctrust.org.nz
If you miss out on tickets the event will be live streamed on Coast Youth Community Trust’s Facebook page.