Jenny Atkinson, along with Justine Lamont hosted The Calm, Connected Tweens and Teens Summit and this session was led by Jenny herself.

Change will occur throughout human lives, so helping tweens and teens cope with change is a critical skill to develop. It gives them a roadmap to navigate now and the future. Teen years are FULL of change - physically, socially, emotionally and it can be difficult for kids to express how that makes them feel given this is their first experience.

Change is usually hard - there is a fear of the unknown and it's easy to fear the worst - especially when changes are big!) When kids are scared of change, it is helpful to discuss the things that will stay the same. eg if they are worried about starting a new school, discuss the club sport that stays the same, or their favourite activities they will still do at their new school (art, sport, music etc). This may help shift their focus and allay some fears.

It's important for parents to try to understand their child's perspective. While their fears may be irrational - they are valid.

Using a scale helps put fears into perspective. On a scale of 1 to 10, how worried are you about x?' Not only does this give perspective to the current fear, it can be comparable to past experiences - and helpful in the future!

Coping skills are built gradually over time. It's not about 'sink or swim.' Parents can role model these coping strategies by asking for help, open communication, showing how you prioritise your own needs and how to move through change and not get stuck.

If you know a big change is coming up - moving house, changing schools etc, try to go back to basics - sleep, nutrition, time with friends, family rituals to help reduce the feelings of overwhelm. Instead of projecting outcomes of these life changes, try to adopt a 'wait and see' approach.

As parents there are also great opportunities to connect with your child when periods of change are approaching. 'I can see you are a bit overwhelmed about your exams next week, what can I do to lighten your load?'

As with all the presenters in this summit, being available and connected is key to helping your child/ren navigate change.