Podcast: How to help your child through anxiety, with Karen Young


Do you want your children to be more resilient? More brave? To not shy away from new situations? Kids are mighty, and they need to believe that they are too! Anxiety is a really normal human experience, and learning how to manage anxiety can strengthen children and teens to become courageous and resilient. In this episode of The Parenting Couch podcast, Karen Young from Hey Sigmund talks through how to help your child through anxiety.

Anxiety is a really normal human experience. Sometimes it can become too big, and when children get caught up with anxious feelings, it can swipe at their belief in themselves, their engagement with the world, and the glistening unfolding of their potential – but it doesn’t have to be this way.

Anxiety is very manageable, and any important adult in the life of a child has a profound capacity to strengthen children and teens against anxiety and towards courage and resilience. With all anxiety, comes opportunities to strengthen children and teens with a mindset, skills and qualities that will lead them towards deeply fulfilling, brave, whole-hearted living.

In the latest episode of The Parenting Couch podcast, Rachel and Sarah talk to Karen Young from Hey Sigmund. Karen is a psychologist who specialises in anxiety in children and teens, and in this interview she talks about:

  • Why anxiety isn’t a bad thing, and why we need anxiety to grow as a human
  • Why it’s normal (and good!) that an anxious child can create anxiety in the parent
  • Shares top tips for how you, as a parent, can support your child through anxiety
  • Separation anxiety! Understand why clinginess happens, and how to stop it from holding your child
  • How to stop anxiety stealing sleep in Kids and Teens


Hear a snippet from the interview

In this snippet from The Parenting Couch interview, Karen explains why anxiety plays an important role in the development of children and why we should’t pull them away from scary-safe situations.

“If we pull them away from something that is safe, but still scary, like going to school, or like facing a challenge, or doing something new, anxiety happens in response to all of those things. If we pull them away from that,  they’re actually not getting those really important experiences that they need to learn that they can actually do hard things. And that even when things feel scary, they’re actually really capable, they can do them. Because whenever we push up against our edges, we’re going to have anxiety, every single time.” – Karen Young, Hey Sigmund

Listen to the interview with Karen Young

Listen to the episode of The Parenting Couch interview with Karen Young on your favourite podcast platform.

About Karen Young

Karen Young began her career as a psychologist and now consults with parents, schools, government bodies, and child and adolescent focused organisations both at home in Australia and overseas.

She is the founder of Hey Sigmund, an internationally popular online resource that provides contemporary, research-driven information on anxiety, parenting, and the neurodevelopment of children. She has written three books, including the bestselling Hey Warrior. The books have been translated into multiple languages and are used extensively in homes, schools, and therapeutic settings throughout the world.

Karen also a mum to two children and two stepchildren. Experience has taught her that people can do amazing things with the right information, psychology has something for everyone, jargon doesn’t, everyone has a story to tell, short bios are the longest to write, nobody has it all figured out and the best people to be around are the ones who already know this.


Books by Karen Young

Dear You, Love From Your Brain

Like all strong, beautiful, important things, brains take time to build. Along the way, children have an enormous capacity to influence the brain-building process in profound and enduring ways. First though, they need information that will help them perform their magic. This book will help children discover more about the brain – how it works, what it needs, and how to love it big so it loves them bigger. Buy on Booktopia.

Hey Warrior

Kids can do amazing things with the right information. Understanding why anxiety feels the way it does and where the physical symptoms come from is a powerful step in turning anxiety around. Anxiety explained, kids empowered. Buy on Booktopia.

Hey Awesome

If kids with anxiety could see their strengths, they would feel so much bigger than their anxiety. They would feel bigger than everything – as though a tiny, tip-toed stretch could have them touching the top of the world from where they are. This book is a reminder for all kids that everything they need to be brave, strong and brilliant is already in them. Buy on Booktopia.

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