How to Support your Child to Navigate Big Over-Whelming Emotions


How to Support your Child to Navigate Big Over-Whelming Emotions


Date & Time

Sat, 28 September 2019

10:00 – 17:00 IST


Margaret Aylward Centre

Old Finglas Road


D11 TC21 Dublin 11



Who is it for?

Parents of primary school-aged children (4 to 13 years)*

It is for parents who are seeking a fresh and effective way to tap into their wisdom about how to support their children with the very human experience of navigating Big and Difficult emotions. It is for those who would like to take some time to stop, pause and draw breath - away from the busy-ness of everyday life - so that they can feel more empowered in being a parent, for themselves and for their children.

*The content of the group is designed for parents of children who are considered to be ‘typically developing’. If your child has a diagnosis of an intellectual disability or Autistic Spectrum Disorder please note that while much of the content may be applicable to you and your child’s situation, there may be aspects to what we explore that may need to be adapted to best suit you and your child’s way of being.

So much of the time, us humans tend to struggle with big emotions, such as anger, sadness, confusion, anxiety, frustration, disappointment and even excitement. Or a mix of these big feelings. A lot of the time we don't know what emotions we are feeling, we just know that they are big, over-whelming and very, very difficult to be OK with.

At times our emotions seem so big that they tend to take over, and we struggle to know how to express them, or what to do with them in a way that doesn't create more difficulties. This is can be true for both children and their parents, and often a complex dynamic can be created between parent and child, which often can lead to even more difficult emotions. In my experience, parents often feel both responsible for trying to know what to do when their children experience big and difficult emotions, AND powerless in knowing what to do with their own big and difficult emotions. These difficulties often result in parents (and their children) feeling stuck and disempowered, not knowing how to proceed or where to seek support.

This workshop offers parents a mix of practical and mindful ways to explore how they can best support their children when big overwhelming emotions take over and colour so much of their experiences. We will explore evidence-based approaches that have been shown to be effective in empowering parents to better understand emotions in children and how best to support and be present with their children when they are experiencing big emotions.

Themes and evidence-based approaches we will explore (in a non-judgemental and supportive way) will include:

  • A framework for how we can better understand big emotions in our children and ourselves and how thoughts, emotions and behaviours all interact

  • What happens in the brain when big emotions happen

  • Developing a language for emotions that promotes more effective understanding and expression of our big feelings

  • Practical tips for parents to learn more about the build-up and stages of big emotions, and strategies for how best to work with these stages with our children

  • Strengthening our relationships with our children: repairing difficult situations and creating more space, understanding and growth in our relating

  • How we can support our children to approach common difficulties from a fresh, empowered place

  • How we can care for ourselves more as parents, and be OK with our own big emotions

  • Time to reflect on our strengths as parents, and (if we can) celebrate all the ways in which we are already supporting our children's emotional development and well-being

We will weave a mindfulness approach into each theme we explore, including mindfulness-based practises that parents can adapt and introduce their children to. It will take place in the beautiful and restful environment of the Margaret Aylward Centre on the grounds of the Holy Faith Secondary School on the Old Finglas Rd, Glasnevin. The centre is surrounded by expansive grounds, where there is a Mindful Walking trail for anyone who would like to spend time in the peaceful surrounds.

There is free parking on site.

Fee includes light refreshments and hand-outs.


“Julie, Thank you so much this workshop and what it covered. It was spot on. You came across so confident and clear, totally present and 'in your own skin'. You looked as fresh at the end as you did at the start. You managed the content and questions so professionally without sounding like you were preaching and your honesty about your own experience was refreshing to hear in a workshop setting. Your warmth and patience in answering questions and responding to stories was amazing to watch. Thank you!”  - R. Green, Co Meath

“I am so glad I went to this workshop. It was easy to follow without feeling like you were being bombarded with information on 'how to parent'. Every child (and parent!) experiences big emotions, but by using the practical tools that were suggested on the day, and gaining a better understanding of my children's emotions and behaviour, there has been a subtle shift in the way I communicate with my children and how they communicate with me. It was just one day out of my busy schedule but it has already made a massive impact on my family. I would highly recommend every parent attend one (or more!) of Julie's workshops.” - Sive O'Brien, Dublin

“I attended the one day workshop ran by Julie in November. I found the workshop extremely informative, Julie has amazing empathy and is very receptive. The workshop is a fantastic benefit to me and my daughter, it makes me more aware of my approach and to rethink situations if they are not working and take a different approach. I came away informed and with more openness to situations, I am extremely happy I came across and attended this workshop.” - M.K, Co Meath

“I learnt a lot from the workshop. The content was well paced and very informative. I learnt a lot from it. I reflect on and use what I learnt on a weekly basis. I learnt some practical insights but I feel the most beneficial part for me is that it has changed my attitude and beliefs ever so slightly to make me and my husband more understanding parents. I thought we were fairly understanding and accecpting before the course!” - A O'N, Dublin

“A useful insight into how a sensitive child is feeling, this makes responding appropriately as a parent much easier.” - Fiona, Dublin