Talks and Webinars for Parents

Mary is known for her warm and engaging manner and has a natural ability to connect with parents. Although her talks are grounded in research, she has a down to earth and practical approach, which combined with humour, ensures that her advice is well received by parents. Dr Mary offers a range of talks and webinars for parents.

Here is a sample of some of the topics she covers:

“Supporting Children’s Return to School after COVID-19”

Like many other things in 2020, returning to school this September has been very different. If we are feeling anxious about it, it is not surprising that our children might be. We cannot promise them that they will not face any challenges, however, we can promise them that we will get through this together. In this talk Dr Mary O’Kane offers parents practical advice on how to support children who may be struggling with anxiety during this testing time.

“Supporting Anxious Children”

All children worry at times, but for some children, it can be a real challenge to manage their anxieties. As parents, when your child is anxious it can be difficult to know how best to support them. However, parents play an important role in helping their child to both understand and to manage their anxiety. You don’t want to belittle the child’s feelings, but you also don’t want to amplify them. In this talk Dr Mary O’Kane explains anxiety in children and offers parents practical advice on how to support their children during difficult times, helping them to manage their fears and gain confidence.

Childhood Worries and Anxieties Poster

“Supporting Anxious Teens”

Levels of anxiety in our teenagers are rising rapidly, and Irish 11-15 year olds are the second highest in Europe to present with emotional issues. In this talk Dr Mary O’Kane explains how anxiety impacts our teenagers and explains how changes in the teenage brain makes it more susceptible to mental health issues. She then offers parents practical advice on how to support their teenagers during difficult times, helping them to manage their fears and become more resilient.

“Building Children’s Self-Esteem and Confidence”

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain! We would love to protect our children from every challenge they might face in life, but it is much better that we support them to face these challenges themselves. Self Esteem is an inoculation against the challenges of life, giving children the confidence to face the world. When faced with challenges they can work towards developing solutions. In this seminar, Dr Mary O’Kane gives parents some practical advice on how to support children’s self-esteem and confidence.

Dr Mary O'Kane giving a presentation

“Raising Resilient Children”

Resilience is key in supporting our young children to cope with the ups and downs that life throws at them – it is what helps them to bounce back from adversity. It helps our children to work towards developing solutions when faced with challenges and gives them the internal self-belief to overcome difficulties. In this seminar, Dr Mary O’Kane offers practical advice on how we can best support our children in becoming more resilient and having greater confidence in their own abilities.

Dr Mary O'Kane Giving Raising Resilient Children Presentation

“Positive Communication with Our Children”

In all aspects of parenting open lines of communication with our children are vital, from preschool children through to our teenagers making the transition to adulthood. In this session Dr Mary O’Kane considers the importance of how we communicate with our children, and offers practical advice for parents on how to communicate in a positive and proactive manner.

“Positive Behaviour Management”

From tantrums for the little ones to negotiation with older children, managing children’s behaviour in a positive way is very important in terms of supporting their social and emotional development. In this seminar, Dr Mary O’Kane supports parents in framing behaviour management in a positive way, and also in practical terms considering how to best to support positive behaviour.

“Developing Social Skills and the Importance of Play”

Social skills are some of the most important skills for young children to develop in terms of their personal wellbeing. Children’s relationships and friendships with peers are very important in terms of their social and emotional development. Making friends, positive interactions with other children, and negotiating conflict are all very important to our children’s happiness and confidence. The role of free play is very important in this regard. In this seminar, Dr Mary O’Kane offers practical advice to parents and preschool practitioners on how we can best support these skill sets and the importance of free play for our children.

Dr Mary O'Kane speaking in public

“Starting ‘Big School’ “

Your child is starting ‘Big School’ in September, this means new experiences, new friends, and a whole new identity as a Junior Infant. Naturally you want to support them in making this transition a success. How should you best prepare your child for this major transition in their lives? In this session, Dr Mary O’Kane offers some very practical advice on the most important skill sets for children during this transition, and how best to support your child over the summer in developing these skills.

“The Transition from Primary to Secondary School”

The move from primary to secondary school can result in both anxiety and excitement, and that is just for the parents! This is one of the most significant transitions our young teens face. The changes are social, emotional, and academic, as they move from being the ‘seniors’ in their primary school to the ‘juniors’ in this new educational environment. In this talk Dr Mary O’Kane outlines some of the challenges faced during this transition, and offers very practical advice on how we can support students on this new educational journey.

Dr Mary’s client list

Dr Mary O'Kane at a presentation

Donegal County Childcare Committee; Donegal ETB; Galway Childcare Committee; The Genesis Programme, Louth; Kildare Libraries; Leitrim County Childcare Committee; Monaghan Mental Health Association; Epilepsy Ireland North East; Happy Days Community Childcare, Ratoath; Lullabys Montessori & Afterschool, Fairview; St McCartans Ladies Football Team; Alexandra College Junior School; Gaelscoil Ui Fiach, Maynooth; Kerry Libraries; Millennium Family Resource Centre, Co Tipperary; Scoil Diarmada, Castledermot; Playmates Preschool, Kentstown; St Columba’s National School, Drumcondra; Alexandra College; Scoil Aonghusa Junior School, Tallaght; Meath Libraries; St Patrick’s Boys National School, Drumcondra; Clonaghadoo National School, Offaly; St. Michael’s College Junior school; Wexford CYPSC; Louth Libraries; Navan O’Mahonys; Donegal Libraries; Monastery Preschool, Clondalkin; Galbally National School, Co Limerick; Roots and Wings Creche at Beresford Preschool, Donabate; St Finian’s National School, Dillonstown; Holy Spirit Junior School and Holy Spirit Senior School, Greenhills; Longford Libraries; Sligo Leitrim CYPSC; Wexford County Childcare Committee; County Childcare Committee; Carlow County Childcare Committee; Ashford National School; Kilkenny County Childcare Committee; Dunlaoghaire Rathdown County Childcare Committee; Dublin City Childcare Committee; Kildare County Childcare Committee.

Please fill out the form below if you’d like Dr Mary to contact you.

Talks for Parents Form

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