Most Popular Presentations

Ann Douglas is a passionate and inspiring speaker who sparks conversations that matter. She is a bestselling parenting author, CBC Radio parenting columnist, and mental health advocate and speaker. In 2014, she teamed up with Today's Parent magazine to make this series of 60-second parenting tips videos.

Interested in inviting Ann to speak at your school or to your community group? She'd love to brainstorm the possibilities.

Looking for some ideas and inspiration in the meantime? What follows is a list of her most popular parenting presentations and a roundup of her most recent speaking engagements.

FOR PARENTS

KEYNOTE ADDRESS:
PARENTING THROUGH THE STORM

Ann has that rare gift of being able to put a smile on your face while opening your mind. She was able to connect with the audience in such a meaningful way.
— Sandy MacDonald, Bell Let's Talk
  • Keynote address for parents (elementary, middle school, or high school)
  • 60 minutes
  • Focus: Mental health
Ann Douglas was an absolute pleasure to work with. She was prompt, attentive, and genuinely took the needs of our organization into consideration when designing her presentation. Ann had an incredible ability to connect with our audience, and she offered some very valuable parenting advice and thoughtful insights. We couldn’t have asked for a better guest speaker!
— Beth Evans, Special Events Coordinator, Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa

Parents can make a difference when it comes to children’s mental health. That’s a powerful and reassuring message if you’re a parent and you’ve been alarmed by recent newspaper headlines about anxiety, depression, and other mental health difficulties in children and adolescents. In this practical and idea-packed workshop, parenting author Ann Douglas will share some highlights from her latest book Parenting Through the Storm: How to Handle The Highs, The Lows, and Everything In-Between — a book for parents who have a child who is struggling with a mental health, neurodevelopmental, or behavioural challenge. The workshop focuses on parenting strategies, advocacy skills, and stress management and coping skills. Topics to be discussed include self-care, self-compassion, creating your own support network, and lifestyle matters (nutrition, fitness, sleep, and making time for fun). This presentation is based on interviews with more than 50 parents who have walked this walk and who are eager to share their best advice with other parents. Note: Read Ann’s recent interview with Bell Let’s Talk to learn more about her approach to parenting and mental health. Or watch her being interviewed on Canada AM about her book.

KEYNOTE ADDRESS:
BIG-PICTURE PARENTING

  • Keynote address for parents (elementary, middle school, or high school)
  • 60 minutes
  • Focus: Parenting strategies and mindful parenting
Ann draws in the audience with her compelling personal stories and keeps them listening with solid, doable advice. The feedback from our attendees was very enthusiastic.
— Laura Bickle, parenting conference organizer, R.H. McGregor Elementary School, Toronto

In this thought-provoking presentation, parenting author Ann Douglas discusses the advantages of taking a big-picture approach to parenting (parenting with your hopes and dreams for your children and your family in mind). She will discuss the importance of tuning into your child’s needs, being mindful of your parenting decisions, building relationships with other parents, and practicing self-care. Expect a compelling mix of practical advice and lively anecdotes from this popular and engaging speaker. This eye-catching graphic recording captures some of the key ideas in this one-of-a-kind presentation.

 

KEYNOTE ADDRESS:
HEALTHY PARENTS, HEALTHY KIDS

Ann is an engaging speaker, who shares her heartfelt messages with humor and compassion and in doing so, connects with her audience in a genuine way.
— Diane Mullane, Mental Health Lead, Durham Catholic District School Board
  • Keynote address for parents (elementary, middle school, or high school)
  • 60 minutes
  • Focus: Parent wellness 

    Self-care isn’t selfish. It’s self-preservation. It’s also an act of kindness toward your child. (Every child deserves the gift of a happy, healthy parent, after all.) In this thought-provoking presentation, author and radio columnist Ann Douglas will talk about the importance of practicing self-care by prioritizing the four pillars of good health: sleep, physical activity, nutrition, and time for fun. You will learn about the power of self-compassion, the magic of connection, and the secrets to achieving your health and wellness goals (how to set goals that are realistic, measurable, and achievable—and to maintain your commitment to achieving those goals). Expect to be inspired and moved by the wisdom and stories shared by this thought-provoking speaker—a bestselling author and mother of four who has experienced her own transformative physical and mental health journey.

    Ann Douglas was the opening keynote speaker for our Mindful Parenting Conference 2015. Her presentation was informative and inspirational and set the tone for the whole day. Ann conveys her wealth of knowledge in a personal way that engages the audience. The feedback we received from participants said that her presentation was one of the things they enjoyed most about the conference. Speaking as an organizer, Ann is very professional and a pleasure to work with.
    — Valanne Ridgeway, Organizer, Mindful Parenting Conference, Whitby, Ontario

    KEYNOTE ADDRESS:
    PARENTING IN AN AGE OF ANXIETY: A STRESS AND ANXIETY TOOLKIT FOR PARENTS

    • Keynote address for parents (elementary, middle school, or high school)
    • 60 minutes
    • Focus: Stress management and coping skills for parents and kids

    All kids experience stress and anxiety. These emotions are part of being human, after all. But one in eight children experiences such a high level of anxiety that the child finds it difficult to manage at home or at school. In this thought-provoking presentation by Ann Douglas, a bestselling parent author who also struggles with anxiety herself, you'll learn how to tell the difference between stress and anxiety (and why this matters); stress management skills for kids and adults; and anxiety management skills for kids and adults (what makes anxiety better, not worse).


     

    FOR PROFESSIONALS

    KEYNOTE ADDRESS:
    SUPPORTING FAMILIES THROUGH THE STORM

    • Keynote address for professionals 
    • 60 minutes
    • Focus: What professionals need to know about supporting a family with a child who is struggling.

    Wondering what you can do to make a difference for a child or a family who is struggling? Eager to learn how you can communicate your caring and support in a way that recognizes and builds upon the strengths of that family? In this practical and inspiring presentation, Ann Douglas will connect the dots between the growing body of research about family support and engagement and the real-world needs of children and families. After all, if it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to support that child’s parent. Here’s how to be that village…. 

    Learning objectives: 

    • Learn strategies for helping parents navigate difficult parenting challenges that can directly impact mental health outcomes in parent and baby. 
    • Understand your role in supporting an individual with a mental health challenges—and the importance of supporting other family members at the same time. 
    • Discover best practices for building trust with families who are struggling—and in a way that is validating and empowering. 
       

    INTERACTIVE WORKSHOP:
    LET'S START A SELF-CARE REVOLUTION!

    • Workshop for professionals 
    • 60 minutes
    • Focus: How 

    Self-care isn’t selfish. It’s self preservation. And it’s what allows you to function at your best when you’re working with children and families. In this practical and thought-provoking workshop, Ann Douglas will walk you through the process of developing a self-care plan for yourself (lessons she freely admits to having learned through the School of Hard Knocks herself). Expect a lively workshop that is amply sprinkled with stories. You won’t want to miss this one! 

    Learning objectives:

    • Learn strategies for prioritizing and practicing self-care.
    • Understand how to create a self-care plan that is realistic, achievable, and self-sustaining.
    • Discover how to shift your workplace culture to one that celebrates self-care for everyone, including the families you serve.
       

    KEYNOTE ADDRESS:
    JOURNEYING TOGETHER: THE HOW AND WHY OF FAMILY ENGAGEMENT

    • Keynote address for professionals 
    • 90 minutes
    • Focus: What family engagement means and why it matters

    A thought-provoking look at the how and why of family engagement: what it does (and doesn't) mean; why it matters (the case for family engagement); how to apply the latest research on family engagement to your organization's work with families.

    FOR GENERAL AUDIENCES

    INTERACTIVE WORKSHOP:
    THE COURAGE TO CHANGE

    • Workshop for high school students
    • 60 minutes
    • Focus: Finding purpose; embracing change and growth

    Are you living your dream life or have you convinced yourself to settle for second-best? In this thought-provoking presentation, author Ann Douglas will encourage you to embrace rather than fear the possibility of change. You will learn about the power of self-compassion (how treating yourself with kindness and gentleness as opposed to bullying yourself opens the door to possibility), the magic of connection (the importance of finding allies who will truly support you on your journey of change and growth), and the secrets to setting yourself up for success (how to set goals that are realistic, measurable, and achievable—and to maintain your commitment to achieving those goals). Expect to be inspired and moved by the wisdom and stories shared by this thought-provoking speaker—a bestselling author and mother of four who has experienced a transformative health journey.

    INTERACTIVE WORKSHOP:
    THE POWER OF STORIES

    • Workshop for high school students
    • 60 minutes
    • Focus: Making sense of the evolving story that is your life

    “Each of us has the power to change the world. That change is sparked when we dare to share the contents of our hearts with other people. Sharing your story can be life changing — for you and for everyone else whose lives you touch.”
    – Ann Douglas

    You can allow a difficult experience to destroy you or you can allow it to strengthen you. And one of the ways to find strength in the wake of a difficult experience is by helping other people. This is the approach that has defined Ann Douglas’ career as a writer—one that has allowed her to find purpose and passion in daily living. In this practical and yet highly personal presentation, she will talk about how learning to embrace her own imperfection gave her the courage to share her story with others. “A painful or difficult experience doesn’t have to limit or define you, she notes. “It simply becomes a thread in the fabric of your life story.”

     

    WHAT TYPES OF ORGANIZATIONS WORK WITH ANN?

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    You can find a complete list of all of Ann's speaking engagements organized by date here.

    Schools and School Boards and other education organizations
    A couple of appearances each month at schools and/or board-wide parenting conferences

    Parenting organizations (non-profits and for profits)
    Hincks Dellcrest Centre
    Parent Education Network, Toronto
    Mindful Parenting Conference, Durham Region
    Life with a Baby (postpartum support non-profit)
    The Baby Show, Ottawa
    The Baby Show, Toronto
    VOICE For Hearing Impaired Children, Family Camp Presentation, Haliburton, Ontario
    Autism Ontario Peel
    Mnaadmodzawin Health Services, Little Current, Ontario
    Adoption Society of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta
    Mindful Parenting Conference, Whitby, Ontario

    Mental health organizations
    Bell Let’s Talk (Mississauga headquarters)
    Centre for Mental Health and Addiction (CAMH)
    Partners for Mental Health (national mental health advocacy organization) (webinars and videos)
    Children’s Mental Health Ontario
    Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa
    Sarnia-Lambton Rebound, Sarnia, Ontario
    Morneau Shepell Children’s Support Solutions (webinars)
    International Bipolar Foundation (webinars)
    Families Advocating for Better Mental Health Everywhere
    Bartimaeus Family Services, Toronto

    Social service organizations
    Early Childhood Development Support Services, Edmonton, Alberta
    Child Development Resource Connection Peel, Mississauga, Ontario
    North Hastings Children’s Services, Bancroft, Ontario
    Supportive Housing In Peel, Mississauga, Ontario

    Health care institutions
    Toronto Public Health: Early Abilities
    Cornwall Hospital Foundation, Cornwall, Ontario
    Alberta Children’s Hospital: Community Education Service, Child And Adolescent Mental Health
    Rare Disease Foundation Parent Support Group At SickKids
    Toronto Parents Of Multiple Births Association
    Peterborough Health Services Foundation fundraiser, Peterborough, Ontario

    Literacy Festivals
    Spur Festival, Toronto
    Ottawa Writers’ Festival
    Edmonton Literacy and Learning Day
    Trent Literacy Conference

    Corporations and Business Groups
    TD Bank Group
    Women's Business Network of Peterborough

    Note: Ann welcomes the opportunity to partner with schools and community groups who have applied for funding under the Ontario Ministry of Education’s PRO Grant program.  If you’re working on your application for the 2016-17 Parents Reaching Out (PRO) Grants program and you’re looking for ideas, inspiration, or tips on what has worked well for other schools that have partnered with Ann, please get in touch. She would be happy to share what she’s learned.