Families thrive with Curious Minds

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By Stuart Black

Nada is creating something extraordinary for St Kilda families.

Through 20 years of working with children, as a nanny to the young, as a mentor to teens both in Perth and St Kilda, and having raised two confident, capable lads despite a messy divorce, Nada has seen the value of rich experiences as part of growing up, and is passionate in offering that to families today.

Nada is a mentor to the children, leading them through excursions and workshops, and also with the parents.

Nada believes that most parents have good parenting instincts in how to raise their kids right, but are so swamped by the advice in modern life that they doubt their own abilities, and instead aim to protect themselves from criticism.

‘Sometimes all the books and advice we get on parenting can get in the way of our own intuition in how to raise a child,’ she says, ‘Our parenting instincts are usually right, but a stack of books by people with a PhD can make us feel like a failure when we’re not!’

She says that modern day values have gotten in the way of connection with our children, ‘Work, stress, time and the pressure on “getting parenting right” can cause us to insulate the kids from life rather than let them experience it.’ The stress on the parents often then trickles down to the relationship with the children, stifling the connection between family members until nobody knows how to deal with it.

In her new venture, Curious Minds, Nada combines her experience with family and youth counseling and mentoring with camping trips, hikes, construction workshops, and regular opportunities for a heart-felt chat around a bonfire.

Being in this safe, curiosity-rich space, guided through the opportunity to create, own and direct their imagination, children and teens discover their values, their emotions and their capabilities. By opening up to them, Nada has brought emotionally closed youths such as Brendan – ejected from three previous facilities – to open up, express, create, and become an emotionally connected member of the family.

Nada takes groups on camp to Kinglake for weekend excursions, builds their emotional tools as well as their communication in groups as they set and achieve goals as groups and individually, and time around a bonfire watching a movie and eating popcorn. Parents are regularly involved, and benefit from the interaction with Nada, and in communicating and bonding with their own children in a way they never imagined possible.

‘Curious Minds is family,’ Nada says, ‘We are a community that is given emotional tools, opportunities to be a kid without the hassles of the adult world. A place they can call their second home, that they can create, build and learn through. We embrace the Hawaiian concept of Ohana – meaning family. No-one gets left behind.’

For more information about the open day, the programs that are coming up, or to connect with Nada, call 0421 827 824, email curiousminds28@gmail.com or visit

http://curiousminds28.wixsite.com/curious

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