Q & A with Narelle Smith plus her top tips for parents!

On a chilly Wednesday morning, we sat down with NCNS parenting facilitator Narelle Smith, to find out more about her role at NCNS, Triple P Parenting and of course a bit more about herself while she warmed her toes by the heater.

What is your role at NCNS?
Family Worker (22 hours per week) and Student Well being worker (5 hours per week at a school).

How long have you been practising in the community?
22 years!

What gets you out of bed in the morning?
The alarm and having to do the kids lunch boxes.

How would you describe your day job to a child?
I work with lots of parents talking to them about what their kids need.

What is your biggest achievement to date – personal or professional?- Raising 3 beautiful boys
– Delivering Triple P parenting for 9 years

What does a typical day look like for you and what are you currently working on?
I do some individual parenting work, I do some Triple P parenting groups and I teach Second Step (social emotional learning program) at school.

What three words would you use to describe your role?
Interesting, interesting and interesting!

If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor?
I read widely; people who are leaders in the field of psychology, neuroscience, child development; anyone that does the research and is evidence based.
My clinical supervisor keeps me sane.

What do you like most about your job?
Seeing parents take on the strategies, apply them in their family life and reap the rewards for their hard work. I love changing the trajectory of children’s lives and creating hope.

What is your motto or personal mantra?
“Keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you.”
Credit Rudyard Kipling

If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
Crochet. I am hopeless at it!

When you have 30 minutes of free-time, how do you pass the time?
BREATHE and yoga!

What three traits define you?
Persistent, resourceful and honest.

What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this?
Landscape gardener or environmentalist.

Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us.
I am a beekeeper! 

What did you want to be when growing up?
When I was at school, I wanted to be a school teacher, but my parents wouldn’t support me to go onto year 12 so I did try to do a teaching degree as an adult. I was bad at the curriculum stuff but good at the social and emotional stuff, so I did not continue with my teaching degree. I have done other degrees.

What phobias do you have?
I hate rats, mice and enclosed spaces.

What has been your favourite project at NCNS?
I have very fond memories of working in Kingswood Park, running playgroup, running an expressive arts group after school and several other community projects like Hearts for Healthy Relationships, Grandparent’s day, Father’s Day breakfast, When We Were Kids project and DrumBeat!

And the ADHD work, working with parents and children, creating the posters with Rachel and creating more awareness of ADHD and debunking the myths!

What is the best thing about Triple P Parenting?
It works if you use it!

Why would you recommend it to parents?
It has a strong focus on building relationships and encouraging new skills and behaviours.

How is it different to other parenting programs?
It is holistic.

Who would you recommend Triple P to?
The whole world!

Can you give an example of how Triple P can change someone’s life?
Triple P gives parents a toolbox of tools that they can use every day with their kids.

Describe the impact that Triple P has on families?
It makes family life and parenting more positive and more enjoyable.

What tips would you give to parents who are struggling with their children?
– Change your focus to pay attention to your child’s desirable behaviour
– Use descriptive praise
– Stop calling your children ‘naughty’ and ‘bad.
– If the behaviour is predictable, its preventable.

Narelle has an amazing blog with heaps of useful information for parents. Click here

For out latest parenting programs click here.

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