Who are you?
Hi, my name is Anda. I m a mother, a wife, a teacher and a parenting educator.
Tell us about your business or creative pursuits?
I am also the founder of Raising Clever Girls, an online platform designed to inspire and support parents around Australia to raise strong, confident young women that embrace challenges.
With the little time we have to spend with our children on a weekly basis, I think it can be very challenging to also have time to educate ourselves on parenting, find great educational, family activities, reach for advice on our kid’s developmental milestones and so on.
What inspired you to get started?
I believe that girls get too many wrong messages from all sort of sources and slowly they begin to believe them. Working with primary school girls, I noticed how their self-esteem and confidence are affected with every year without even realizing it. While becoming more aware of our position in the world is a natural process, the obvious fact that girls become so insecure is mostly generated by negative environmental factors that they do not know how to control.
On the other hand, girls are great at being “good” (translate obedient) and do what they are told. This unfortunately leads to women who are timid when it comes to stand up for themselves or ask for a pay rise at work, and search for approval in almost anything they do. It also causes the development of a fixed mindset, where girls perceive their success is based on an innate ability and have a ‘fixed’ view of intelligence and talent.
And the interesting part is that the brighter the girl is, the bigger the problem.
What is your biggest goal?
I want to help parents and communities to encourage and actually prioritizing resilience, grit, creativity and kindness in their children’s lives.
What has been your greatest achievement to date?
I feel that my biggest achievement is managing my life in a balanced, fun, healthy style, but setting up Raising Clever Girls is something I also pride myself with and I find great joy in working on it.
What was the key for you to overcome a challenge?
I have been suffering from chronic joint pain since high school, but after getting pregnant things got worse. This naturally led to fatigue and lack of physical activity, so starting exercising again was very difficult. I simply felt like my fitness level was too embarrassing to even try.
What moved me forward was first finding some role models and just do what they did (the adapted version for my physical strength) and second working out with a coach/ mentor that pushed me as well as inspired me.
During the times when you feel lacking in motivation, what helps you get motivated?
Time spent outdoors and exercise are very important for me to keep the mojo and recharge. And once I am in a good mindset, things begin to flow.
Meditation and positive self-talk also work well.
What is your favourite song for getting motivated?
“I love my life” by Robbie Williams
Who inspires you?
Beautiful designs, nature, personal stories.
I find it equally important to know how to balance both my feminine and masculine energies within, and this leads me to looking for a wide variety of activities and interests.
What is your magic place, where you go to relax and unwind?
To the beach. And if it’s a good day for swimming, even better.
What advice would you give your younger self?
They don’t have to like you and you don’t have to care.
What is your life motto or positive affirmation?
I am enough.
Have you ever had a disappointment that ended up leading you to something wonderful?
One day, after having my second child, I was meditating and wondering what the root cause of the fact that I tend to condition my self-worth and love. The answer uncovered itself in a flashback: I was 7, on the hallway of my home back then, and I could overhear my mom talking to a friend. She was telling her how proud she is of me doing so well in school, getting high grades and having great results on tests. She sounded so happy and relieved, and I could feel that I really did great so far.
But what I really heard, with my understanding back then, was that my mum loved me for my results. I was worthy because I was getting high grades and doing well at tests. Would I still be worthy if my results went down? Most likely not.
That was the meaning I made of my mother’s words back then. I know now that this was probably not what she meant, but the fact was that my conscious mind could not even remember the event. All I had left was the fact that I myself was not enough, it was all in my performance.
As soon as I realized this I felt a huge disappointment at how little we are trained as parents when it comes to addressing our children and how easily we can cause damage to their personalities while doing what we think is a great job as parents. How do you praise? How do you discipline?
I was very disappointed when I realized that what I have been studying and working on for so many years (footwear design) did not excite me or even got me satisfied enough to want to continue doing it.
I felt really confused and angry with myself for a few years, but this led to working with children and to reading and researching kid’s psychology and educational approaches, which I love.
What do you like to do with your free time?
I like playing with beads and painting, dancing around the house and going to the beach.
Social media links for Raising Clever Girls: