About Hands, Hearts & Minds

Welcome to the Hands, Hearts, and Minds blog.

Children’s social and emotional wellbeing is important to their long-term mental health, and children need a wide range of people to care for them. What happens in the community, at home, and at school impacts on a child’s development.

I am a Chaplain (formerly Student Wellbeing Worker) in a public school in Western Sydney, and we are a Kids Matter school.

Over my many years working with children and families in the community, I have been most concerned with children not having the circumstances that fosters the growth and development of their individual potential. There are a lot of social and emotional hurdles for a child to jump over all day, every day. Children living in negative environments spend a lot of time and energy worrying and feeling anxious about things that they shouldn’t need to. They build defences in their minds, and barriers to their heart, that can take a long time to sort out and work through. In my work I have seen too many disconnected and disengaged children and young people. Children should be free to spend their time and energy on growing, playing, learning, feeling safe and loved, and exploring relationships, and this is best done in supportive and caring environments.

I also work as a Family Worker in the Nepean area. This role includes: facilitating parenting groups such as Triple P; facilitating parenting workshops and seminars on AD/HD, child anxiety, and resilience; teaching parents how to do Special Playtime; writing parenting articles for several local monthly gazettes; and participating in community events.

My qualifications include a BA in Education (Macquarie University), a Masters degree in Child & Adolescent Mental Health (NSW Institute of Psychiatry), and a Cert IV in Pastoral Care (Alpha Crucis). I have been trained in art therapy, child-centered play therapy, and parent-child interaction therapy. I am currently studying a Grad Dip in Counselling and Integrated Psychotherapy (Australian Institute of Family Counselling).

This blog focuses on positive parenting, and responses to difficulties experienced in childhood.

Narelle Smith

FaceBook: Parenting In Penrith

Pinterest: Hands, Hearts & Minds

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3 replies

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  1. Nomination for the Liebster award | Panic yesterday

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