Creating Successful Children

It gives Old Mutual great pleasure to be part of the fifth annual Baby, Toddler and Teen seminar to be hosted by Sister Annemie Higgs and Marietjie Slippers in Windhoek. The event is aimed at teachers, therapists, parents, grandparents and caregivers to empower them with knowledge, to help them see their children flourish and to understand their children’s needs. After all, it takes a village to raise a child.
Our Guest speaker this year is Dr Melodie de Jager, the founder and author of groundbreaking programs and books on premeditated care, birth, child development and quality of life – regardless of age. Melodie regularly hosts workshops, is regularly a guest on radio and TV, and much in demand as speaker. She is listed at the American Bio-graphical Institute as one of the Great Women of the 21st Century. In 2007, her BabyGym program won the “DSA: VISIONS OF THE FUTURE” award and in 2011 she was nominated for the “Shoprite Checkers Women of the Year” award, in the Educator category.
As a young woman, Melodie de Jager learnt that if you want to influence a child’s development you need to do so before 6 years of age. This prompted her studies to become a nursery school teacher. In 1982 she qualified as a nursery school teacher and became principal of a nursery school in 1984. During this time Melodie started to observe a strange phenomenon despite great teachers, curriculums, facilities at school and involved parents, some children really battled to learn and became school ready. This observation triggered a deep curiosity within her and inspired a series of studies. During the next 4 years, Melodie gave birth to 3 babies, started her studies in Educational Psychology and bought a private nursery school, which she ran until 1990.
From here on Melodie explored the psychological aspect of the human mind and qualified to present corporate training which included: mentorship, motivation, communication, customer care, profiling, motivational speaking, goal setting and the role of passion. But still, Melodie kept hearing the same question she encountered as a nursery school teacher: What enables some people to learn and prevents others from learning? After completion of her psychological studies; many questions were answered but she still hasn’t found the answer to her question, so she refined her question to ask: What happens INSIDE the child to enable learning, and to be receptive to learning?
Melodie studied the work of many researchers who explored the role of physical movement in developing the ability to learn. Using movement as therapy made sense to her as many therapists use baby milestones as an indicator of development, and one’s ability to learn. She was intrigued and she continued to study for many, many years, and it was while she was informally studying neurology and the innate reflex system that Melodie had finally found her answer. When conception and development progressed naturally, learning almost always followed spontaneously. She was ecstatic!
Her first book was published in 2002, whereas her first book that focused specifically on the learning child, was published in 2006. Three glorious books were written for the school going child, namely, Mind Moves – removing barriers to learning (2006), Mind Moves – Moves that mend the mind (2009), and What does controlled movement have to do with learning? (2012). Her first book sparked so much interest that talks, workshops, training and the formal establishment of the Mind Moves Institute (2007) followed. The success of the programme resulted in a great demand for Mind Moves and as such Advanced Mind Moves Instructor Training was born. Over the years Melodie has added a number of books to her list and has developed the Mind Moves programme to include School Readiness assessments, Re-flex assessments, Mind Dynamix Profile assessments, Study Fitness programmes, as well as the ever popular Mind Moves Booster Workshops. All of these services have the wellbeing of the child at heart whilst educating the parents and teachers, but most importantly empowering the child.
Over the past 10 years, Melodie has broadened her scope of work to include babies, pre-schoolers, students, adults, professionals and senior adults who want to improve themselves either physically, emotionally, socially or intellectually. Having many different titles, Dr Melodie de Jager abbreviated her title to Development Specialist.
Dr De Jager will be covering the following content at the three seminars as follows:
Baby seminar
· What does birth have to do with ‘learning’?
· Why is suckling so important for clear speech?
· Does rolling over really impact on crossing the mid line and establishing dominance?
· Sitting up straight and crawling cannot prevent low muscle tone and hyperactivity, can it?
· Is earlier walking, earlier talking, earlier reading and writing better?
· Are everyday household’s objects the best toys to promote school readiness?
· When does school readiness start?
· What does pregnancy, birth and milestones got to do with school readiness?
Pre Primary seminar
· Did the Pre-primary develop and grow according to all the different developments in the world today.
· Importance of play and physical development in the Pre-primary.
· Emotional intelligence.
· Know your child. His profile and dominance.
· Why can we not do Grade 1 work in Pre-primary?
· Why is it so important to send a full developed child to the Primary school?
· What does school readiness have to do with the Grade 12 results?
Pre-Teen and Teen seminar
· Dealing with anger and fru-stration during exam time.
· Understanding the levels of learning.
Celia Leibbrandt has worked as a dietician for 16 years of which 15 years has been in the field of Pediatrics. She studied Dietetics at the University of Stellenbosch and she left SA to further her career in Clinical Dietetics. She spent 9 years working in the United Kingdom and completed the Pediatric Dietetics Modules during her time there. Celia worked at King’s College Hospital in London as a Pediatric Hepatology Dietician and was involved in the training of dietetic students. In 2007 she was invited to present the Hepatology Module on the Pediatric Dietetic Modules for
dieticians. Currently she is a partner at Thiele & Partners Dieticians with a special interest in Pediatrics. She has a keen interest in working with children with nutrition-related conditions and her experience also includes working as part of a multidisciplinary feeding team for children with Selective Eating Disorders.
Celia will inform mothers during the seminars about Breastfeeding and weaning your baby successfully onto solids (Baby seminar) and How to handle the picky eater (Toddler/Pre-primary seminar).
Mari de Klerk is the wife of a great teacher and mother of two happy, balanced adult children who are carving their dream-lives. She appreciates Life – the good, the bad and the ugly. Life has nudged her (gently at first, and when she didn’t listen, a bit firmer) to her calling, which is to teach people from all walks of Life to become unstuck, realise their inner magnificence and create their lives consciously. The effects of the above mentioned changes, tremen-dously impact quality of Life in a sustainable, joyous and enlightened manner.
She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Education, a Bachelor of Philosophy degree in Information and Knowledge Management and an Honours Degree in Psychology. She is further a Master Transformation Life Coach, Master NLP Practitioner and Master Hypnotherapist.
The work she does, transcends age, culture, gender and education levels. The foundations are simply human consciousness which then leads to simple and practical techniques for achieving emotional freedom, instantly changes limiting beliefs and builds self-esteem and self-image.
She adheres to a few wise Life principles of respect, love, understanding, compassion and faith. All people already have every grain of resource required to make the changes they want! The search is over – it is already present and she has learnt how to show it to any-one, who so may ask.
Mari de Klerk’ will be sharing information to parents on How to create successful children in an ever-changing adult and childhood world – understanding the parent’s role in everything (Pre-Teen/Teen seminar).
Nantie van Aswegen
Years ago as a student, she stuck a note on her mirror that said: “I can, I must, I will make a difference”. She still wakes up every morning holding on to that. Like Jeremiah my heart’s cry has always been: “Here I am Lord, use me!” She is a qualified teacher with 15 years’ experience and she is currently a Gr 6 Mathematics Teacher.
She started the Namibian branch of Evergreen Parenting. Evergreen Parenting is an international team of parenting “passionate” men and women who believe in the value and priorities of families. They equip parents and educators with courses and resources to embrace temperament types, healthy authority and compassionate discipline.
She is also involved with various ministries in South Africa and Namibia to help people, both young and old, to discover their uniqueness and God-given identity and purpose and to teach them to dream big and live joyful lives as they serve a God who can do more than anyone can ever hope, dream or imagine.
Nanti van Aswegen will offer parenting guidance from the principles of Evergreen Parenting on Parenting/ Teaching from your strengths (Baby seminar) and Becoming an extraordinary parent (Toddler/Pre-primary seminar).

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