Nadia Ivanchikov is a practicum student
who uses her child, teen, and parent
to help Calgary kids’ Superpower strengths,
challenges, and feelings
to be better understood by their parents.
Nadia’s Superhero Story
Before your first session, you can share this story
with your child. You can also scroll below
to read about Nadia’s professional experience
in her professional bio.
Once upon a time, there was a little girl called Nadia. This is her Superpower story, and she wants to share it with you. It’s about understanding what kids and teens want, say, and do, and how parents can help them thrive, too.
When Nadia was a little girl, she was curious and caring. She had a wonderful imagination and loved to play. She had many friends and loved learning new things at school. When she got home from school, she did her homework and read as many books as possible. She loved learning and playing.
But not everything was perfect in Nadia’s little girl world. Sometimes Nadia had worries, big or small, like all children do. For example, sometimes kids might say or do something mean. School could be hard some days, and sometimes there were things about the world that she could not understand.
She noticed that other kids sometimes had hard days too, and she tried to help them. Nadia was little but she was very observant. She noticed what it was like to be a child and she understood what being a child was like for her friends, too.
Little Nadia wished that all parents understood what was going on with their kids.
When Nadia grew up, she became a teacher and taught many kids and teens. She remembered what it was like to be a little child – she never forgot. Although most people forget once they grow up and become adults, Nadia did not.
As an understanding teacher, at the beginning of the year she would find that some kids in her class were not performing well in their grades. They were not building happy, helpful, healthy friendships. So she connected with each child who was struggling. The kids told her that their hearts were not feeling well.
That’s because it’s hard for kids to do well at school—to learn and concentrate—when their heart has an ache or a worry that won’t go away.
Curiosity and courage help kids and parents
dive deep into their hearts
to explore answers and find solutions
When Nadia connected to the parents of the kids who were struggling, she found that they were unhappy too.
Concerned parents asked Nadia sad questions, such as:
- How can I stop my child from acting up?
- Why is my child getting low grades?
- How come my child does not seem to have kind friends?
- What is happening in my child’s world that they are acting this way?
And even sadder questions to have, like:
- Why is my child unhappy?
- How come it feels like I have to correct my child, over and over, constantly?
- Why is my child falling short of my expectations?
Then they asked the most important question—a helpful question that showed that they cared:
How can I help my child to grow and thrive?
Nadia understood these parents’ frustrations, and she knew how to find the answers together. It was time for Nadia’s Superpowers to shine!
She found that many parents did not understand their children. As a parent herself, she understood just how difficult it is to be someone’s Mom or Dad. (Parenting is awfully hard to do at all, let alone well). Nadia remembered what the world was like as a child and how tough the teenage years could feel. Her master’s degree in education and her teaching experience were helpful in this quest for answers.
Often, the main problem was that parents did not know how to connect with their little kids. Over time, this made kids feel sad and misunderstood. Connection became even harder with teens. That disconnection and misunderstanding made for a lot of unhappiness in many homes and classrooms.
Fortunately, it did not have to be that way. Nadia used her Superpowers to help parents understand their kids and develop a true connection with them. A caring, gentle, supportive, playful connection that would help them grow and thrive in joyful ways.
That’s what she does now! Nadia is a practicum student at Kids Reconnect and is on her way to complete a master’s degree in counselling psychology, expected in 2023. In EmPOWERland at Kids Reconnect, she loves helping kids and teens grow and thrive. She also loves helping parents to connect with their child or teen through parenting sessions.
“I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift would be curiosity.”
Nadia’s Professional Bio
Nadia Ivanchikov is a practicum student at Kids Reconnect.
She is a student in the Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology program at Yorkville University. Nadia holds an Alberta Permanent Professional Teacher Certificate and has been a Homeschooling Facilitator in this province since 2010. She is skilled at public speaking on home education and is an active parenting groups leader, community volunteer, and event organizer.
Prior to moving to Canada, Nadia achieved a Master of Education (Hon.) degree with a minor in Psychology and Visual Art from Moscow State Pedagogical University, and a Bachelor of Education, specializing in elementary school education, from Lyceum #5 in Moscow. Her international experience as a child educator includes curriculum development and teaching physical education in Russia and editorial contributions to a psychometric manual in Israel.
An avid and lifelong learner, Nadia has recently completed a Dialectical Behavior Therapy Certification Training course by PESI Inc.
In her role as a practicum student at Kids Reconnect, Nadia is passionate about supporting children to thrive by identifying, growing, and using their unique Superpower strengths.
As a practicum student, how can Nadia help my child or teen?
Everything is not always perfect in a child’s world. When a child or teen has an ache or a worry that just won’t go away, Nadia can help them to find and grow within the Superpower skills they need to overcome the challenge. She also helps parents understand what is going on in their child’s world, and how to support their child to grow and thrive in a joyful way.
At Kids Reconnect, where Nadia is a practicum student, she helps children with their social and emotional learning and is a supporting facilitator of our Feelings & Friends Groups for Kids. In this group, kids learn and practice their social and emotional skills. When kids grow these skills and behaviours (for example, understanding and respecting social rules, listening to and learning about their own feelings and the feelings of others, managing their emotions, resolving conflicts in kind and healthy ways, being a good friend and growing friendships), their performance at school grows, too.
Best of all, so does their joy.
As a practicum student, how can Nadia help parents?
Here’s what we hear from parents about what they want.
Parents want their kids to grow and thrive. They want a more joyful connection with their kids. Laughing together and enjoying social activities as a family. More fun at the Sunday breakfast table, on family hikes, movie, and board games nights. Parents would love to see their children connecting to each other at home and at school: siblings helping each other with homework, sharing their skills and their toys with their friends. Being gentle, respectful, and showing kindness and empathy. Getting along with others and making friends. Learning and succeeding in school.
Are these some of your parenting goals? As a practicum student, Nadia offers parenting, family, and child sessions at Kids Reconnect that can help you. She supports kids and parents in building roadmaps to grow into the amazing kids, parents, and families they want to be. Her child, parent, and family counselling skills are informed by the insights she has garnered over two decades of teaching experience and a master’s degree in education. She is also working towards a master’s degree in counselling psychology, expected in 2023.