No matter the generation or location, parenting doesn’t come easy. And with an ever-evolving technology and media landscape, the role of a parent has become even more complicated, opines mother, entrepreneur, and teacher, Ramita Anand. She believes that parenting needs to evolve and grow in tandem, and it starts with involving children in the parenting process.
The Vancouver-raised and London-based educator started Elevate RA mentoring services in 2021 to work with pre-adolescent girls who are vulnerable, at-risk or disadvantaged. She started the Elevate brand with a podcast series in 2020, a platform where she shares her speakers' experiences and challenges in raising empowered young girls. The conversation also taps on the positive outcomes that result when we start the conversation around mental health from a young age.
We chat with the mother-mentor on how parents can become better support systems for their children and what are some lessons she’s learnt through the intersections of education and motherhood.
How did your personal experiences shape Elevate RA?
Ramita Anand (RA): As a teen, I lost my mother to cancer and was thrown into the realms of taking on the surrogate mother role for my younger two siblings. Growing up in Vancouver with a single Indian father, dealing with feelings and emotions wasn’t part of my upbringing.
Only after teaching middle school students and becoming a mother myself, I started to deal with the nostalgia and grief from losing my own mother. More so, when my son was diagnosed with autism, I took part in enrichment departments in London to better understand how to be a better parent for a neurodiverse child. I worked with kids who had ADHD, autism, dyslexia, Asperger’s—you name it.
It was during these sessions that I spent with girls in their pre-teen years that really struck a chord with me. Many of them didn’t feel accepted and sought attention in unhealthy ways, but also held themselves back from diving into typically ‘male’ subjects such as science and mathematics.
I wanted to create a platform where I not only wanted to give children and parents the tools and strategies to deal with their issues inside and outside the classroom but remind young girls that they have someone to believe in them—only then they can believe in themselves. I built Elevate RA around certain attributes, or “superpowers” as I like to call them, that are absolutely crucial in their development—confidence, emotional intelligence, empathy, resilience and kindness.