Coaching and Mindfulness for Kids

Kids Coaching

Kids Coaching

Life Coaching is a form of support that is pro-active, solution focused and change based.  It is practical and empowering for the child – building their self-awareness, and resources.  Helping children and young people understand themselves better, identify issues of concern or goals they wish to reach and develop methods for managing their emotions.

“Everyone wants their kids to feel confident – to believe in themselves and to go for their dreams. We want the children to learn that confidence comes from within and is based on believing in themselves – knowing that what they say to themselves is more important than what anyone else says to them. If they think they can, they can!”

Kids are struggling. We must reach out and help them – help them to help themselves – give them the tools so that they can face anything that life throws their way.

What is kids coaching and why do they need it?

What is life coaching for kids?

Life Coaching is about supporting our kids in living their best life.  A life coach helps kids develop the skills, confidence and an ability to thrive in life. When kids experience setbacks and disappointments in their lives, most kids don’t have the skills to handle them as a result they often get down on themselves or give up.  Another challenge for kids is that they often feel like a victim in their lives – their parents tell them what to do, their teachers tell them what to do and even their coaches (!) tell them what to do….they are surrounded by adults telling them what to do.

Life Coaching incorporates ‘Mindset Training’ which is about using the power of your mind and your thoughts to develop the strong and healthy components of mental balance and stability.  This kind of core strength gives you the power you need to act on what is in line with your innermost values and to enhance your self-awareness. This translates as helping children stay true to who they are without feeling the need to compromise or change who they are to fit in.

Coaching helps kids to be more empowered in their own lives so that can handle those ups and downs more effectively. Exploring self-responsibility which helps them to see that they have choices and can actually exert more control over their lives they may have first imagined.

“The best teachers are those who show you where to look but don’t tell you what to see.”

-Alexandra K. Trenfor

Why would a kid need a life coach?

Kids Coaching –

Life coaching (kids coaching) is a bridge between parent and child….helping the child to develop the skills necessary to overcome challenges and difficulties.  It helps children develop confidence, resilience and emotional intelligence to cope with life’s ups and downs.  Once they have this gift, it is a gift for life and one they can also keep topping up.  It becomes part of who they are and helps them to develop into happy, confident, resilient young people.  It is undoubtably life changing.  We hope that by working together we can help support our children to reach their fullest potential and create happy fulfilling lives.

Reports –

The WHO* reported that depression is “the predominant cause of illness and disability” for children age 10 – 19 years old worldwide.

(World Health Organisation)

Even more scary is that the report found that suicide to be the third leading cause of adolescent deaths behind traffic accidents and HIV/AIDS.

Regardless of where you come from children are struggling with how they feel about themselves on a day to day basis.

By teaching kids these skills at an early age we can help them develop resilience, self confidence and self leadership skills so they can handle the ups and downs of growing up.

Children’s Difficulties –

The range of difficulties that children face which can be helped by coaching is huge – a few examples of areas where it has helped include:

Anxiety, stress, bullying, low academic achievements, behavioural problems, sibling rivalry, fear of failure, managing disappointments, managing change, parents separating, moving schools/home, poor confidence, poor self esteem, friendship issues, anger management, relationship difficulties, ADD/ADHD.

What kids can get from the coaching process:

  • Self confidence
  • Increased motivation
  • Better relationships with peers, siblings, family and significant others
  • Increased self-esteem
  • Better understanding of themselves and their feelings
  • Useful techniques for managing their emotions
  • Increased level of understanding of self-responsibility and self-respect
  • Improved focus and concentration
  • Reduced worries and anxiety
  • Positive self talk

Seeking Help

When you as a parent seek help do not think that you have failed as a parent.  It is the absolute opposite!  The fact that you are able to recognise that your child needs some additional help and is struggling is a positive sign that you are consciously aware of their needs.  We all have limitations and to seek support is a sign of strength not weakness.  It is always a very positive example to set our children – that we are not all able to fix everything ourselves and it is okay to ask for help.

It can be so hard as a parent to watch your child struggle – all we want as parents is for our children to be healthy, happy and confident.  We want them to believe in themselves and feel able to take on whatever life throws at them and learn from it and thrive.  Sadly, despite being loved and supported, life for some kids is more complicated and they struggle to feel happy; lacking motivation to rise to challenges and suffering from crippling low confidence and self esteem.

As parents we can try to advise, motivate and support but sometimes kids are not able to hear it directly from us.

Be happy with who you are!

Teaching our kids to be happy with themselves – that we are all unique and have different strengths – understanding this about themselves allows them to tap into their strengths when things get tough.  We are not looking to create ‘perfect’ individuals, but instead powerful, strong, happy individuals who know themselves and are happy with who they are.  Kids coaching is essentially personal development – allowing every child the chance to develop the key life skills to sustain their growth and well-being.  It is what I definitely wish I had been taught in school or at an early age as it would have given me a toolkit to cope with life.

Being aware that small problems when left to fester, can create bigger uglier problems is key for taking that leap to getting support.  Addressing issues as soon as possible, before they’ve become deep rooted or suppressed is critical for optimal results.

Making the investment now and laying good foundations in personal development is key to preventing problems escalating and gives our children the best gift you could ever give them the tools and skills for having the best quality life they could dream of.

Some topics explored in kids coaching include:

  • Power of Possibility
  • Power of self responsibility
  • Self talk
  • Self coaching
  • Goal setting
  • Overcoming mistakes
  • Managing fear
  • Moving past failure
  • Managing change
  • Choosing integrity
  • How to make good decisions
  • Standing up to peer pressure
  • Conditional thinking

What is emotional intelligence and why is it so important?

So why should we be teaching our children emotional intelligence?

Research shows that students with higher emotional intelligence are better prepared to manage their emotional lives so that they can focus, learn and do their best  in school.  (Yale Centre for Emotional Intelligence).

We should never under-estimate the way our children understand the world.  from a very young age.  Their brains grow at such a rapid rate and they are constantly noticing, reacting and adapting to their environment based on their emotional experiences.

It poses the question…why do we put so much emphasis on teaching our children multiple academic subjects and day to day activities – yet, we neglect to give them an emotional education that can dramatically improve the quality of their lives?

When you teach kids emotional intelligence you teach them how to recognise their feelings, understand where they come from and learn how to deal with them.  Ultimately teaching them the most essential skills for success in life.

Emotions matter for all of us and especially for children.  How we feel affects our learning, the decisions we make, how we treat others and our own personal well-being.

Children who learn how to do this, have better results in school, increased attention and reduced anxiety and depression.  Helping our children develop their own emotional intelligence, massively contributes to their individual success and well-being.

  • Self awareness – knowing our emotions
  • Self-regulation – being able to regulate and control how we reach to our emotions
  • Internal motivation – having a sense of what’s important in life
  • Empathy – understanding the emotions of others
  • Social Skills  – being able to build healthy social connections.

One place to start is with ‘Mindfulness’.  Studies have shown that a mindfulness practice can help reduce symptoms of stress, depression and anxiety in children.  It can also help with self regulation (behaviour and emotions) as well as focus and concentration.  We can also start talking to our children more about how they’re feeling.  teaching them that by naming our feelings we can gain control of them and not be so scared of them.

When children are able to become aware of what is troubling or distracting them, they can seek help more effectively.  Often children who ‘shut down’ or disengage in school become disillusioned, distracted and fail.  But, often the underlying cause for the lack of focus is rooted in stress and anxiety not boredom or oppositional behaviour. When children learn to find ways of coping with stress and recognising and communicating their feelings, they become much better at dealing with the situations as they occur.

Emotional Intelligence is also key to working with feelings of anger, disappointment or shame that can create situations where children display negative behaviours or hurt one another.  Learning how to be more empathic and build positive relationships can strengthen the emotional climate and lead to increased integration and more positive meaningful relationships.

When kids learn to be better at communicating feelings, they are able to verbalise frustrations better which can lead to reduced conflicts with peers, siblings, parents and teachers.  Learning to see the world from another’s perspective can ultimately change the outcome of the relationship.