There are so many direct benefits of life coaching children:
- To help them see they can change a situation where they are unhappy
- To help them fully understand the situation they are in
- To help them see that they are the only person responsible for their own actions
- To empower them to make positive changes in the way they act, think and feel
- To develop essential life skills that they need to get on in life
An indirect and additional benefit of life coaching children is raising a child’s self-esteem and confidence. When a child sees that they are able to change one area of their life it makes them realise they are capable of making significant changes in other areas.
I also find that having a trustworthy outsider for a child to talk to can be very beneficial especially if the problem is family related.
The main issues I work with children on are:
- Confidence building
- Social interaction and communicating with peer groups and adults
- Stress management
- Challenging negative thoughts and beliefs
- School problems
- Family difficulties
- Parent separation
- Motivation and listening skills
- Building resilience and character
I do not work with children with any type of addiction or eating disorder.
The way I work with children
Before my first session with a child I always have a phone conversation with the parents so I know what issues they would like me to address. With this in mind, in the first session I always ask the child what they would like to talk about. I feel it is important to address what is on the child’s mind first before going onto the parents agenda. The ‘parents issue’ is still addressed but later in the coaching process. The child may say the same issue as the parent and if they do then we start troubleshooting the problem immediately.
In the life coaching sessions I use worksheets and discussion to establish the problem and find out what the child would like to happen instead. Together we set a goal and look at ways of achieving it. We evaluate the child’s ideas and they choose the most achievable and realistic option for them to get the result they want. This solution may not necessarily be the preferred route for the parents, but by letting the child find an answer to their problem they will feel empowered and in control of the situation, which in turn will raise their self-esteem.
My sessions are lively, interactive and supportive. I help the child think creatively. I don’t just sit and listen to what they are saying but I ask questions and get the child to verbalise their thoughts and feelings. I see the whole child not just the issue they are coming to see me about and address anything I pick up on through their verbal or non-verbal communication.
The coaching setting
I work from my home in North London so that children feel relaxed in a comfortable family environment. I also do SKYPE coaching if your child is unable to visit me for geographical reasons. SKYPE is a great, flexible way to resolve your child’s issues from the comfort of their own home and it is just as effective.
The duration of the sessions
My face to face and SKYPE sessions are weekly, unless you state a preference otherwise. The face to face sessions last 45 minutes and the SKYPE sessions are 30 minutes long. The sessions are at the child’s pace and I am able to tackle the main problem the child has in the first session. There is no average when it comes to how long I will see a child however 95% of the children that I see will have 3 sessions in total.
Typically I work with children aged six years old to teenagers.
All my sessions are confidential unless a child gives me permission to discuss our conversations with their parents or they have disclosed something to me that I need to pass onto Social Services. Most children are happy for me to talk to their parents between sessions. It not only allows me to make the parent aware of how the child wants to solve the problem but the parent knows what changes they can expect to see. With the parent on my side they can talk to the child about their emotional and behavioural progress and encourage them to keep going with changing their actions/thoughts/beliefs.