My passion for helping kids develop self-esteem and confidence
After a 15-year career in the National Health Service (NHS) in hospital pharmacies, I decided to embark on a career change that would give me more personal satisfaction, and one that I could easily fit around raising my young family. I had plenty of transferable skills, in addition to the management training and qualifications I gained during my time as a pharmacy manager. I re-trained at college as a teaching assistant and undertook a voluntary placement at my local primary school, in addition to a part-time role as a lunchtime supervisor. These roles gave me practical experience of working within the school environment and experience of working with children in the classroom setting, on a one-to-one basis and in small groups.
During my time working in primary schools, I gained many skills including working with children with SEN (Special Educational Needs), group teaching, supporting teachers in class management and supporting children with the full range of learning needs and requirements. I absolutely love working with children and helping them to achieve their full potential and overcome the common challenges and problems they can experience when growing up. It was during my time working in primary schools that I developed a passion for helping children with emotional issues and life skills to help them develop emotional resilience and strong mental health.
I often observed how many children struggled with issues such as low self-esteem, low confidence, problems at home, friendship issues and bullying. These difficulties often had an impact on the child’s ability to develop and learn at school, as well as on their confidence and overall happiness. In addition to these common emotional difficulties, I could see that more and more pressure was being put on children through frequent assessments and testing, and the impact this was having on their emotional health. I found that many behaviour issues in schools were caused by emotional problems such as low self-esteem, fear or anxiety, problems at home, bullying, low self-esteem or friendship difficulties.
I also witnessed first-hand, the increasing amounts of pressure that teachers are under, with constant assessments and targets being set and class sizes well beyond what is practical or even productive. Teachers often had to manage the full range of abilities and special needs, with little investment being made in supporting the fantastic work that they are already doing. I feel that teachers have such a pivotal role in helping to shape the lives of our young people, and are often undervalued and underpaid. This has always concerned and frustrated me, and as a parent of two children myself, I vowed to try to do something positive to help improve this. This is what led to my decision to undertake the WISDOM Coach ™ training and become a certified WISDOM Coach ™.
The Adventures in WISDOM Programme™
I have used the Adventures in WISDOM ™ programme (a world-wide life coaching programme currently used in over 36 countries) with many children in schools and privately, helping with a whole range of issues including: low self-esteem, low self-confidence, friendship issues and bullying; anxiety, anger management, and many of the emotional issues that young people go through when growing up. Helping children with these issues can relieve pressure on teachers, help to improve behaviour in schools and improve children’s academic achievements, emotional resilience and overall happiness in life. My coaching can support the hard work that schools are already doing in educating children and young people and helping them to reach their full potential.
I am very passionate about helping children to develop emotional resilience and strong mental health. I love using the WISDOM Coach ™ programme in my coaching as it teaches children how to manage difficulties in a way that supports them. It gives real-life examples of how characters in the stories have managed these issues and applied them to situations in their own lives. It is often referred to as “Learning without Lecture” or “Teaching without Preaching”. Children learn the skills and how to apply them in their own lives through listening to the stories and associated questions, discussions and activities. Using this life-changing programme, I can help children learn critical skills for growing up and developing self-confidence and success in life. I teach skills such as developing healthy self-esteem, the secrets to self-confidence, managing fear and mistakes, managing change, dealing with peer pressure, self-control and many more. I certainly wish that I had had access to this kind of emotional support when I was growing up, as it may have prevented a lot of unnecessary stress and anxiety about many of life’s common issues.
An essential part of my work involves meeting with parents or class teachers in person to establish where children need support and listening to issues that they may have, explaining how my coaching can help. I then select an appropriate coaching package tailored to the needs of the individual child or group. I offer multiple packages of services including one-to-one coaching, group coaching and workshops.
Children often find it difficult to talk to parents and teachers about their emotional problems; I provide an impartial ‘ear’ for them to talk about their problems, and teach them skills to deal with them. I find it so satisfying to see the positive difference my coaching can have on a child’s self-esteem, happiness and overall success in life, and I have many testimonials from parents and children to illustrate this. Working with children to help build emotional resilience can prevent many mental health issues developing in later life and could save a lot of unnecessary suffering for children and families.
I have a full CRB disclosure, public liability insurance and have extensive experience of working with children in both a one-to-one setting and in groups.
Why is Life Coaching Different to Counselling?
Life Coaching is different to counselling in that, rather than helping children with emotional issues and trauma from the past, it helps children focus on the future and could potentially prevent many mental health issues developing in the first place. Children with diagnosed mental health problems should always seek treatment from a specialist or through their G.P.