IT is not easy being a child these days. Like adults, they do have a plethora of challenges plaguing their tender minds, maybe of varying magnitude. “We assume children to be problem free and happy always. However, this may not be true. They do have their share of worries, anxiety and stress. Sadly, children don’t know where to go and whom to talk to. Parents are very prescriptive in their approach and their solutions aren’t enough. Sometimes, the child only needs a patient ear, someone to listen, understand and help them clear the cobwebs in their heads without being judgmental,” says life coach Jolly Priya, explaining how people like her pitch in to help a child, and at times their parents too.
Psychologist, psychotherapist and ParenTeen coach Bharti Rakheja couldn’t agree more. Rakheja, who is also the founder of Delhi-based Soul Foundations, adds, “As kids realise their autonomy, they find it difficult to take pains to please their parents by maintaining their grades. Besides academics, other issues now drive the kids’ interests. They struggle with a strong urge of belongingness for which they slowly start moving away from family values and start experimenting with new things around them, some good, some not so good.” More often than not, parents try explaining, scolding, rewarding and punishing, threatening, but it may or may not work. “The child’s need for autonomy teamed with structured guidance and intervention is the process of life coaching,” says Rakheja.
Life coaching for children is gathering steam. Rakheja says it is because parents find it challenging to facilitate the adolescents’ phase and don’t shy away from seeking help. “Awareness is increasing, and parents seeking counsel is on rise. It helps both parents and kids to understand each others perspective,” says Priya.
Life coaching helps children open up and speak about their problems because coaching does not believe in prescribing; instead, it focuses on diagnosing and supporting. “Each child has a different need, and hence the sessions are tailored to their needs, learning type and their personality, reaching to the heart of their problem and empowering them,” says Priya.
Another area where it comes handy is in realising short-term and long-term goals for children. “Kids need to see a connection between their efforts and their goals. Life coaching helps the child realise his or her life goals and then evaluate long term and short term goals by leveraging resources and maintaining motivation,” says Rakheja.
Priya, who has recently teamed with a soon-to-be-launched parenting website, theparentslogue.com, to offer free of cost life coaching to children along with her team at Golden Sun, promises confidentiality, one-to-one attention, professional handling and accurate feedback. She says, “We listen to both kids, and parents, and prepare a summary of understanding and provide feedback. Our younger generation does not need advice; they need empathy and want you to trust them. Let’s provide this to them.”
Rakheja, who conducts personal sessions as well as workshops, has a life skills workshop for preteens and teens starting on 18 March 2019 in the Capital. “It will expose the child to concepts like self-awareness, positive thinking, discipline, goals setting, empathy, teamwork, stress handling and more. It’s more of internal grooming for external smartness. One can check my website (bhartirakheja.com) for details and book a seat,” she adds.
Life coaching for children
Life coaching helps children open up and speak about their problems because coaching does not believe in prescribing; instead, it focuses on diagnosing and supporting