Life Coaching and Counselling can Transform Your Child
As parents, it is natural to feel oneness with your children and therefore, to see them in any trouble or disturbed is your worst nightmare.
Parents do their best to make the children comfortable, secure, and have a fulfilling life. But your best efforts may not be enough for children, especially for emotionally disturbed children.
You may also feel or know that you are lacking somewhere and feel guilty about the situation! But you even don’t know what it is or what to do or about it, or how can you manage it?
We “live” our lives; we are never “taught” or “coached” for life.
You may be cynical and wonder, “Now, after all these years, I need guidance on how to live my life. Is something wrong with you?”
Just remember that as anyone can “beat” a drum or “swing” a bat, it takes coaching and practice under watchful eyes to become an A. Rahman or a Sachin Tendulkar.
If we didn’t need Life coaching, then why are so many things wrong with our life? Why are our relations with our kids not improving? Why do we feel we have lost their trust, or have they lost confidence in themselves?
There must be something that we are not doing right! And, need a Life Coach and a Counsellor to tell us what it is and how to do course correction.
Parental counseling can help you not only understand the emotional needs of the child, but it also enables you to understand your needs and limitations and healthily address them all.
Being a mother herself, Life Coach Ritu Singal often tells her own experience with her daughter. She says, “When my daughter was young, she used to complain about a lot of things like she doesn’t like her school bus driver, her teacher is not good, etc.”
“As most parents would do, I also used to tell her that things don’t work this way in real life. She has to ‘learn to manage’ things, and she can’t be finding fault with everyone.”
She continues, “After a little while I started getting this kind of response from my daughter – ‘You mean I am at fault?’ or ‘Mom, don’t you trust me?’”
This is when she feels like her daughter is going away from her.
One day, after the parent-teacher meeting, when she saw her waiting, all scared and anxious that now “Mumma is going to scold me,” she knew that this is not the time for scolding or punishments as that changes nothing.
She understood that the responsibility of making her daughter a nice person is her responsibility. The importance of parents’ counseling and guidance was evident to her.
Therefore, instead of rebuke, she said to her daughter, “Your teacher likes you, and she said that you are one of her brilliant students, and if you are a little more careful, you can do wonders.”
This positive feedback made her daughter more receptive and responsive and made her understand what was expected from her.
Ritu’s daughter soon started taking care of her things and became way more organized and alert. Today she is working as a successful senior executive in an MNC.
This personal story has one lesson: making a child emotionally healthy and stable is the parents’ responsibility.
Emotionally disturbed children are more vulnerable to emotional, physical, or even sexual abuse by others.
They exhibit more aggression or go into complete seclusion, sometimes without any apparent reasons. They may shout even when not provoked or be awkwardly quiet even when it is provoking.
This behavior is challenging for the parents and anyone around them, and people start labeling the child as “unruly,” “dumb,” or “psycho.”
With parent-child relationship counseling, it is possible to gain the lost trust, confidence, and mend broken relationships.
We don’t take parenting classes, and no one in the family “teaches” you for this. You try and experiment on your kids with everything your parents, relatives, and friends tell you and fail miserably.
Only a few parents have the instincts to understand the emotional problems a child goes through.
Most parents assume it to be a temporary fit of rage or sulking or even ignore it altogether.
Child counselling from a certified Life Coach can help you understand and overcome these barriers. They can help you make the long-lost connection with your own most beautiful creation!
When we plan to seek professional child counselling for your child’s emotional health, our family members tell us “not to worry, it happens.” They try to convince you that you are being stupid and not making kids “strong” for the world.
Life Coach has one piece of advice for parents in doubt – When it comes to your child’s emotional well-being, it’s better to be “stupid” than “sorry.”
And, by “stupid,” she means not to ignore your concerns and to take them to someone who is trained to understand and help with such issues.
You are the smartest person in the room if you seek help when stuck, and not a “stupid.”
The Early Signs
There are some tell-tale signs of a child being in an emotionally disturbing phase of her or his life. They don’t know how to ask for the help they need, and these signals are their cry for help.
As an aware parent, you must understand that there is something wrong going on, and you can’t make it right without parental counselling or child counselling.
Here is a list of many tell-tale signs in children who are in dire need of life coaching and counselling:
- They may suddenly start distancing themselves from everyone.
- They don’t see eye-to-eye with parents on any issue, argue with them, talkback, and even threaten to leave home.
- You start seeing the number of teachers’ notes from the school go up considerably with complaints of unruly behavior and involvement in fights.
- You find your kid is hanging out with the wrong company known for causing problems.
- They spend more time on social media and never leave the phone.
- You find that your kid is not coping well, even with age-appropriate pressures.
- They may lack appropriate social behavior, have shown a decline in learning capacities, etc.
- They may be unable to adapt to a family emergency or tragedy for a long time, say more than a month.
- They never want advice or guidance from anyone, and if you try to, they shout back.
- They face difficulties in sharing what they are going through currently – bodily changes, relationships, dreams, problems, etc.
As we all went through our childhood, the reasons for a child to feel emotionally disturbed or even traumatized are well known.
The children are not to be blamed here, but they must bear the brunt. The most important reasons why counselling children and counselling for parents are necessary are:
- No Time for Children: The parents have little time for the child, and everything else is more important. Many parents try to compensate for this by giving them more gadgets.
- Abusive Households: Families where abusive behavior is commonplace, especially towards children, have very high chances that the children would be shattered from within.
- Single Parenting: Single parents have too many things to handle and take care of and may miss something important. Especially if the gender of the parent and the child are opposite. In adolescence, the confusion and questions are on the rise, and no one is around to answer them.
- Single Motherhood: Being a single mother requires herculean efforts and resolve. With too much on their plates, single mothers lose focus from the requirements of their children.
- Too much Strictness: Being stubborn or too strict, in the name of discipline, parents sometimes scare their children.
- Bullying: At schools, children may face bullying and continuous harassment. They are sometimes ashamed to tell about it at home, and the behavior continues.
- Gender Insecurities: Adolescents face issues related to relationship insecurities and loneliness.
- Making fun of Deficiencies: Insensitive people may make fun of financial status, physical deformities, body shape, obesity, learning disabilities, etc. and make the children feel low.
- Public Ridicule: Parents may discuss their kids’ issues with others openly, making them feel embarrassed and ashamed.
- Personal Loss and Violence: Children going through parental divorce or separation, accidents, violence, or personal loss feel they have no one with whom they can confide in.
How can we help?
Kids and teens often resist the idea of sharing anything with someone they are not comfortable with.
Sharing the experience she had with one teenage girl who was facing the consequences of severe depression.
That girl had refused to see any counselor because of the notion that parents had that she was “broken” and needed “fixing.”
When her mother told the issue to the Life Coach, she suggested using the following idea about what she does and how she does it –
“Coaching is a team effort, which would help you learn to navigate your thoughts’ maze with new tools. She will participate with you in a few exercises, and you’ll have fun with your coach.”
As they worked together and built a relationship, she realized that her client was in deep depression and suggested counselling sessions for more profound healing.
After discussing in detail with her client how coaching and counselling are different and how both are needed to help her.
This incident clearly shows that Life Coaching and Counselling are not at odds with each other.
Life Coaches and Counsellors can often work together, like child counselling or parent-child relationship counselling.
A Life Coach for Children
A Life Coach helps kids and teens live more joyful, happy and fulfilled lives by showing them how to identify and celebrate every win.
Like a Karate coach, they play, whistle, correct, and strategize with the player on the mat, your children, telling them about all the possible attacks and tricks life has in store.
Life Coaching can help your children, and more importantly, you, the parents, understand why they have an emotional problem, what the reasons are for it and how to work on them.
One of the world’s foremost inventors, Thomas Alva Edison, was expelled from his school only after being admitted for three months.
He came home with a letter from the principal and gave it to his mother. He told the mother that the Principal had asked not to go to the school form the next day and asked her, “Why is that mother?”
With tear-filled eyes, she read the letter aloud in front of his siblings and family, “Your son is a Genius. This school is not the right place for him, and there are no efficient teachers to train him. So, please train him yourself.”
Edison used to explore things and developed an interest in physics and mathematics. His mother home-schooled him till he passed high school.
Many years later, after Thomas Edison’s mother was no more and became famous as an inventor, he checked his old trunk and found the letter from the School Principal. The message read: “School cannot allow your son to attend classes anymore; he is mentally impaired. He is rusticated.”
That day, filled with emotion, love, and respect for his deceased mother, Edison wrote in his diary, “Thomas A. Edison was a mentally deficient child, whose mother turned him into The Genius of the century.”
Life Coaching works on certain principles that are:
- The client is in charge and determines the agenda.
- Life Coach helps develop strengths.
- Focus on actions, problem-solving, and future outcomes
- The purpose is to help the client move forward.
- Life Coach “nudges” the actions of the clients for a positive outcome
- It is less formal and more fun.
- The basic assumption is that the client is already whole and not a “broken” thing needing “fixing.”
- Work towards reaching goals by keeping them in a conscious mind always – mindfulness
- Work using external solutions to overcome mental and emotional barriers, to learn and implement new skills.
- The questions a client answers to herself are (a) who am I? (b) Where do I want to go? And (c) What do I want my future to look like?
Counselors have to say, “Coaching can prevent your child from needing counselling in the future.”
Child Counselling is the Best Solution
There are many children whose mental state is out of balance, and it can be harmful to themselves or others.
If your child has engaged in self-harm, then counselling intervention is necessary.
Counsellors need to develop a relationship based on trust to make the children talk about their problems and learn to “manage” them.
Counselling sessions help kids who have faced trauma or personal loss to cope and do better.
With chronic emotional and psychological problems, only child counselling or therapy can help.
Child counselling focuses on young children, teens, and adolescents with mental illnesses such as:
- Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
- Conduct Disorder (CD)
- Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Tourette Syndrome
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Counsellors often conduct parent-child counselling to help recognize the real causes of the problem and help the parents understand their child’s issue.
Counselors help parents recognize, identify, assess, and assist their children whenever they are going through one of the “episodes” like deep instinct to cause harm, suicidal thoughts, depression, panic attacks, bed-wetting, etc.
One of her clients was a young, visually challenged person, having lost his eyesight due to meningitis, whose sisters were worried about him being anxious, hyper, and agitated. The father was retired, and at home, so he had a lot of time to worry about his son.
After seeing this nice and wonderful young boy for a couple of sessions, she realized that his family needs counseling more than him as they are unable to adjust themselves around his new reality.
The young guy was interested in robotics, crafts, comedy, and many other things. The family was “buying” him all the stuff but was worried that he would get bored with the property.
She pointed out that the kid has a physical limitation to engage with all this new stuff, and without guidance, he cannot continue using it.
Realizing this, they engaged a mentor for him who worked with the kid regularly and helped him use tools and gadgets. The young boy is growing very well now with lots of opportunities open.
Therefore, counseling is needed for both the parents and the children, and sometimes the entire family to be useful and helpful.
Counsellors also conduct counselling for single mothers or single fathers to help them understand both parents’ needs for the children and how they can manage it.
As a therapist or a child counsellor, they will:
- Talk and Listen: Talking helps express emotions, expectations, and fears. When a child is given a safe space to talk freely, s/he provides subtle clues about them. They speak only when they know that they are not being judged.
- Involve in Activities: Therapists use activities like drawing, craft, mindfulness, and shallow breathing to help manage bodily reactions during episodes.
- Teach new Life-Skills: Life skills like self-control, sharing, anger management, active listening, waiting for a turn, following instructions, losing gracefully, being fair, etc. are imparted with the games, rewards, and penalties.
- Teach Problem Solving: Counsellors often involve kids in scenario building, strategy games, and games mimicking life and its challenges. They practice to objectively, look at the problems, and solve them.
Unlike Life Coaching, Counselling is different because of the following characteristics:
- The counselor is in charge and sets the agenda.
- Its purpose is to “fix what is broken.”
- Counselling focuses on feelings and past events.
- Its purpose is to heal the dysfunctional.
- Counsellors work with the core beliefs of children and their parents.
- They try to explore the root of problems and may uncover some hidden emotional scars.
- The primary assumption is the client needs healing.
Why Life Coach?
Certified Life Coach and Counsellor Ritu Singal have vast experience in helping clients of all ages and problems.
She especially loves to help children because she is a mother of two. She has felt relief and joy because her children could manage their lives better and want everyone to feel the same. She offers amazing parents counselling and guidance for parents and family members.
She can offer deep insights into your child’s emotional, mental, and social state and health and identify problem areas to work on.
Life Coaching and counselling children is a preventative action that helps check severe kids’ problems growing with them.
For children with deeper issues due to trauma or personal loss, she is well trained to offer counselling.
Her focus is on seven critical ingredients needed for a healthy life of a child.
- proper eating
- enough sleep
- enough physical activity/exercise/sports
- constructive leisure time
- effective and complete communication
- proper education and
- All-round support.
Moreover, being a great single mother of two successful and loving daughters.
Her services as a Life coach and counsellor are offered for children in the following areas. There are the major problem areas that have identified over her long work as a Life Coach and Counsellor.
- Emotionally Disturbed Child
- Counselling Families
- Single Parenting
- Stubborn Child
- Single Motherhood