Before you go any further:
I want you to get what you & your child need from coaching. Although it’s been said that I connect with children at another level and I do have an excellent track record (you can read about it here), I’m not a miracle worker and I like to keep it real.
Start by reading these two very helpful blogs:
Coaching is not a magic wand. I know coaching works when all parties are working hard and are committed to making changes. This is why I need you to take stock and be honest before you begin.
1. Are you & your child ready to change?
2. Are you & your child willing to be as open and honest as possible?
3. Do you & your child have time for coaching?
4. Are you & your child prepared to put in work outside of sessions?
5. Are you & your child open to doing things differently?
6. Are you & your child open to feedback (delivered with love and kindness of course!)?
7. Do you & your child have a clear goal that you want to achieve through coaching?
This blog post may help you with that 🌈 Do you Know What You Really Really Want? (setting realistic goals for coaching)
If you’ve answered YES to all of these questions, then coaching is for you!
Frequently Asked Questions
Click on a question and read read through the answers to find out everything you need to know about coaching with me.
Can you coach children?
Yes, it’s easier to coach children because they are more open to learning new ways of being, doing and seeing without all the limiting beliefs that perhaps some adults have. Having to unlearn the beliefs and ways of doing things that no longer serve us when we are adults can be a lot harder.
Children learn best when they are relaxed, being creative and are in a safe space to explore their thoughts and feelings. Coaching does just this.
Starting at a young age means your child will have coaching tools that will last a life time. I wish there had been coaching when I was growing up!
My main area of expertise is emotional intelligence and you can watch this really informative video to find out why.
You can also download my quick and easy Happiness Test which will give you an idea of where to start.
How does coaching work?
Coaching works because Lisa believes that the child is resourceful enough to do anything and allows a child the time and space to figure it all out for themselves – MAGIC!
I make coaching for children seem like they are just enjoying some ‘me’ time talking about themselves . They usually think it’s a lot of fun as well as being a safe place to share their stuff. The first coaching session is about getting to know each other and discovering where coaching is required. I work from the child’s perspective. This helps set goals and work towards them. Coaching can be :
- story telling
- activity sheets
- role play
- using props or toys
- plain old fashioned talking
How do I know if coaching is for my child?
This is something only you and your child can decide. It’s heart-warming to know that I have seen so many children flourish as a result of coaching. They have overcome their fears, learnt how to manage their emotions, become more self-aware and understand themselves more. They have also discovered that by making small changes with some extra effort every day, they can really make a difference to their lives.
I believe coaching is for everybody. If you were able to answer ‘yes’ to all the questions I asked at the top of this page, then I would say coaching is for you.
The Meet Smiley Introductory Session is designed as a light-hearted get to know you session to see if we are a good fit for each other.
It is important that your child wants to come to coaching otherwise it will not work. A little resistance or fear of the unknown can be expected, however if they refuse point blank to come, it will be a waste of everybody’s time and money. You know your child better than anybody, so discuss with them beforehand and gauge their reaction before making the commitment.
How many sessions do we need?
Coaching is delivered in packages which are put together to ensure the best results for you and your child.
I don’t want clients to stay with me for longer than is necessary because the point of coaching is to empower the child to go it alone.
The average client usually stays with me for 3 months. Coaching is a process and, in isolation, one or two sessions is ineffective. The client can then chose to continue with a maintenance programme if required.
In my experience, what helps the coaching process is allowing and trusting. The energy and attitude you have towards your child’s ability to creatively problem solve and find a way that is right for them is essential. Rushing or pressurising your child before they are ready, will only add to any resistance.
How can I prepare my child for coaching?
Present coaching to your child in positive light.
Get their input and make sure you have their buy in.
Coaching isn’t for problems. People don’t need fixing. Coaching is for getting the most out of life!
I find using positive analogies that your child can relate to work well. e.g. comparing me to a Sports Coach who is helping an athlete train for a marathon or a Football Coach who ensures a player is top of his game before a match. In this way, a Life Coach ensures you are the happiest in your daily life and can help you overcome anything that troubles you.
If you make it sound like school or hard work or about your agenda, it’s very likely they will lack enthusiasm too.
Naturally, your child will be more comfortable when they feel like they know me, so pop on over to my YouTube Channel where they can get to know me a little better.
If your child is unhappy, I would focus on how coaching could make him or her feel better. “This lady we are going to see can help you feel happier at school and help you cope with those people who are not being very kind to you or help you sleep at night so you are not tired.”
What if coaching doesn’t work?
Coaching success lies in setting goals and finding ways to reach them. This can be anything from changing behaviour to tackling something new and different.
I’m confident that coaching will have a positive impact on your child and subsequently, the rest of the family. For this reason, if we agree that coaching is not working, then I will refer you appropriately or make recommendations.
Some clients continue for six months or more, because they enjoy the regular boost and learning more about themselves. I love it when clients are able to see results sooner than expected.
It may come as no great surprise that the more you put in, the more you get out of it.
You can read about how one young lad is still feeling the magic of Smiley coaching one year on. How empowering! Hopefully that will be you and your child in the not too distant future.
Will I be privy to what is discussed with my child?
What is discussed in the coaching sessions is between myself and the child unless the child is breaking the law or in danger. I do encourage the child to share as much as they are able to. Please don’t worry if your child is not very forthcoming and respect that they are processing. They may share when they are ready.
There is an aftercare worksheet which is sent to parents after the first session which explains to parents how they can best support this process.
I do not communicate with parents via telephone as this inevitably turns into a coaching session for you. If coaching brings up uncomfortable feelings for you and you would like to explore that further, I will refer you appropriately. My priority is the child and my energy is better spent making sure they get what they need from coaching.
What can I expect from coaching?
Coaching is a process and not a magic wand.
It requires commitment, open honest communication and effort from all parties (coach, coachee and parent)
Coaching is a way of identifying what is not working now and how a plan can be put in place with practical steps to get to where the child needs to be.
Children are very resourceful in a safe and positive environment and can work through their own challenges. This is done at the child’s pace and will depend very much on the child as to how long they stay in coaching for. There are many success stories about how coaching has helped other families on my blog.
Coaching is measurable by progress. Children often hold onto their stuff and can hold off change until right near the end. We have to allow them to do it when the time is right for them. Some clients see changes during their programme, some at the end and some after.
What do parents get from coaching?
Lisa is likely to ask you to do some soul searching of your very own. After all you cannot expect your child to mop up after them, if you haven’t gone there yourself.
You will be emailed a Parent’s Pack full of useful videos, reading resources, exercises and helpful tips on making parenting easier for you and your family.
Please make the most of having me around by using your child’s struggle as an opportunity for you to grow too. I would like you to make time to go through the materials I’ve lovingly created before you ask me a question. The answer is likely to be in there.
If anything that is fed back to you is difficult on a practical or emotional level, I will refer you to an appropriate professional.
I cannot ‘fix’ your child. This may seem like a strange thing to say but I want to manage your expectations. It’s important to convey my intention which is to help your child understand themselves, feel comfortable in their own skin, find coping strategies, strengthen your child’s resourcefulness and resilience to life.
What is the best way to support the coaching process?
Every child has a different response to coaching. Lots of us are resistant to change which may mean we cling on to old habits, start new ones and fall back to old ones or even feel lost without our old behaviour. Even when it doesn’t make us happy.
Acknowledge your child’s perspective and empathise.
Even if you can’t ‘do anything’ about your child’s upsets, empathise. Just being understood helps humans let go of troubling emotions.
It’s hard as a loving and supportive parent to give your child space and allow them to be as they process and find their way (especially if they are teary or frustrated or anxious).
Listen and try not to judge. Gently encourage them and praise them for being brave if they are struggling. Let them know you believe in them to figure it out.
Resist your urge to rush in and fix. Try to be patient and trust the process. This is one of the hardest things for parents: letting go. When we get overly prescriptive and try to control the outcome, the magic is lost.
Where do you coach from?
Coaching can be in person or via Skype / Facetime
My Coaching Room Address:
Smiley HQ No 7 Investment House, 28, Queens Road, Weybridge, Surrey KT13 9UT
(Opposite RED Restaurant & Tesco Local). The entrance to the designated car park is off Princes Road.
By Appointment Only. There is no reception, so I will come down and meet you at your agreed appointment time. The entrance to my office is next to The Maple Leaf Chiropractic & Wellness Clinic.
What is coaching etiquette?
I want you to get the best out of me as a coach. It matters to me that you and your child have a positive coaching experience.
Coaching etiquette ensures that my practice runs smoothly.
Please be on time
There is no reception. I will be down to meet you at the front door when your session starts. I will not be available to take calls at this time.
When your child’s session is finished
Your child will come down to the front door where you can collect them. I will stay in my room to write up my notes and prepare for my next client.
After the session, when your child bounds out of the room full of smiles and waves drawings under your nose, it is very tempting to ask questions or want feedback. Engaging in conversation on the doorstep is inappropriate and also keeps me from my next client.
Is there any difference between Face-to-Face Coaching + Skype calls?
No because it’s not the medium which has the best results, but the rapport I have with your child. Connection is everything which is why I tell parents that parenting is a relationship and not a technique: focus on that trust, love and emotional connection.
I think it’s a very personal choice. Ask your child and see what they would like to do.
My daughter really enjoys coaching and describes you as: ‘The lady who takes her worries away!’ Sometimes Mums and Dads can’t do it on their own. It warms my heart to hear her chatting to you so comfortably and takes a huge weight off my shoulders when I know it’s not just all down to me to help her find solutions.Mrs Guest, Camberley