The Ultimate Guide to
Life Coaching for Kids
Life coaching for kids is about mindset development!
Helping kids use the power of their thoughts and the power of their mind to create happiness, confidence, self-esteem, resilience, self-leadership, achievement, and so much more.
Chapter 1: Life Coaching for Kids
What is Life Coaching for Kids?
Life coaching for kids is about mindset development! Kids learn how to use the power of their thoughts and the power of their mind to create happiness, confidence, self-esteem, resilience, self-leadership, achievement, and so much more.
Life coaching for kids supports our children in learning how to identify and shift limiting beliefs that hold them back in life and proactively create supporting beliefs that help them own their magnificence and thrive! This is critical mindset training and it is the foundation of life coaching for kids.
“Just like a basketball coach helps children develop the skills, confidence and ability to thrive on the basketball court, a life coach for kids helps children develop the skills confidence and ability to thrive in life.”
Personal development training and the life coaching profession have traditionally focused on grownups; however, the core thoughts and beliefs that shape who we are and what we think is possible for our live is formed when we’re very young. That is why it is so critical that we bring life coaching to children at a young age so that they can use these skills throughout elementary school, high school, college, and into adult hood.
Life coaching for kids helps children develop mindset skills that they can use for the rest of their lives – helping them be confident and prepared to walk in the world on their own with their head held high and ready for anything that life throws at them.
Why is Life Coaching for Kids so Important?
When faced with challenges or disappointments, most kids don’t have the tools to handle them.
As a result, they often get down on themselves or give up on themselves—developing belief systems that can hold them back for the rest of their lives. This crushes self-esteem and it crushes self-confidence.
Life coaching isn’t just for grownups. It’s a game changer for our children when they learn how to use the power of their thoughts and the power of their mind to own their magnificence, to handle the ups and downs of growing up, to go for it in life, and to reach their fullest potential.
Life events can “wound” children and most of the time their parents don’t realize it.
They might see a shift in their child’s confidence or self-esteem, but they don’t know what happened or what to do about it.
And most of the time kids won’t tell because they are too embarrassed. They don’t want their parents, the people they love the most, to think less of them. Instead they cry themselves to sleep, often suffering in silence.
And a lot of kids are struggling.
Did you know that:
● 30% of tweens (children between the ages 10-12) experience headaches and difficulty sleeping as a result of stress.
● 25% of children between ages 13 and 18 experience anxiety disorders.
● 10% of children are actually diagnosed with depression before the age of 18.
And it’s not just in the United States…
The World Health Organization reported that depression is “the predominant cause of illness and disability” for children and teens age 10 to 19-years-old, worldwide. The statistics are even more staggering when you consider the report found suicide to be the third leading cause of adolescent deaths (behind traffic accidents, and HIV/AIDS).
Regardless of country, ethnic background, culture, or religion, millions of kids are struggling with how they feel about themselves day-to-day.
We must reach kids at an earlier age to help them develop mindset skills for resilience, self-confidence, and self-leadership skills, so they can handle the ups and downs of growing up and thrive.
And life coaching for kids can help!
Mindset training is the key.
Mike learns to shift his anger with WISDOM Coach Inna
Ten-year-old Mike* was having trouble controlling his emotions — especially anger and rage. Teachers also reported that Mike seemed depressed at school and was distancing himself from other children. He often fought with his brothers, leaving his mom feeling upset with her son and feeling helpless as a parent. Mike’s parents were stressed, and the family was on edge. Wanting to help her son, Mike’s Mom reached out to Certified WISDOM Coach™ Inna Neal.
During the first session, Coach Inna asked Mike’s Mom to join them. The result was a big “a-ha” moment for both of them as they learned how the human mind works through the skill book, “How Your Mind Shapes Your World and What You Can Do to Shape Your Mind” (from the The Adventures in Wisdom Life Coaching for Kids™ Curriculum).
Inna shared, “After just a few weeks of working together, Mike was almost a whole new person. He was happier, more confident, and expressed positive thoughts about himself.”
Mike shared his big breakthrough: “I discovered that I am in control of my feelings ─ not anyone else. This makes me feel in control of myself. How I talk to myself and think about myself is up to me. If I think bad things about myself, I feel bad about myself. If I think nice things about myself, I can shift my anger and feel happier.”
Years later, Mike is now a happy highschooler. His whole family was impacted by mindset skills and life coaching for kids. Listen to his WISDOM Coach, Inna Neal, share Mike’s story as of 2021.
How Can Life Coaching for Kids Help Children?
Life coaching for kids supports children in developing specific mindset skills that will support them in being empowered in their lives.
“No matter how much we love our children or how much time we spend with them, we can’t give them self-esteem, we can’t give them self-confidence, and we can’t give them success in life, but what we can do is help them to develop it in themselves. And that’s what mindset training and life coaching for kids is all about!”
Life coaching for kids supports children in developing specific mindset skills that will support them in being empowered in their lives.
Coaching helps kids develop resilience skills.
Kids learn how to manage life’s “curve balls” – whether it’s facing a big change or dealing with a major disappointment.
Kids learn how to bounce back and pick themselves up, so they can “go for it” in life.
Coaching helps kids develop self-esteem from the “inside out”.
This helps kids learn how to base their self-esteem on who they are, not what they have achieved, who they know, or what they do.
Coaching helps kids learn to believe in themselves and build self-confidence.
A life coach helps kids learn how to move through anxiety and fear, so they can stretch outside of their comfort zone, create courage, and go for their dreams with confidence.
Coaching helps kids develop their own “inner compass”.
Kids learn how to think for themselves and make good decisions, so they can stand up to peer pressure and be their own person and stand in their values.
Coaching helps kids learn to live life with intention versus drifting through life without direction.
By learning self-leadership skills, kids develop an empowered way of thinking that will help them develop a vision for their lives and achieve their goals.
Phillip Develops his Inner Strength
8-year-old Phillip’s self-esteem was at an all-time low and he was easily influenced by negative peer pressure when his Mom reached out to WISDOM Coach Lee.
Using the Adventures in Wisdom Life Coaching for Kids curriculum, Coach Lee worked with him over a series of weeks to improve his self-esteem and to also support him in gaining confidence to be himself and stand up for himself when around other children.
After just a few short weeks, Phillips Mom shared, “My son is more confident and stronger than ever before. He has learned that he has inner strength and talents to be proud of…Every week he learns new and exciting ways to deal with life’s challenges. The coaching stories are relevant and entertaining, and he practices what he’s learning through the lessons.”
Life Coaching for Kids Helps Scott deal with anxiety and change
Watch as WISDOM Coach® Tara shares how story-based coaching helped 9-year-old Scott deal with anxiety and change triggered by the pandemic and the uncertainty and change that followed.
Life Coaching for Kids Helps Shy Girl Finds Her Voice
Watch as WISDOM Coach® Delia Rusu, discusses how story-based life coaching helped a shy girl develop self-confidence, find her voice, and speak up.
Life Coaching for Kids Helps Young Girl Own Her Voice
Watch as WISDOM Coach® Inna Neal, shares the story of a young girl who gained self-esteem and self-confidence from story-based life coaching for kids.
How is Life Coaching for Kids Different from Parenting?
People often confuse “life coaching for kids” and parenting.
Life coaching for kids goes beyond the traditional parenting roles of moral and character development, and it goes beyond learning how to treat others and learning how to behave.
In fact, what kids learn in our program, most adults haven’t learned!
When a parent seeks help with their child it doesn’t mean that they are an “ineffective parent”. It’s exactly the opposite! Parents who work with our coaches or who invest in our home study programs are very engaged, caring parents who want to empower their children to be all they can be in the world.
Just as some children require more support for a learning disability or other developmental issues, many children also need greater support in the areas of coping skills, building self-esteem, overcoming shyness, dealing with bullies, managing peer pressure, and so much more. It targets the thought patterns that hold children back in life.
But it’s not just about helping children who are struggling. Life coaching for kids also targets the thought patterns that help children create their best life – dreaming big and going for their goals. Helping them develop mindset skills in decision making, goal setting, self-responsibility, and more.
Life coaching for kids empowers children with a specific set of mindset skill that they can use throughout their childhood, teen years, and for the rest of their lives.
“As a parent I knew that my daughter needed another positive role model in her life. I’m so grateful to WISDOM Coach Mary for helping my daughter learn life skills that will help her thrive. Her self-esteem has improved and I see her making better decisions with her friends. Its as though she is recognizing the leader in herself.
We are having great conversations as well and she is teaching me the skills she is learning too. She loves that and I do too.”
Why Do Parents Hire a Life Coach for Their Children?
Parents hire a life coach to work with their children for a variety of reasons.
Some of the most common reasons are:
• They might see a shift in their child’s confidence or self-esteem. They know that something is different, but they don’t know how to help, and their child is dimming before their eyes.
• They want to help their child be more successful in school or extracurricular activities – the child might have a big goal such as making the All-Star team, winning a competition, or improving their grades.
• There might be struggles at home around homework, chores, and other responsibilities and they want to support their child in developing self-responsibility and self-leadership skills.
• They see their child being influence by peers or making poor choices and they want to support their children in learning how to stand up for themselves, make good decisions, and stay true to their values.
• Their child is going through a big change, such as a move, a new school, or divorcing parents and they want to help their child navigate the change successfully.
Timothy Breaks out of His Slump
After making the All Star Baseball Team, Timothy began to put tremendous pressure on himself fear and his hitting began to suffer.
Wanting to help their son thrive, they hired WISDOM Coach Laura to support him.
The first story we reviewed was ‘Who’s Flying Your Plane’ from the Adventures in Wisdom Life Coaching for Kids Curriculum which teaches kids that if your subconscious mind isn’t working towards the same goal as your conscious mind, your subconscious mind will cause you to “crash” (or not achieve your goal). We also worked on building positive self-talk and visualization.
Timothy’s hitting improved immediately. After just one session, Timothy hit his first out-of-the park home run!”
Coach Laura shared her experience, “…Timothy was a child that had some areas in his life that were very frustrating for him. Coaching through stories helped Timothy make connections to his life and take new concepts and apply them like the characters from the stories. The stories also made it easy for him to remember the steps while trying out his new mindset skills. Timothy’s home run was confirmation to me that I am making a difference in the lives of kids! It is so gratifying helping kids to develop the skills they need to feel and be successful.”
That being said, it’s important to know that life coaching for kids is different than counseling.
How is Life Coaching for Kids Different from Counseling?
Although life coaching and counseling may have similarities, such as asking the important questions, listening, and finding patterns in people’s lives, they are not the same thing.
Counseling is designed to help those with more serious issues lead a more normal, productive life or to get back on track. These types of issues might include anxiety, depression, OCDs, moving past neglect/abuse, or going through a personal crisis at home (such as an illness or divorce).
Whereas life coaching is about helping people reach their fullest potential — helping them get from where they are to where they want to be.
For most people that means building confidence and self-esteem, reaching higher goals, creating more balance and happiness in their lives, and feeling more fulfilled in their lives. It’s about creating what they want in their lives.
Life coaching for kids is about mindset training. Partnering with kids in a thought-provoking and creative process to help kids develop mindset skills to own their magnificence go for it in life, and reach their fullest potential.
That being said, we’ve had many counselors and therapists join our life coaching for kids program to provide an extension to their work with children. They wanted to work on the “prevention side” and to be more proactive in supporting children in developing coping skills and resilience skills, so they can manage setbacks and disappointments. They wanted to support children before there was a crisis.
“I am a Child and Family Psychologist in Westchester County. NY My approach is very unique in that my focus is on growth, empowerment, health, and wellness; whereas most psychologists in my area still take a very western medical approach and focus on symptoms, diagnoses, problems, and weaknesses….
I searched for quite some time but never found a program that worked for me. Then I stumbled upon Adventures in Wisdom and my search was over!! I knew I struck gold, I am so excited to incorporate this fantastic program into my work with children, whether in groups or when working privately with clients, I also plan to incorporate this into the school-based wellness programs that I have created. I feel right at home Knowing that I am among like-minded people who really love and care about kids!”
Why Mental Health Professionals are Adding Life Coaching for Kids to Their Work
WISDOM Coach® Inna had experience in child psychology, had just completed a diploma in mental health, and was about to start another diploma in child psychology when she went searching for a way to bring the personal development skills that had changed HER life to kids. She shares her story here:
How is Life Coaching for Kids Different from Life Coaching for Adults?
We are often asked how life coaching for kids is different than life coaching for adults. Coaching kids is definitely different from coaching adults. And the distinction is brain development.
Adults have much stronger critical thinking skills because the frontal lobes of their brain, where critical thinking occurs, are fully developed. These critical thinking skills enable them to make distinctions and to draw conclusions more effectively.
Adults also have greater life experience from which to draw upon. That is why life coaches for adults use questions as their main tool for engaging with their clients.
A child’s brain is different. Their frontal lobes are not fully developed nor are their critical reasoning skills.
As a result, coaching kids requires a stronger teaching component to help them learn these powerful mindset skills. With the right tools and a coach’s guidance, kids can then learn how to apply the skills to their own lives.
And of course, children’s attention span tends to be a lot shorter as well — which is why it is important to find fun and engaging ways to work with kids.
And that is why Coaching Stories are such a powerful tool for bringing mindset training and life coaching to kids!
“I loved the whole concept behind the Adventures in Wisdom™ Program. Not only is telling stories a great way to make abstract feelings concrete, but also the teaching and concepts are similar to the ones we use with adults… As an adult life coach, I can tell you that this kids’ curriculum covers the whole development of the child….
“This [Adventures in Wisdom Life Coaching for Kids] program is so much more advanced than the program I use to coach adults through. What you have created is POWERFUL. I need to make sure you know that! I am forever grateful because AIW is also going to transform my babies lives too.”
The Power of a Multi-sensory Curriculum when Life Coaching Kids
WISDOM Coach® Inna Neal discusses how the Adventures in Wisdom curriculum engages all the senses to help kids embed their understanding of essential mindset skills and growth mindset skills.
Why Coaching Stories are the Most Effective Way to Bring Life Coaching to Kids
Since 2012 we’ve worked with parents and coaches all over the world – and we have seen time and again that Coaching Stories are the #1 most effective way to make lasting change with kids.
1) And the number 1 reason is proven brain science! As humans, when we hear facts, only the intellectual region of our brain that turns words into meaning is engaged. However, when we hear a story, it activates the emotional region and physiological region of the brain in addition to the intellectual region of the brain. This creates an experience. Because more of a child’s brain is involved in the experience, stronger memories are created around both the story and the lessons from the story.
2) Second, coaching stories are a great tool for starting important conversations with children. Stories help children get in touch with thoughts and feelings without putting them on the spot or embarrassing them. Stories give children a chance to experience the skill through the situation that the characters are facing and that opens the door for them to apply it to their own lives with your guidance as their coach.
3) Third, you can reference the characters and the situations in the stories at any time during your coaching – even topics you’ve covered before. For example, the coaching story that teaches children about having an “I can do it mindset” is called, “Canville and Cantville – A Tale of Two Towns.” If you are working with a child and he is getting down on himself – thinking he can’t do something – you can ask him the questions, “What would this look like if you were living in Canville?” That question takes him back to the story and remembering how he can approach the situation more powerfully using the skills you have helped him develop.
4) Fourth, stories are a non-threatening way to help children learn how to navigate life. Most children don’t like to talk about feeling nervous or being afraid, but they do like talking about grungies and dragons – these terms from our curriculum that give children a safe way to talk about what they are thinking and feeling.
5) Fifth, stories are great for refreshers. Children are learning a new skill and it will take practice. Hearing the stories over and over will help you refresh the topic without being lecture-y or boring! We call it “learning without lecture” or “teaching without preaching”.
6) And finally, stories are fun! They add a lot of connection and engagement to your coaching and they deliver results very quickly.
WISDOM Coaches use our Coaching Stories to teach mindset skills in a way that children understand them and integrate them into their daily habits. Through the stories, children hear about real-life problems that they might experience such as earning a bad grade, getting in trouble at school, not being invited to a birthday party, being teased by other kids, doing poorly in a sporting event, messing up at a recital, dealing with peer pressure, and so much more.
After sharing the story, WISDOM Coaches use the discussion questions and activities from the curriculum, part of our STORY Coaching Process, to give children “hands on” experience with the skills and to help them apply the skills to the situations in their own lives.
Adventures in Wisdom Coaching Stories have the power to transform, inspire, and to shape how children feel about themselves and what is possible for their lives. Our stories give children another perspective and a door to deeper understanding and they are an extremely powerful way to empower children and they deliver results very quickly.
Here’s just a couple of examples of how fast our coaching stories work.
Email Subject: “Success Already”
Nicolette had just enrolled in the WISDOM Coach Certification program and decided to test one of our coaching stories at a school assembly. The kids were between the ages of 10 – 13. In her previous experience, assemblies were quite challenging because sometimes the kids would get bored and act up.
But this day it was different.
She sent me an email with the subject “Success Already”
She shares, “The kids were so inspired, they clapped at the end of my presentation. First time ever. They never clap! A child came up to me afterwards and thanked me for the talk. She really opened up to me and spoke about the challenges that she has experienced in her life. I was so excited that the story opened this door of communication with this child who really needed someone to talk to.”
And You Know it Works when Children Start Coaching Children!
One of our coaches was working with children in a Youth Center and asked one of the counselors how the children were responding.
The counselor shared with our coach: …the kids are really listening. During one of the basketball games, one of the boys was getting down on himself saying “I’m not good at this.” Then the girl next to him told him to remember the story about Julie the soccer player and how her thinking impacted her playing. She saw the boy thinking about that, remembering the lesson from the story, and then started playing again.
Helping girl sing out loud using the Coaching Story, “The Sun, the Wind, and the Rain”
Watch WISDOM Coach® Tara Ward share how story-based life coaching helped a shy girl find her voice and sing out loud for her family and others.
Three Favorite Coaching Stories
WISDOM Coach® Inna Neal discusses her favorite coaching stories from the Adventures in Wisdom curriculum to coach kids around letting go of mistakes, build self-confidence, and grow self-esteem.
Samantha goes from Hiding in the Corner to Participating in Class
WISDOM Coach® Inna Neal shares the story of Samantha, a girl who was experiencing a lot of anxiety and fear at school, issues with friends, and hiding out to avoid group activities.
Using the STORY Coaching Process
As we shared in the section “How Life Coaching for Kids is Different than Life Coaching for Adults,” coaching kids is very different than coaching adults because of brain development.
As a child, the frontal lobe of the brain, where critical reasoning occurs, is not yet fully developed. As a result, coaching kids requires that you bring in a teaching component – to illustrate to them in a way that a child’s brain can process it… like how to deal with situations that they might face – whether at school, with their friends, or even at home.
And that is why we developed the STORY Coaching Process.
STORY is an acronym for the process our coaches use with children:
S) Share the Coaching Story to lay foundation of knowledge
Share the Adventures in Wisdom™ Coaching Story to lay a foundation of knowledge for the child. Through the story, children see the impact of the problem that the characters face and how mindset skills are used to resolve the problem.
Through stories, children learn the skill right alongside the characters. For example, in the sample story you downloaded, Trudy the Tortoise is helped by Wyatt the Wise Wizard to understand how detrimental negative self-talk is to her self-esteem. She then learns how to shift that negative self-talk and to choose positive self-talk.
T) Talk about the story and how it relates to the child’s life
Use the discussion questions in the “Let’s Talk” section to discuss the story with the children. Discussion helps children apply the skills to their own lives.
O) Organize an activity to give children a hands-on experience.
Activities such as role plays and art projects give children an opportunity to further experience the skill.
• Practicing enables children to strengthen their learning (and neural pathways).
• Art projects give children a visual reminder of the learning that they can take home with them.
• You can also arrange games and outdoor activities for children.
With your guidance as a coach, you support children in applying this skill to their own lives through the discussion questions and the hands-on activities provided in each skill book.
It’s your personal connection that helps turn information into transformation for children, and it is a very effective way to work with kids.
The activity we shared with you in the self-talk skill book was an art project – Creating a Self-talk Mirror and creating their Mantras.
When you guide children through this activity, you are giving them a gift that will stay with them for the rest of their lives – which is that any time they see their reflection, it’s a reminder to use positive self-talk.
R) Review with parent and give them a WISDOM for Home Sheet
Invite parents to attend the last 10 minutes of your session/workshop and give children an opportunity to share what they are learning with their parent(s). Share a WISDOM for Home take home sheet with the parent(s) so they can continue the conversation at home. This deepens learning between sessions and engages the parents in supporting their children.
Y) Yes! Confirm knowledge with Wise in Fives
WISDOM Coaches receive a set of practice exercises that take about five minutes and are great for checking retention. At the start of each new session, use the Wise in Fives review sheets to practice the skill learned in the previous session.
Our story coaching process is incredibly powerful in its simplicity. This step-by-step journey – with a coaching tool for each step – enables you to get results with children from the very first session.
Bringing Gold Hearts to the Whole Family
9-year-old Julie was struggling in her relationships with family and friends – especially when conflicts arose. She was also frequently getting down on herself – Julie’s parents asked WISDOM Coach Lisa for help.
Using our curriculum Coach Lisa and Julie worked on several mindset skills including respect and self-respect. Julie learned that every time she was with someone, she left a mark – either a “gold heart” or a “grungy mark” depending on how she treated them. And her treatment of others left a mark on her as well.
Julie’s Mom shares, “Lisa, I wish to thank you for the valuable contribution you have made not only to my child, but to our whole family. Through your work with my daughter, you have given her the skills to introduce ‘golden hearts’ to our family routine. Her self-talk changed dramatically from enormous negativity to a much healthier dialogue.
During her time engaging in the coaching sessions, she seemed more empowered to tackle difficult situations at school involving friendship issues and at home involving day-to-day sibling rivalry.”
STORY Coaching Process Guides Your Coaching
WISDOM Coach® Delia Rusu discusses how effective using the combination of coaching stories and activities is for teaching kids essential mindset skills and growth mindset skills.
Who Can Become a Life Coach for Kids?
Life coaches are people who care deeply about our youth and helping them develop skills needed navigate life and thrive. They love personal development and mindset work and want to bring that powerful skill set to children.
WISDOM Coaches are:
Certified life coaches and life coaches who are working on their certification who want to specialize in brining life coaching to kids. Many of the issues that coaches see in their adult clients stem from their childhood. Helping children develop mindset skills, while they are young, will give them the tools they need for the rest of their lives.
As Frederick Douglass is famous for saying, “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”
Many of our coaches are educators who want to expand beyond academics and help develop the “whole child”. They know that social and emotional learning is just as important as ABCs and 123s. We also have a lot of retired educators who still want to work with children.
Counselors and Therapists
Many of our certified WISDOM Coaches are counselors or therapists who want to expand their business to cover more of the prevention side by helping children develop coping skills and resilience skills.
Tutors, Sports Coaches, Music Teachers, Art Teachers, and more
We have some coaches that are tutors who know that mindset skills are critical for success in school. And sports coaches who know that mindset is critical for success on the court or on the field. And Art Teachers, Music Teachers, Acting Coaches, Martial Arts instructors, Boy Scout Leaders and Girl Scout Leaders, the list goes on and one. People who are already working with children and know that mindset skills are a critical component of a child’s success no matter what activity they are involved in.
People who are Passionate about Personal Development and Passionate about Children
We have WISDOM Coaches who are parents and grandparents that want to empower their own children and other children as well. Many are self-described personal development "junkies" and love learning and applying mindset training in their own lives.
And others who have spent time in corporate or other work who want their work to have deeper meaning – they are passionate about personal development and passionate about children and see it as their purpose to empower children.
And that really is our number one criteria. That you have a passion for helping kids and a love of personal development and mindset work.
Helped me fulfill my purpose of helping kids after I retired from teaching
"The Adventures in Wisdom program has provided me with the ability to live my passion of helping children and live my dream after retiring as a teacher...AIW has also connected me to a global community of like minded people / coaches changing our world one child at a time.
The Adventures in Wisdom is an exceptional in depth life coaching program complete with proactive skills that come to life through stories and activities; empowering kids from their early years into their teens and empowers its coaches with continued support, training, and a community that expresses a global goal to ensure the children of the world are empowered personally and globally!
Once you start going through the AIW program, you immediately realize how life changing it is; not only for the children you will coach, but on a personal level."
Think life coaching kids using
Coaching Stories is for you?
The WISDOM Coach® Certification program is designed to help you create a business you love as a life coach for kids!
As a certified WISDOM Coach®, you will be licensed to use The Adventures in Wisdom Life Coaching Program for Kids™ curriculum (our stories and activities), our coaching tools, and designated marketing and business tools, in your business.
You will also gain access to our extensive resources for coaches, and can become a member of our private Facebook group for WISDOM Coaches where you can network with other WISDOM Coaches from all over the world!