Why coaching for children?

If you caught our last article, we looked at the variations between coaching, therapy and counselling, so today I want to look at why coaching needs to be in our priority list for children and young people.

Coaching can feel like a new concept, but in reality, it has been around for a long time. However, traditionally, perhaps always centred around sports and business, and so some people can struggle to see its benefit in every day life, and especially for children.

However, its role is often pivotal and the focus on creating emotional leverage for the client to be able to take charge of their own lives is an important one.

Coaching focuses on:

  • Understanding where we are right now
  • Looking at where we want to be
  • Developing our self-awareness
  • Creating a better understanding of our patterns of behaviour (and challenging them)
  • Focussed attention
  • Developing discipline (in turn creating momentum)
  • Taking control of our environment
  • Improving our performance
  • Challenging our limiting beliefs
  • Goal setting and action
  • Accountability to reach our potential

Does it work?

Interestingly, a study conducted in 2023 (Lawrence-Sidebottom et al, 2023), highlighted the positive impact of coaching on young people with anxiety and depression, with the results showing substantial improvements in symptoms in only a few sessions. The research provided evidence that child mental health outcomes can be ‘meaningfully improved’ through coaching with 95% of the young people involved showing ‘clinically significant improvements’ in their symptoms. Better still, these results were improving after just 6 sessions! The study examined children aged 6-17 years old, and was a significant sample of 392 young people.

Further Waters (2020) found that when reviewing the use of positive psychology (an area we teach on the Level 4) in schools ‘the evidence shows that positive psychology programs are significantly related to student wellbeing, relationships and academic performance.’ 

Whilst Sleeper-Triplett (2008) found that ‘Coaching can help children and teens with numerous important yet challenging tasks, such as improving focus, staying on task, managing time, developing organizational skills, strengthening motivation, building self-awareness and confidence, and developing structures and routines to promote success.’

So, why is it so effective?

Part of the benefit of coaching is that it is forward focused. We don’t ignore the challenges that we experience, but rather use them to learn from and take the opportunities than ruminate on them over a series of sessions. This changes our perspective on them, removing ourselves from becoming engrained in the negative emotions, and instead reframing them as a platform to move on from.

The concept, of ‘what we focus on grows’ is pivotal in coaching. Supporting young people to focus their attention on solving problems, setting goals and creating momentum, as well as to harness their emotions; offers life skills which develop a growth mindset, foster resilience and self-esteem. The pinnacles of mental well-being.

Whilst coaching cannot solve every problem, and some mental health conditions require specialist support (such as eating disorders, addictions, personality disorders), it can positively benefit children struggling with needs such as emotional regulation, anxiety, stress, goal setting, performance, confidence, self-esteem, connections, boundaries and focus.

Our Dandelion Coaches are specifically trained and qualified to support children, having a comprehensive understanding of child mental health and well-being. Find a list of our coaches in private practice here – Directory

Want to learn more? 

Are you looking for a deeper understanding of child mental health? Our Level 4 Child and Adolescent Mental Health Coaching Diploma takes you into an in depth dive of child mental health and how you can support.  You can join our Level 4 training (here).

© Dandelion Training and Development – All Rights Reserved

Further help 

For more articles about mental health visit – ARTICLES 

To learn more about child and adolescent mental health visit – COURSES 

For resources to support child and adolescent mental health visit –RESOURCES 

Scroll to Top