Today I’m talking with Renaye Thornborrow, a child life coach whose worldwide movement helps bring life coach training to kids with a story-based curriculum. She has worked in the industry for more than 10 years, sharing her teachings with other coaches, educators, and counselors to help children soar in life.
Repurposing Coaching for Kids
Children’s mental health has recently been declared a national emergency by 3 pediatrician institutions, making Renaye’s work even more crucial. She’s worked as a child life coach since 2013, having been interested in personal development since graduating college. She became interested in applying those skills to children when she had kids of her own.
Life coaching is about giving support as a preventative measure. Renaye created her company and curriculum to help share skills with her own kids, and from there, the vision grew into helping others. She now has coaches in more than 30 countries, helping children develop skills such as confidence, positive self-talk, resiliency, and more.
Developing a Kids’ Coaching Curriculum
Renaye’s curriculum includes 27 different mindset skills that are taught through stories, games, and flexible coaching. When she had more and more people coming to her to learn more, she created her certification program to allow coaches, educators, and therapists to use her work in their practices.
The stories are often 5-8 minutes and typically for children between 6 and 12. These stories are designed to show children these different skills and, with the coach’s support, apply it to their own lives. For kids in elementary and middle school facing serious challenges for the first time, these skills are vital.
Teaching Kids Resilience
Renaye offers a book on positive self-talk on her website, where anyone can read and learn about the skill. Resiliency is another skill that the program focuses on, which is taught by learning to reframe the way we view experiences that happen to us. Renaye calls this, “Wearing your power goggles,” with kids. Even when something terrible happens, there’s a way to take something empowering from it.
To Renaye, “empowerment is when your power comes from inside.” Our most powerful tool is our mind and our thoughts shape everything in our world. Empowerment is learning how to create the lives we want. One of Renaye’s goals with her program is to help kids feel empowered so that they’re confident about tackling any challenge that comes their way.
Listen in to learn more about the tools Renaye’s program uses, how life coaching helps trauma, and some of her favorite stories of helping kids develop positive life skills.
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