So I thought I’d share with you just how different it can be. It is based on my experience as a Kids Practitioner, Montessori Teacher, Mum of four and more importantly a Trainer of the NLP Kids Practitioner Distance Learning course.
Firstly, the child has not self-referred (although I have had a few teenagers who have done so- one even dragged his parents along with him!) so they do not necessarily feel they need to be ‘fixed’. They have made no financial investment in the process nor any emotional investment. Indeed they don’t even want to be there and can think of plenty of far more fun things to do on a Saturday or after school. You don’t even feature on their list.
They come into my room, shoulders hunched up, head down with mum saying “say hello to Judy now”. You might get a grunt. They don’t want to be there and they aren’t going to make it easy for you and why should they? This certainly wasn't their idea unlike the vast majority of adult clients you'll see.
The second thing is that they're worried they'll 'get it wrong'. By that I mean that in every other aspect of their life they know that there are right and wrong answers. Children are used to adults having ‘the right answer’ in their heads and when they feel vulnerable they are scared that they won’t know what that is. So we always start with some art and craft, a walk round the garden, playing with Lego or something which can't have a right or wrong component. No I wouldn't do this with my adult clients!
Thirdly when they do trust me enough to start opening up, they don't have the vocabulary. I don't mean they don't know words. Of course they do but finding the words to express their feelings, feelings they can hardly understand, is almost impossible. So we use indirect questioning techniques and a lot of 'clean language'. I find drama, music and art very useful and we also play with glove puppets, stones, Moshi Monsters and talk about cartoon characters.
Children are wonderful to work with. They are very different to working with adults and very rewarding. I don't train people who don't have children as all your homework is practical and has to be done with children or teenagers. But my students have without exception found that the training they have had from me has not only enabled them to confidently work with child clients but has also really improved the bond they have with their own children.
You can find out more about training with me on the What we offer page and use the drop down menu to find NLP Kids Practitioner Training. I am in the process of being accredited by the ANLP but I do offer a residential course lasting a week and based in my own home, if that suits you better than the 12 weekly Skype sessions.