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What is the history of life coaching for children?

Uncategorized Dec 04, 2023

As we end off 2023, I am so pleased that Kids Life Coaching continues to grow legs and pick up momentum. There seems to be an "army" of children's change makers taking strides to support children to deal with our complex modern world! This year was especially busy with lots of new service providers mushrooming which is testimony to the fact that there is no doubt a need for child orientated coaching services. 

As always, I love to reflect on my accomplishments as the year closes off and for me, the biggest one is upgrading our Kids Life Coach training this year to a Diploma and working on and launching our new Level 1 Introduction to Kids Life Coaching course! Alongside this, I continue researching play based coaching in the psychiatry department at Oxford University. Another highlight is Kids Life Studio® being selected as a member of the Global Accreditation Council, and after attending the 75th anniversary of the World Federation of Mental Health in Geneva, Switzerland - I feel satisfied that Kids Life Studio® is still leading the way in the kids life coaching space. 

So I decided to write this blog to help you if you have been trying to make up your mind on your best pathway to becoming a Kids Life Coach!  Knowing who to choose a service provider, how to choose a service provider and ensuring you get the best from a service provider is at the core of this blog.

Our team wanted to make it easy for you to access, compare and understand the different options available to you so our they created a time line (with ongoing monitoring) that show cases the development of kids life coaching since 2000. This will allow you to see trends, notice similarities and differences and be informed about what constitutes best practices. 

Time line of the development of Kids Life Coaching:

2000 - Relax Kids was started in 2000 by Marneta Viegas with a focus on stress reduction books and CD's for children. Previous to setting up Relax Kids, Marneta had run a successful business children's entertainer for nearly a decade, performing in a variety of prestigious events.

2003 - Zelna Lauwrens, school counsellor and special needs teacher, launches her first personal Kids Life Coaching space in Durban, South Africa, actively coaching and reaching children in groups and individually. 

2004 - Motivational speaker and author, Naomi Richardson launches life coaching practice for children as the first kids life coach in the UK. 

2005 - Marneta Viegas and her Relax Kids books and CD's were featured on Dragons’ Den in 2005 and although it did not get funding, has since gone on to train a tribe of over 5,000 dedicated coaches running relaxation classes in over 48 countries with her interactive weekend training courses.

2007 - Gemma Bailey and Kay Gill created the NLP for Kids Coaching Programme.

2009 - Kids Life Studio® expands its reach with founder, Zelna offering face to face training to professionals to replicate the coaching system throughout South Africa with 24 independent franchised locations in the country showing proof of concept of tailor-made coaching for children. 

2009 - Kay Gill and Gemma Bailey from NLP4Kids ended their working relationship and Gemma then set up a licensing programme enabling others to learn the techniques she had been using whilst simultaneously providing support and education around marketing their businesses effectively. 

2013 - Renaye Thornborrow, retired corporate marketing executive and parent publishes stories she told her own children and launches Adventures in Wisdom to train professionals to coach children with 18 - 24 hours of study required. 

2013 - Herman Stewart founded Every Child Needs a Mentor as a pioneering, award-winning mentor, an author, speaker, strategist, volunteer and a passionate campaigner for young people. Using mentoring, training and inspirational speaking and resources to improve the well-being of children, parents, and staff in schools.

2014 - Kids Life Studio® expands its reach globally to over 45 countries with online adult learning through the Kids Life Studio® Coach Academy School. The first organisation to offer fully mentored and supported training including professional supervision with 100 - 200 hours of study required over a minimum of 3 months.

2014 - Nikki Giant, founder and Managing Director of social enterprise, Full Circle Education Solutions, publishes first manual on Life Coaching for Children based on modified adult coaching techniques.  

2014 - Adult coach Vikas Malkani launches Soul Kids Singapore offering life skills coaching for children licences throughout Asia and now in other countries. 

2014 - Hugo Shepard founded Role Models with a degree in Psychology and a background in consultancy offering life coaching services with an emphasis on character education, online for children. 

2016 - Alexandra Eidens founded Big Life Journal, an award-winning company that helps children, teens, and adults grow their confidence and a growth mindset through journals, worksheets and resources used by parents and teachers.

2017 - Anette Du Bois, founder of Champs Academy launches franchise options for life coaches which has now ceased trade. She continues to practice independently as a life coach for adults and children. 

2017 - Happy Confident Kids founders, Laura Dumbleton-Jones and Miranda de Freston launch their organisation as Master NLP Trainers. 

2018 - Adult life coach Lata Singh Dasila with 18+ years of IT Industry experience founded MEQ Academy,  training kids life coaches and parent life coaches at low entry costs in India and now expanded to other developing countries. 

2021 - Renee Jain launches Go Zen as an award-winning tech entrepreneur turned speaker and certified life coach with a Masters Degree in Positive Psychology. Recognized as a pioneer in marrying technology and child psychology she sells licence options to support children.

2022 - Sara Temple publishes her Mindful Emotion Coaching manuals and launches her training school targeting social workers and teachers in the UK. 

 2023 - Happy Confident Kids founders, Laura Dumbleton-Jones and Miranda de Freston launch their kids life coach training division along with a product development Company. 

2023 - Hypnotherapist Javier Orti founded Helping Kids Academy, offering kids life coach training short courses with CPD accreditation. 

2023 - Bronwyn Bergen launches Stars Kids Life Coaches offering certification courses specialising in mindset coaching. She transitioned into this role as a previously accredited Kids Life Studio® Coach being mentored by Zelna for four years from 2018 - 2022. 

As you can see, through this time line, kids life coaching is no longer "new" and is fast becoming mainstream. Our intention at Kids Life Studio® is staying ahead of the curve with ethical practices that have the child at the centre of our outcomes. Whilst we pivoted in 2020 to online coaching, our emphasis is still on face to face quality relationships that offer children the social support, mentorship, guidance and skills so desperately needed in our ever demanding world.  

Want to ask us any questions, fill out a statement of interest and set up time to speak! Wishing you a happy fruitful adventure as you choose the right service provider for your kids life coach training in 2024 and beyond. Remember above all, put the child first! This means ethical and sustainable coaching practices with ongoing professional supervision and mentorship. We look forward to supporting you in this journey!

Happy New Year!!! 

Regards with Zeal,


Kids Life Studio® Founder 


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