Inspired Learning, Marbella
by Andrea Robson
Building stronger relationships and enabling self-esteem
Life on the Costa del Sol can be wonderful – we have the weather, the beach and the opportunity for a great lifestyle.
Behind the façade of “Marbs”, however is a slightly more complex picture; an ex-pat though transient lifestyle, missing being part of a close knit community or near family, and seeking real friendships but not sure where to start.
If either you or your children need someone to help solve a few problems, or even prevent issues becoming problems, who can you turn to? You might talk to other parents who are perhaps in a similar position. You could turn to your spouse or partner, but perhaps they travel with work. You’re a person too, as well as being a parent, so while you’re busy organising everything for everyone else, who’s supporting you?
As for your children, what do you worry about?
• Self esteem?
• Peer pressure?
• Attitude at school, or home, or with siblings?
• Cultural differences at school?
• Clashes with the school over academic or social expectations?
And finally, your children – what do they worry about? Friendships?
• Academic pressure?
• Cultural differences?
So before the blue skies of Marbella start to really cloud over, let’s focus on the positive - there is actually help at hand.
I’ve worked with children and families for my whole career – as a qualified teacher in the UK and since 2004, internationally. I have been Head of School in the Netherlands for 4 years, and now as a Certified and Accredited Coach (ACC) here in Spain.
As one of the mums I’m working with said, “Yeah, Andrea, but coaching comes with baggage here on the Costa – and no one really gets what it is.”
In a nutshell, there are lots of reasons people choose a Coach – and all because they want to make a positive change and need a bit of support to do it.
As one of my 8 year old clients here in Spain said when I asked him how to explain what Coaching is, “It’s having someone to listen to you talk; it helps you improve and solve things you don’t really like. It helps get you unstuck.
Say I have a problem making friends, which I don’t anymore, I talk to you about it, then I come up with lots of things I can do to solve it. I choose the best one, I go away and do it and then we talk next week about how it went.”
When I asked him what it was like being Coached, he said, “It’s like being the director of the film of your life. You get to edit out all the bits you don’t like and only live the bits you want to.”
What he is saying is that in Coaching we set goals or targets, we talk about what is going on with that situation and then we look at how you really want it to be. What my clients do, child or adult, is then come up with lots of ways to solve it, choose the right approach for them and then put the plan in place.
Coaching is all about forward thinking and focussing on the future –not dwelling on the past.
So, what else is Coaching not: it’s not counselling, psychiatry, mentoring or psychotherapy. Like all support professions, it is nothing to be ashamed of. It is a positive and proactive way to move forward – or to get unstuck and achieve the things you or your children want to achieve.
In this way, a Coach is a completely neutral third party, who is non-judgemental, and who will simply ask questions to support you in solving the problem and achieving what you want to achieve.
One mum emailed me her feedback after I worked with her children:
“I wanted to write to you to thank you from the bottom of my heart, for all the help you gave to my daughter in raising her confidence, which, as we all know, is the key to a happy and successful life. You are so patient, calm, eloquent and positive, which permeates from your very being.
Your positive aura is infectious, leaving the energy in my home much calmer and happier which in turn instils itself within my children..... Just brilliant!! My twin boys adore chatting with you.. Which helps me to understand their feelings, and behaviour.... Plus you leave them feeling valued and important! I can't thank you enough for helping my children to 'open up' .....to unlock their potential.... Which has really helped us all as a family! You are a truly 'gifted' teacher, the children (and parents) absolutely adore you! I feel so blessed to have been able to have you as a Coach for my children.
Thank you so much once again!”
One last note on the Coach side – as a Certified and accredited Coach, I am regulated by the International Coach Federation and I’m in their database.
So what do my clients come to talk to me about?
My adult clients have come to me to talk about things like wanting to stop biting their nails, be more organised, overcome a fear of public speaking, to stop being so rushed and busy all the time, worries about how to support their teenager through exam time, and relationships and communication with their children.
With children, it includes wanting some support with making friends, toxic friendships, or getting along with their siblings better. I’ve found that taking responsibility and self-esteem has come up often with children too.
So, where does it take place?
Well, I can come to your house or, as needed, over Skype if timings are tricky. I also Coach from home. As a qualified teacher and former Head of School who is a Certified Coach with 20 years of working with children and parents, I’ve chosen to work particularly with children because of my teaching career. In summary then, I’m a teacher and a Coach who works with children and adults to support them in solving problems and achieving goals. I’d love to support you in getting rid of some of the problems that put clouds in the beautiful blue sky, here on the Costa.
Address: La Cala de Mijas
Tel: +34 634 862 484
Blog: My kids are driving me mad