Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between coaching and counseling?
Person-centered counseling and life coaching both aim to support the growth of the whole person. Counseling, however, is a largely non-directive form of support, where the client leads the session, sets their own agenda, and tells their story and history. A counselor offers therapeutic support through listening and reflection-- not giving advice. The focus of counseling is often on the client's past -- exploring underlying issues and the roots of current problems.
"One of the main aspects of life coaching that differentiates it from humanistic counseling or other forms of therapy is the practical support provided by the coach to empower clients to find their own way forward. With the skills clients have learned or the knowledge they have gained from working in cooperation with their coach, they are empowered and equipped to move forward, no longer needing the support of the coach, and being able to apply the same techniques and perspectives to future problems."
--excerpt from Life Coaching for Kids: A Practical Manual to Coach Children and Young People to Success, Well-being and Fulfillment by Nikki Giant, 2014.
Northwest Kids Life Coaching includes a teaching, modeling and/or advice element, and is goal-oriented.
How is coaching different from tutoring?
Tutors typically specialize in a certain academic subject area, such as math or reading. Some tutors have advanced degrees in their field, and some do not. Tutoring is helpful when a student needs additional help outside of their regular school day with an area of concern, often identified by the child's teacher.
Northwest Kids Life Coaching certainly can support clients with specific academic subjects, but the support looks different from a tutoring session.
Life coaches help people to:
set realistic goals
create steps towards those goals
create a space or an environment in which change can occur
look for feedback and measure progress
build self-awareness, self-belief, and resilience
focus on their potential and the future
create their own toolkit of resources and strategies to use at any time
Ms. Chow earned her Master in Teaching degree from Seattle University in 2001, has been a National Board Certified Teacher since 2008, and has 20 years of elementary classroom teaching experience. She has also provided tutoring for kindergartners through middle schoolers in both public and private schools. So, if academic help is what you're looking for, Ms. Chow definitely has the expertise to help your child succeed. However, her life coaching services will also address students' emotional needs, developing growth mindset and resilience.
What age group do you work with?
A quick Internet search will show that the Seattle area has a few life coaches who focus on teen issues and high school academic assistance, including preparing for college applications. However, there are not many options when it comes to life coaching for younger children.
Northwest Kids Life Coaching aims to build the social and emotional intelligence of young people BEFORE those tricky adolescent years. Our typical client is 7-12 years old.
We want to help children:
understand themselves better, including their triggers to negative emotions
build relationships with others
manage difficult situations and emotions
set and obtain goals
improve self-esteem and self-confidence
build resilience and coping mechanisms
Wouldn't it be great if all children had these skills before their teenage years?
If your child is outside of the 7-12-year-old range, but you feel like they could benefit from working with Ms. Chow, please fill out the form on our Connect page so that we can discuss your family's needs. We'd love to make it work.
Can parents sit in on the coaching session?
The short answer is "Yes." As a parent, that is your right.
Having said that, much of the success of our work together is dependent on a strong connection between the coach (Ms. Chow) and client (your child). The presence of a parent will inevitably affect that dynamic. Children often act differently when their parent is around. They may be less likely to take risks, for example, if they have grown used to looking to their parents for answers, praise, or encouragement. Life coaching is about empowering kids to believe that they can make those changes themselves. So, our strong preference is for parents to not be present during coaching sessions.
Following each coaching session, Ms. Chow will provide parents with a written summary of the work we did, share successes, and outline the short "homework" task that should be completed prior to the next week's session. This summary will be sent via email within 24 hours. Parents may also schedule 5-10 minute phone chats to follow up on session content or discuss pressing needs once per week.
Do you meet in-person or online?
In-person sessions are available within Seattle and Mercer Island city limits. All other clients, can request virtual coaching sessions, which are done on the Zoom conferencing platform using a secure link.
Northwest Kids Life Coaching does not have a "brick & mortar" office building. We can meet in-person at the client's home, or at a public location agreed upon by coach and client, such as your neighborhood library or community center.
Do you offer group sessions?
For Summer 2023, we have a half-day summer day camp / week-long workshop series called, "Middle School Success" for students entering 6th or 7th grade in the Fall. We will focus on developing the social-emotional and organizational skills required for thriving confidently as a middle schooler. Read more and register here.
We are very excited about our plans to offer additional group sessions for children in the near future!
We plan to offer special topics such as:
Kid entrepreneurs and starting/running a club or small business
Service Learning Projects (organizing volunteer opportunities to make the world a better place)
Conversations about racial identity and inequity
Also, we'd love to hear your suggestions on a specific topic that you are interested in having facilitated by Ms. Chow for your child and up to five friends, over the course of 4-6 weeks. Please send an email to: email@example.com
Do you accept insurance?
We do not take insurance.
Check with your employer's eligibility policies for reimbursement through a Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flexible Spending Account (FSA).
Additional note about cost: Our rates are competitive for the Seattle market and reflect the value of expertise and scope of services provided. Life coaching for your child is an investment.
We do offer a limited number of spots for clients who would benefit from rates on a sliding scale. Please don't hesitate to reach out so that we can determine whether we can offer a rate affordable for your family.
Do you offer sibling discounts?
Yes! After setting up a coaching package for one child, you may register an additional child for their own individual sessions at a special 20% off rate regardless of the focus of coaching services (for packages of equal or lesser value). For example, if your first child signs up for "The Power of Yet" 8-week package (full price: $1200), your second child can register for "The Power of Yet" for $960. Or, if your 2nd child needs coaching around academics, you can register them for "Skills for School" at a discounted rate of $720 for 6 weeks, or the "Organize Your Life" 4-week package at a discounted rate of $480 for 6 weeks.