BY BRIAN LAWRENCE
I Love Creston Editor
Children’s lives are often thought of as idyllic and fun, with few worries or cares, but the reality for some is far
“What I’ve noticed in the valley is that there is a lot of anxiety among kids — they’re anxious about anything,”
says Allia Schofer of Lotus Kids Coaching for Life.
Through her work with children, many of whom feel mentally abandoned and alone, Schofer helps them to develop ZEAL: a zesty, eager attitude for life.
“I work on inspiring kids to live inspired lives, and learn they have a voice,” she says. “I give coping tools that they can carry through life. … It’s giving them the power that nobody can manipulate their thoughts.”
Born and raised in the Creston Valley, Schofer was working as a care aide at Swan Valley Lodge when she decided it was time for a change.
“Someone brought life coaching to my attention,” she says. “They were going through a hard time and I was coaching them through that.”
Schofer was already interested in mental health —having spent a year in Ponoka, Alta., to become a psychiatric aide — and has always felt a connection to children. She learned that children were a demographic that often misses out on coaching, after discovering the Kids Life Studio, founded in England by Zelna Lauwrens, a child motivation specialist with a background as a teacher, counsellor and university lecturer.
“She realized that kids needed more coaching and tools for getting through life than they actually needed counselling,” says Schofer, who earned certification with Kids Life Studio in December.
“It has been proven that building resilience, emotional intelligence, positivity, confidence and social skills are the keys to being able to cope with life,” says the Kids Life Studio website.
Schofer encourages that development through a variety of methods, including positive thought cards, which give children a phrase to repeat each morning and evening, and helping children recognize BUGs, or big ugly grumpies, and ANTs, automatic negative thoughts.
“Everything I do is tailored to the kid,” she says. “We’re looking at getting through now. I don’t start in the past. I focus on this point. We work on the root of what happens now, and that feeds all the other angles.”
Perhaps as important, she can relate her own childhood struggles with anxiety.
“It’s hard for some people because they don’t get it,” she says. “I can empathize completely with kids dealing with that. I get why they don’t want to be at school. I get why they don’t communicate with their teachers. …
“They also need to learn to say to their parents, ‘I need some downtime.’ If they can share with their parents or
guardian what their needs are, they can figure out how to fix it.”
During her training with Kids Life Studio, Schofer worked with several Creston Valley children, and was pleased to see the results.
One parent brought her a child with anger issues, which often resulted in the child hitting a sibling. After working with Schofer, the child developed coping tools and the mother learned when she needed to watch situations more closely. The mother was thrilled one day to see the child take a deep breath and walk away.
“One learned what not to do, and the other learned that mom knows what’s going on,” says Schofer.
Another child was experiencing bullying on the school bus, so Schofer encouraged the child to kill them with kindness — and it worked.
“They said, ‘Somebody was mean to me and I turned around and said, “Your shirt’s kind of cool.” And they didn’t know what to do,’ ” she relates.
Those successes are just a couple of the rewards that Schofer has enjoyed since embarking on her new career. And she is sure there will be more to come.
“I really enjoy the connections I make with people and how we work well together,” she says. “When I start to click with them and they share with me, it’s exciting. That’s what I enjoy the most: growth, seeing changes and moving forward.”
•Learn more about Lotus Kids Coaching for Life on Facebook.