Confident Kids & Teens Program FAQ’s

How do I explain to my child about joining the Confident Kids or Teens group?

You could say something like: “I/we think it would be a really positive and helpful thing for you to join the Confident Kids or Teens group. Larne teaches a small group of kids how to build confidence and feel brave”.  Some other ideas include –

  • Learn ways to deal with bullying
  • Improve your confidence
  • Learn ways to deal with worries and fears
  • Figure out how to make new friends
  • Feel less depressed or anxious
  • Learn to manage anger and frustration
  • Improve your grades at school
What if my child/teen does not want to join the group?

Sometimes children and teens are reluctant to join a group. They are often concerned about participating with other children they don’t know. Some children are anxious about the unknown and what the group involves. We find that after the first session, concerns or worries have been replaced with a positive attitude towards the group.

What is the Confident Kids and Teens group program about?

The Confident Kids program is an early intervention program for children and teens. The focus is on well-being, emotional health and helping kids understand the way their minds work. Confident Kids fosters children’s problem-solving ability, goal setting and social behaviours.

The Confident Kids and Teens program incorporates 35 learning objectives into fun and engaging activities to help kids and teens develop 5 core social and emotional competencies including self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills. Teaching strategies and techniques are drawn from the well-researched theory and practice of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Mindfulness practice.

How is the Confident Kids and Teens program structured?

The Confident Kids and Teens Program is delivered in a developmentally appropriate manner across three levels:- Level 1: 5 – 7yrs Level 2: 8 -11yrs Level 3: 11+ yrs

Each session consists of three parts:

  1. Review of the previous week and home practice activities.
  2. Games and activities that promote each week’s learning objective.
  3. Mindful awareness practice.

Sessions are designed to be interesting and enjoyable for children but also to challenge them. Each session includes lots of fun activities such as role play to practice new skills, group circle time, music, games and activity sheets. There is frequent praise and helpful feedback from the facilitator and other group members about each child’s behavior.

What are the benefits of the Confident Kids and Teens program?

For your child

  1. Opportunity to reach their potential academically, socially and emotionally.
  2. Ability to relax and calm down.
  3. Improved self-esteem and confidence.
  4. More mental strength.
  5. Awareness of helpful and unhelpful thought habits.
  6. Improved social skills.

At School

  1. Improved concentration and motivation in the classroom.
  2. Greater resilience and willingness to give things a go.
  3. Better planning and organisation skills.
  4. Working co-operatively.
  5. Improved understanding of group dynamics.

For Parents

  1. Healthy, successful relationships with children who can relate to you.
  2. Feel calmer and more positive about your parenting.
  3. Happier, more confident children.
  4. New information, insights, strategies and perspectives.
  5. Become the parent you want to be.
  6. Learn skills that increase understanding, love and respect.
What are the advantages of group participation?
  1. The group facilitator maintains a positive, encouraging atmosphere
  2. The group becomes a safe place to communicate and explore issues with other kids away from the judgments of their school peer groups
  3. Sharing with similar age children with a facilitator allows building of skills in a safe environment.
  4. Often just having peers who can relate to their experience, allows the child to more quickly grow out of it.
How is the Confident Kids and Teens program different from other programs?

The Confident Kids and Teens program differs from other programs in that it is tailored to the unique needs of each child rather than a one size fits all model, groups are kept purposefully small to ensure lots of individual attention for each child, is an evidence-based program incorporating the latest research findings and the program consistently delivers results so that kids and teens learn to succeed…

How will I know if my child is making progress in the group?

Kids and teens progress through the program in many ways. There is no magic wand to change behaviour instantly and it’s important that your expectations about your child’s progress are realistic. You may notice a subtle difference in their mood, there may be a decrease in the frequency and intensity of the behaviours or symptoms that you were concerned about, or they may try something they had previously been afraid to try. As each child is different the ways in which they make progress will also be different.

What if issues or situations arise for my child during the program. Should I bring these up?

Yes, it’s really important to let me know by email or before the group commences if there is an issue that you would like some help with or that you think needs to be discussed. Sometimes the children are not comfortable bringing up these things so if you can let me know I can address it.

How will I be involved in my child/teen’s learning?

Research suggests that the outcomes of social and emotional resiliency programs, such as Confident Kids, are limited without the involvement of a child’s major social support, their family. Therefore, it is essential that parents are involved to ensure home activities are completed and key skills are practiced at home after each session.

Parents are involved in the program in the following ways:

  1. Weekly summary sheets in your child’s folder provide an overview of the session and highlight which skills to practice that week.
  2. Weekly home activity sheets for kids to discuss with parents what they have learned.
  3. Email support in between sessions to discuss any concerns or issues that arise.
  4. Individual sessions* can be arranged in addition to participation in the group. These sessions are helpful in addressing issues outside the group (for example, experiencing a loss or family problems) or when a child seems depressed or anxious. Some issues are too large or not relevant enough to the group work to be dealt with in a group setting. *Additional cost
Can you recommend any books for parents?

Yes, here are a few books addressing a range of issues.

Handbook of Interventions That Work with Children and Adolescents: Prevention and Treatment. Edited by Paula M. Barrett and Thomas H. Ollendick Blame my Brain – The Amazing Teenage Brain by Nicola Morgan Toxic Childhood by Sue Palmer Parenting from the Inside Out by Daniel Siegel Raising and emotionally intelligent child by John Gottman He’ll be ok – growing gorgeous boys into good men by Celia Lashlie The Princess Bitchface Syndrome by Michael Carr-Gregg Tough Boris by Mem Fox Handbook of Resilience in Children by Sam Goldstein and Robert B. Brooks