Business Name and what it does:
Infinite Kids is an online business focused on kids.
Teaching social and emotional intelligence skills through online workshops to children across the UK and South Africa.
The goal of these workshops being, to lay the foundations for positive mental well-being, whether the children are at school or being home educated.
The workshops are designed to help them internalise skills that allow them to rewire, learn and strengthen important connections in their brains!
Founder’s/Owner’s story and what motivated them to start the business:
Infinite Kids has two founding members, Debbie McCrystal (Debs) and Carol Barber (CJ).
Debs is based in S.A and is a mom of 2 teens (boy and girl). Her background is in psychology, and teaching with almost 2 decades of experience working in Private Schools and with impoverished, mainstream and special needs schools.
Debbie Carol She studied adult life coaching, however the more she read the more she felt driven to the realization that the ideal would be to create a world where children are given the tools, from a young age and grow to become conscious, self-loving, authentic beings who have enough self-confidence and self-respect to stand up for themselves and strive for what they want because they know they truly deserve it.
Her dream is to create a world of conscious balanced little humans who humbly but boldly embrace life, alongside the fabulous CJ.
In conjunction with ‘Infinite Kids’, Debbie has ‘Conscious Kids’ Life Coaching which focuses on teaching kids aged 4yrs – 14yrs,through one – to one, groups and presentations, the tools to live a resilient life. You can find out more at www.consciouskids.co.za
CJ is based in the UK and is also a mum of 2 teens (both girls). Her background is in Marketing, Nutrition and Coaching Kids in Martial Arts.
CJ is passionate about helping children develop a greater understanding of how their thoughts and feelings affect their actions, so that they can feel empowered to become leaders of their own lives and at the same time, be there to support parents who need it.
Her dream is to help children lead happy, strong and healthy lives alongside the fabulous Debs! CJ also has her own Kids Life Coaching business called ‘Teen Spirit Coaching’ where she focuses on helping preteens and teens in a workshop environment or on a one to one basis, develop their social and emotional skills so that they can become more resilient and confident in all aspects of their lives. You can find out more at www.teenspiritcoaching.co.uk
Both ladies studied together and throughout their studies they forged a friendship, through their joint passion and motivation to help children manage their social and emotional well being. This led to the unveiling of their joint business venture.
Both ladies run their own Private practices, coaching children on a one-to-one basis, but they knew that in order to reach more children, they needed to join forces and create an online opportunity for kids to take part in workshops, they may otherwise not be able to attend.
The challenges the business/market is facing:
Child development is not a straightforward process. We are living in an ever changing world, which can be highly detrimental to their mental well being if they do not have the social and emotional tools to deal with daily challenges. Peer pressure, school, family dynamics and the big emotions that come with simply ‘growing up’ can all throw our kids off track and affect their confidence and self-esteem negatively.
Mental health is a huge challenge in both South Africa and the UK with 1 in 5 children suffering from a mental health issue and alarming rates of self-harm and suicide being reported. Covid-19 had a profound impact on the lives of our children and the effects of this are really starting to take effect. Tied with the fact that the current systems in place are too overwhelmed to deal with these problems:
“In 2021/2022 NHS England spent 15 billion pounds on mental health.
Less than 7% was spent on children’s mental health services – whilst under 18’s make up around 20% of the population – BBC Panorama Documentary, 2022”
The opportunities the business/market is facing
Kids Life Coaching is by no means a replacement for therapy but it is a preventative course of action as well as a dovetail to therapy, which could assist in alleviating the pressure put on schools, counsellors and therapists.
Across both countries children are dealing with anxiety, mild depression, anger management issues, detachment issues, ADHD, Autism and many more mental health related issues.
On top of that there are the daily struggles life brings such as playground bullying, divorce, body image issues, shame, guilt, disappointment, exam pressure, all of which take their toll on our children and cause them a great amount of distress, because they do not have the skills to deal with them.
All of these issues are real life concerns that when not dealt with, can become uncontrollable. Life Coaching teaches children the tools to overcome these obstacles, by understanding the power they have within themselves.
Emotional Intelligence is a skill that needs to be taught and practised daily and unfortunately this is not a main priority in many mainstream schools as well as in the homes of children.
Statistics and exam grades take priority over the mental health and well being of students and parents are exhausted from working to keep up with the demands of society and don’t have the energy to focus on mental health.
Unfortunately in both scenarios, the end result is having to “pick up the pieces”.
Children can’t learn when they are emotionally struggling and home life falls apart when children aren’t coping. We as a society know these facts all too well, but not enough is being done to prevent these scenarios from occurring.
A child that cannot manage their emotions will ultimately look for unhealthy coping mechanisms later on in life which could include drinking, drug taking, promiscuity or risk taking behaviour.
More Parents need to start recognising that there is a huge need for preventative assistance and that they need to embrace it in order to help their child in ways that were never available to them.
It’s also important parents change their frame of reference that was based on their own upbringing and the mindset story of; ‘boys don’t cry’, “feelings don’t matter” ‘work hard’, ‘chin up’ and ‘tablespoon of cement”, are narratives that are archaic and untrue. Especially if we want our children to be successful in all areas of their lives, and by successful we don’t only mean ‘financial’, which is another narrative that children are led to believe in!.
We need to create a new story, we need parents to model emotional intelligence, not be afraid to ask for help and be willing to be vulnerable in all situations.
That is where we change things and that is how we impact our kids, when we break the cycle, we will make enormous headway.
We are firm believers that prevention is better than cure, which is why we strongly believe that Kids Life Coaching is a must for all children, regardless of their situation, and it starts from as young as 4 years old.
Parents we are working with are asking;
“Why wasn’t there anything like this for us, when we were kids”,
After the coaching programme, the feedback is
“As far as I’m concerned the more kids that are able to access this the better.”
Together, CJ and Debbie have already worked with many children from all walks of life, with varied issues such as ADHD, Depression, Anxiety and Confidence issues and they have seen a huge shift in the child’s mindset. The coaching programme and workshops are based on a variety of established psychological theories, including CBT, NLP, Positive Psychology, Social Psychology, Emotional Intelligence and Life Coaching. Their programmes take complex cognitive concepts and present them in a concrete, comprehensive and interactive way, so that children from 4 yrs all the way to adulthood, understand how thinking affects behaviour.
Advice to others about business:
Our advice to business owners is, don’t be afraid to start and don’t be afraid to get it wrong, mistakes mean you are growing. If you have passion and belief in your idea and your business then you have the foundations to be the success that you desire. We also strongly advise you to have a plan! When starting a new business it can be very overwhelming, as there are so many things that need to be done and it can be very easy to fall into the habit of doing the ‘fun’ stuff and leaving the difficult stuff. Believe us, we know!
If you have a plan in place of what you need to do and by when, it will help keep you focussed and on track.
Entrepreneurship is fun but it can get lonely when times are tough so put up the big board, tick off the achievements, learn from the losses and celebrate all the wins!
Lessons learnt from running this business:
The biggest lesson we have learned so far is that you will never have everything ready so don’t hold off because you want everything to be perfect, as perfection doesn’t exist. It’s your drive, motivation and passion that will come through and that is what people need from you.
Teen Spirit Coaching
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