Translating teens: whatever they show you on the surface is often very different to what’s going on inside

Half term saw several local Super Kids come together at Weybridge Hall for a day of full of fun, discovery, creativity and learning.  The venue was specifically chosen for its old fashioned quaintness and sense of community.  I love the energy of the old place; as if the walls have stories to tell.  Steeped in history, it was once a cinema and was on the brink of being torn down before being rescued by by PR Mogul, Max Clifford for a well-deserved make over.

For my first workshop outside of a school system, I was thrilled!

6 kids turned up in response to my local ad.  We were blessed with a glorious day – the sun was with us as we worked away munching on choc chip brioche, cookies and glugging juice.  I did wondered if a venue with more light and some fresh air would have suited them better?  Maybe the parents would have also liked somewhere with on-site parking?  It’s was all a learning curve.

Don’t be fooled by the face, the disinterest or the lack of enthusiasm

The morning session was 3 hours for 8-11 year olds and later in the afternoon, I managed to entice the 12-15 year olds.  I personally think they love it and get a lot more out of it than they would ever admit. Working with teens, I’ve learnt that it’s just not cool to be overly keen, interested or openly smile at something you like.  Smiling is not trendy and besides, pouting wins you more friends and acceptance from your peers!!

I was consistently met with the same response when I first started this job

It reminded me of last Summer when I first started Coaching Club at Great Marlow School.  The lights are on but nobody’s home.  Zoned out and almost certainly did not want to be there,  and yet, quite oddly the same kids showed up consistently for 10 weeks (sometimes without a reminder), took part, made friends and gave some very positive and kind feedback.

By contrast, the younger group burst into the room smiling and bubbly.  They immediately took charge helping themselves to crafts, paper and scissors to eagerly get to work.

Oh how hormones and self-consciousness render teens speechless and expressionless

So we found other ways to help them express themselves.  Check out and admire the creative masterpieces for yourself!  I think you’ll agree that they produced some pretty impressive posters.  It wasn’t obvious to them all at first, which of course is the point.  It is harder to notice the good things about life and easier to moan about what is right.


Can you instantly recall what you love most about your life?

It’s a great way to check in with your life and love it just as it is.  Not just for the kids!  We completed questionnaires that prompted response to what they would do if they were king for a day or if they had one wish or who they enjoyed spending their time with.  Their favourite film, book, meal, hobby and so on.

It was a full on day that created awareness, mindfulness & laughter

We also played games to test our decision-making skills, learnt how a trick to make us powerful and strong, recognised that positive thinking made us stronger (mentally as well as physically) and identified what qualities we valued.  The younger group even re-wrote the lyrics to Lady Gaga’s Poker Face. Genius!

‘I wanted to let you know that my boys loved the time they spent with you and they loved you! They really enjoyed creating their ‘happy’ posters and have stuck them up in their rooms.  I think they got a real sense of pride and achievement from the activities you led them through.  In fact, they enjoyed it so much they want to come on another one (they usually resist any holiday activities) so that’s got to be a huge thumbs up! Thanks again’

Super Kids will be back in the summer holidays at The Medicine Garden, Cobham.

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