Hi, I’m Kristen…
About my work
I use strengths-based coaching to help build kids’ self-esteem. Because believing in yourself changes everything.
And teens have so much to believe in!
For one thing, each of them has natural strengths of character – like curiosity, creativity, humor, kindness, social intelligence, bravery and 18 others – that make them valuable, unique and an asset to humanity.
• Learning that they have these strengths is an eye-opening first step toward building confidence and self-esteem, but when kids learn how to appreciate and leverage these strengths, the results can be positively life-changing.
• Learning that everyone has a different blend of top character strengths can help them understand that being different truly is okay, and can even help them understand other people better.
For another thing, teens are the way they are for some really cool reasons. Their curiosity, independence, risk-taking and emotional volatility – dictated by changes in their adolescent brains – are nature’s way of ensuring the next generation moves on in its own way. Thousands of years ago they would literally have moved on: leaving home, exploring new places and mixing up the gene pool, all of which helped our species survive.
Today’s teens still have the same urges, but we grown-ups (parents, teachers, society) now want to keep them safe, at home and in school, which can be incredibly frustrating for them.
The ultimate goal of my work is to help children grow into the positive, empowered and confident people they need to be to help the world and its people survive and thrive. All I need is a few hundred million strengths-focused parents to help make this dream come true.
Right now, I’m a certified family and positive psychology coach helping make the above dream come true.
I’m also a mom to my beloved Max and Sarah, currently in ‘late adolescence’ (22 and 19), and married to Charles, the charming South African who proposed to me eight days after we met, almost 26 years ago. I live in the mountains west of Boulder, Colorado, and generally can’t believe my incredible good fortune.
Previously, in no particular order, I have been an insecure teenager who went to seven schools before graduating from high school, a daughter and sister, resident of South Africa for 15 years, singer in a band and multiple choirs, Women’s March participant, origami-loving child living on an Air Force base in Japan, history and political science buff, journalism major, lover of jigsaw puzzles and the New York Times crossword, reluctant social media participant, crazy-mad fan of Hamilton and Dear Evan Hanson, aspiring doodler and bullet journaler, INFP, counter-type Enneagram 2, fortunate survivor of very early breast cancer, former award-winning corporate communications writer and manager… and other things that’ll come up in my blog eventually.
If you’re still reading and like to know these things, I have the following coaching qualifications:
• Certified Positive Psychology Coach (times two, actually – I completed different programs because I adore the strengths-based framework)
• Certified International Trainer in Strengths-Based Educational Practices
• Certified Family Coach
• Advanced Certified Enneagram Coach
• Certified Life Coach
• I am also level-one certified in Aikido and Reiki; I believe our bodies have such wisdom and healing power