Specialising in Young Children and Teenagers
Shenel Shefik trained as a teacher and taught for thirteen years. Shenel focussed on wellbeing and mental health which she believes is the key ingredient in their achievements.
She currently teaches resilience to parents and teachers with Bounce Forward (national charity) and is the Master Trainer for Think Equal – a charity that specialise in social and emotional learning for 3-6 year olds.
She has recently set up her own business specialising in working with teenagers and also younger children and preschoolers.
She runs training sessions working with teenagers, schools and parents focussing on various strategies that may be needed in different situations.
Building Confidence in Teens and Children
Sessions for parents and teenagers can be booked online. You can book one-off workshops or
they can be ongoing for as long as you need.
Contact Shenel or visit her website for more information.
If you would like to enhance the emotional intelligence of the children of the next generation then get in touch to see how Shenel can work with you or your school.
What made you decide to specialise in children and teenagers?
My mum would say I was born a school teacher! My favourite game was playing schools and I started volunteering as a mentor from the age of 15. I’ve been a secondary school teacher for 13 years and more recently, a mum of a toddler and pre-schooler. Since I was 16, I have been studying Psychology and my specialism at degree level was child psychology. From studying how we learn in the womb, to how our brains change and develop as we grow, it has always been my fascination. Although I have been in the classroom for 13 years, my favourite part was applying positive psychology to improve the wellbeing of my pupils. I ran mental health awareness days and taught mindfulness in schools. Since having my own children, I have loved continuing my learning of psychology and found my passion in teaching resilience to teachers, parents and teenagers. I am just branching out to offer one-to-one parental support for young children, as I am determined to help those who are struggling with the more traditional methods of discipline. My aim is to guide them to a much more natural parenting approach based on neuroscience.
Do you think there is enough emotional support available to help young people get through their exams?
Emma, what a fab question! This to me, is the answer on how to get young people through exams! You could have the worst teacher of all times and still get an A* if you have the right emotional support in place (16+). We know that if a teenager has all the magic ingredients, of what we term, an independent learner, then they will be successful. An independent learner is a learner who has a high emotional IQ.
I break this down into three key areas for exam success;
- understanding their purpose – setting a vision and achievable goals,
- managing systems – effective time management and planning, and
- having a success mindset – positive attitude to setbacks.
This needs teaching. I wish schools put more time and energy into this area. Why don’t they? Teachers aren’t trained in these skills themselves so are unable to teach them. Teacher training does not teach teachers how to teach emotional intelligence, resilience and mindset. Unfortunately, the new science, which has only been around for about 20 years, hasn’t been conveyed into national teacher training programmes yet.
You also offer strategies for parents to manage toddler/preschool meltdowns. Do you offer home visits (when rules allow) so you can get an idea of what each child is like?
My work with parents aligns with the positive parenting approach that uses neuroscience to explain what is happening in the developing brain of a child and how to use this information to best support your child. Traditional methods of parenting that rely on using consequences to correct behaviour have been scientifically tested to be ineffective in the long-term. If we want to raise compassionate children, then we seek to build trust and respect by connecting with our children’s feelings, avoiding techniques such as blame and humiliation.
To best understand your needs, I start with a free 30 minute zoom conversation. From here, we work out a plan that best suits you and your family. There isn’t really a one size fits all approach to this. Some families may just require a one-off session with me, to go through a number of practical activities to do at home. Other families may require a deeper examination of the habitual patterns to see how we can break the cycle and build a more productive strategy.
Do you think it has been easier for young people to reach out and ask for support in recent years?
Yes and no. Yes, as schools and organisations have upped their game and provided more accessible ways to help youngsters.
No, as there is still such a taboo around mental health. Even the term mental health has negative connotations. Just pause and ask yourself, what’s the first word that comes to mind when you hear the word mental health?
It’s most likely to be something negative such as, depression, anxiety etc. However, the words ‘Mental Health’ mean the health of our mind. Until this changes and positive psychology (understanding how to make ‘normal’ people thrive) becomes the norm, young people will feel embarrassed and ashamed to ask for support.