Flying Start – Coaching your children for life by Emma Sargent

Book Review by Wanda Gibson

This is book aimed at parents and teachers. It is written by a Life Coach who has discovered that the techniques she uses with her adult clients work equally well on children. At this point it is worth giving a brief definition and history of neuro-linguistic programming.

Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is a set of techniques, axioms and beliefs that adherents use primarily as an approach to personal development. NLP was influenced by the ideas of the New Age era as well as beliefs in human potential.

The initial ideas of NLP were developed around 1973 by Richard Bandler, a student, and John Grinder, a professor of linguistics, in association with the social scientist Gregory Bateson, in America.

The term neuro-linguistic programming denotes a set of models and principles meant to explore how mind and neurology (neuro), language patterns (linguistic), and the organization of human perception and cognition into systemic patterns (programming) interact to create subjective reality and human behaviours.

Anyone who has watched life-coaching programmes on television or seen Paul McKenna go through his techniques for assisting people to stop smoking, to lose weight and so on, have witnessed NLP in action. Although it has been around since the 70s in this country, it is now big business.

Emma Sargent offers insights into how to help children become successful and confident as well as support them whilst they deal with the difficulties which life throws their way.

What I liked about it was her personal enthusiasm and almost naïve joy that it worked for her and the people she offered it to. It is easy to read and not difficult to understand. She gives many examples of successful strategies and the book has a self-help feel to it. There are numerous diagrams which might enable individuals managing dyslexia to read without too much difficulty. There are summaries at the end of some chapters and flow charts to ease understanding.

It gives advice and guidance for parents striving to manage their own and their child’s behaviour within appropriate boundaries. For readers who want some high energy, positive approaches, this book will be ideal.

For those from a more traditional background, the book offers nothing new. It just comes in a different package. Behaviour techniques have been around for ever. Those of a cynical nature will be waiting to see the bubble burst on these new crowd-pleasing tools. They have produced a whole raft of publicity and media hype.

Good for Emma Sargent. If these strategies and throught processes enable some parents to feel more in control and competent, then it can only be viewed as a positive. Well done.

Sargent, E (2006) Flying Start – Coaching your children for life
Marshall Cavendish
ISBN number : 1-904879-67-5
Price: £9.99

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