The Child Wellbeing Spectrum

One of the challenges of being a Family Coach is seeing parents asking themselves ‘WHY’ something has gone wrong.

WHY is my child suffering from anxiety?

WHY is my child having trouble communicating?

WHY does my child shout uncontrollably at us?

The answer is that there’s always a reason, but it may not be obvious.


Imagine the situation;

There’s a young girl who’s a bit of a loner but is good at singing. She made some recordings in her bedroom and put them ‘out there’. The response was favourable and, gradually, she acquired a whole new online persona – all from her bedroom.

She heard about a singing competition and said she wanted to enter. Her parents were delighted she’d found something she wanted to do. It was in Europe, so to get there was a stretch financially but they booked flights and everybody got excited.

But in the morning they were due to go, their daughter screamed at them that she didn’t want to do the competition and wouldn’t go!

If you were that parent, you’d ask yourself WHY? Was it something you did – perhaps you ran before she could walk? Does she not know about commitment and the importance of doing what you say you’re going to do? Has she got mental health problems? Do we need to worry?

It’s a question of isolating the root cause of the problem. I would want to look at whether her online persona had created a personality that she couldn’t live up to in real life. If so, building up her self-esteem to a point where she could be comfortable in the real world would be a first step to a new future.


So, for scenarios like the one above, I’ve put together a ‘Child Spectrum Sheet’ to help my clients make better choices on what to do.

The Child Wellbeing Spectrum looks at where the trouble is coming from, and whether it’s ‘external’ or ‘internal’. It is divided into 3 columns.

  • Column 1 is all External. In other words, there are specific people or conditions that are being blamed. These children tend to be noisy in their protest.
  • Column 2 is External and Internal. Yes, there are specific people or conditions but now they’re not just cross about it, they feel bad inside and it’s affecting their self-esteem.
  • Column 3 is an Internalised overload of pressure on the child. It no longer relies on an external source, they’re overwhelmed.

If you think you’d find this useful, then click here to get a download of the Child Wellbeing Spectrum.

If you have any questions, drop me an email at

Best wishes


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