Backed by Naked Leader founder David Taylor, whose initial interest acted as a motivational tool, Alan has devoted his life to changing society by, in particular, empowering the younger generation.
Potential might be just a word to some. To Alan, the capability, the possibility, yes, the potential within every child is a spark, which must be ignited. It is too valuable to society to be cast aside into a tray marked ‘pending’.
Society needs bright minds
Ultimately, society needs bright minds – and parents want the best for their children from an early age. By nurturing what they enjoy their full – yes here’s that word again – potential and self-belief will start to show!
Simply, Alan has spent more than a decade foraging for new ideas and techniques with one aim. To unleash that magic ingredient in the young, make sure they have the opportunity to be the best they can possibly be.
So, is your child getting a fair deal? Are their voices heard? Their opinions sought? Their contributions embraced? Do you listen, really listen, to what they are saying? Are their feelings being acknowledged? Are you being authentic? You may have heard of the term Generation Y (Gen Y), these children are very sensitive and ‘feel’ their way of life; they can smell in-authenticity a mile off.
Children’s behaviour changes dramatically
Alan has a personal and innovative approach to teaching us all just how we could connect at a deeper level to what our children are feeling, doing and saying to us. ‘Labels’ like Autism, ADHD, learning difficulties fall away and children’s behaviour changes dramatically.
He says: ‘We now have a unique personal empowerment programme using advanced coaching and emotional literacy techniques, underpinned by Neuroscience. The main purpose is to create congruency – being comfortable in your own skin.
Is seven-years-old the new teenager?
Alan adds: ‘I believe most parents could benefit from our approach. Some children as young as seven (the new teenager) switch off to all adults, because they feel they are not listened to, valued or respected. They feel all their parents and teachers want to do is control or manipulate them for their own benefit.
Children turn to their peers for help, but they can’t help them with social or emotional challenges, so they drift away from their families influence. With low self-esteem they are vulnerable and exposed to all sorts of external opportunities that provide short term ‘fixes’.
‘Our programme is proven to transform families, empower children, save the state money and makes life easier for teachers. Our latest two-year project on behalf of the Big Lottery has been evaluated by Canterbury Christ Church University.
The Parent Champion programme
In their Executive Summary, it is noted: ‘Perhaps the most remarkable aspect is the description in many parents’ accounts of children being coached to use the approaches within the Parent Champion Programme for themselves.
‘At the most profound level, children have learnt to coach their parents and siblings, to step back from conflicting situations and to employ relaxation techniques both regularly and to calm themselves down in times of stress and conflict.
‘They have helped parents to set goals for the family and for themselves to improve their lives. Perhaps most powerfully of all, children have applied these approaches on their own in new environments without the direct support of the parents who taught them, for example when visiting a father or grandparent.
Society is underestimating children
‘The evidence gives a strong message that as a society we are underestimating children. When listened to, understood and empowered, they need not be passive recipients of “behaviour training” but can contribute to loving, caring and the building of positive relationships in their own families and communities. This deserves more attention in further research.’
Research is a byword for Alan’s work.
In 2002 he discovered the power of life coaching, starting with building self-esteem, which can then evolve into creating personal empowerment.
He also realised his passion was to holistically develop children. His path through schools, youth centres and in more socially-challenged areas told him every child with a problem has a parent with a bigger one.
Parents are doing the best they can
He adds: ‘Essentially parents are doing the best they can with what they know. For instance they know when they’re happy, their children are happy and they know that children are sensitive to their emotional state.
‘They may not know their children are taking responsibility for what’s wrong.
‘And the children don’t have the confidence or emotional capability to communicate this concern. So they kick off in the only way they know how, to get attention, to be heard. They’ll press a ‘hot button’, throw a tantrum or storm out the room, slamming the door while shouting, “you don’t understand me”.
‘We’ve co-created this innovative personal development approach with thousands of children, young people, parents and professionals working in homes, schools and Children’s Centres.
You can change society
‘My mission is to unleash the potential in young people particularly from dysfunctional families in deprived areas. I think they have more suppressed potential and more challenges than perhaps the average. It was also a great area to prove a different approach.’
Alan’s involvement with Naked Leader began in 2004, after he read David’s original best-selling book.
‘David showed an interest in my work because he too had a passion for helping children achieve their potential. We created ‘The Self-esteem for Children Alliance’ a joint initiative which we ran together for a couple of years. After that time we had both evolved into slightly different markets. I have to say David and his lovely wife Rosalind have always been interested in and are very supportive of using their well known brand in promoting our work.’
For Alan, Every Family Matters and he wants to change society ‘from the inside out’.
You can help him, your children or yourself at http://www.parentchampioncommunity.com