The program develops essential self-management skills. It helps youth identify what situations they face and apply the most effective strategy for dealing with it. They integrate behaviours that contribute to their wellbeing and resilience. Problem solving in groups develops their effective collaboration skills. We encourage the participants to support and find support with their peers. The program applies mindfulness so the participants can make more effective life choices.
We developed and trialled LifeLab© with 350 students aged 5 to 12 years in a school in Melbourne. We also facilitated a series of workshops for teachers and their 15 students with various special needs. The program is also successful with secondary school aged classes and above (youth from 13 -25). We have also achieved great results with adults.
The sessions are interactive, experiential and tailored to the participants’ age group. We provide a theme for each session and we encourage students to participate, share and listen.
We introduce methods that children love and that allow them to talk safely about their emotions, feelings, explore concepts and learn about problem solving. These methods also help us to understand more about each child’s learning preferences, so that we can tailor the program to more effectively meet their needs.
The sessions are delivered weekly or fortnightly either online or in the classroom maintaining a consistent and familiar rhythm to the sessions, so the participants feel a connection with their peers and the facilitator.
The feedback received from students, parents, teachers shows increased desire to learn, increased engagement, a greater ability to talk about emotions and self, enhanced problem solving skills, increased empathy, and a better appreciation of when action is possible and when to seek help. Special needs students have particularly shown enthusiasm for the program, stating they felt understood and heard.
Parents noticed positive changes in their children occurring after just a few sessions.
LifeLab© fosters life skills that are foundational for academic success, personal development, knowing oneself, one’s strengths and values, making effective choices, and taking responsibility for one’s behaviours. It prepares youth for the complexities of the world, to navigate their own life choices and to grow to become the best possible version of themselves.