I wanted my 6 year old son to be able to express his feelings and emotions in a positive way. He can now tell me if he is sad, angry, happy and scared and why he is feeling that way. Soetlief definitely helped him in this regard.

We enrolled our son in Soetlief after having witnessed huge improvements in a friend's son the previous year. When asked what the secret to this improvement was, the mother simply stated: "Soetlief". Our son ( who turned 7 in the year he did Soetlief). Really looked forward to attending his weekly classes, more so than to his school day. He said these classes were always fun and exciting and it was clear that he had taken some important lesson from each one, particularly regarding the understanding and regulation of everyday emotions such as anger and sadness.

This is what education should be: engaging, fun, learning without realising because it is taught using all senses. The programme is so relevant that my biggest wish is that all children could attend it. I honestly wish that it could be part of the curriculum. As a Clinical Psychologist, I think teaching children these essential emotional skills could reduce and indeed completely avoid, so many problems that manifest in later childhood, adolescence and adulthood.

Matthew started a new school and he was a very shy individual with no friends and struggled to bond with his teacher. He did not want to go to school. Matthew seemed distant and didn’t have the joy we knew him to have. As a shy individual he also took time to warm up and adapt, we felt that we needed to help him adjust and help him to understand the emotions and get a positive connection to school. When he did the Soetlief program, my child warmed up and has become responsive and started taking part in group activities. His self-esteem has grown and he has really grown very fond of his Soetlief teacher which was a positive and warm relation with a person in authority at school but also managed to make friends at school. He started to enjoy going to school and was able to create a positive relation to the teacher and has now good memories of her.

My son made us aware of how we speak to each other, and how he would like us to speak to each other. It also helped us in disciplining him. He understood the concept of boundaries much better when they were enforced. He also understood his own feelings of anger and frustration which helped to manage them in a positive way. He also understood that he makes choices about his actions and that actions have either positive or negative consequences. Understanding all these emotions, boundaries, himself and how we all fit into this family unit helps our family to create a positive atmosphere at home where we respect each other.

I will definitely recommend the Soetlief program as young children struggle to understand their emotions especially when they face sudden challenges. Everyone should understand their emotions to be able to deal with everyday life and to become part of a happy self with a role in a bigger society one day. Children should be happy children.

Mari attended Soetlief for two years, Grade 2 and 3 and her brother attended Soetlief in grade R. It really helped her to identify and verbalise her emotions. It made it easier to communicate emotions at home and to improve/adjust inappropriate behaviour. It was interesting to see how the two siblings commented on each other’s behaviour by using Soetlief language.

I wish Soetlief could be part of the grade R program in the schools. Every child will benefit from the program.

Reason for enrolment: to improve her self esteem

Reason for continued enrolment : improving her emotional well-being and awareness, as well as encouraging better behavior

Improvement seen: Major. Self-esteem is fantastic and she is aware of her emotions. She also is better equipped to deal with her friends’ emotions when she is around. The program has been fantastic because she is easier to handle at home. She sets an example for her younger brother. Soetlief has also helped on several ‘difficult’ occasions when we as parents had no idea on how to deal with a certain situation.

I would recommend it for every child. We take our kids to school to develop them on a mental and hopefully physical level. We take them to church to develop them on a spiritual level. But what do we do to help them develop their emotional side? Soetlief has been the answer for me.

We decided to enrol Kyle in the Soetlief programme as he was having anger issues which we could not seem to resolve. My husband works away and has been doing this for many years and although the kids have adapted to this in their own way, it still has an impact on them.

We felt that we needed to address the issue as quickly as possible before it got any worse. We had to give Kyle the necessary tools with which he could deal with his anger. The programme helped him to identify his emotions and gave him the ability to communicate his frustrations, fears and disappointments which he was not able to do beforehand.

All we can say is “Wow”, what a difference! Our happy child has been returned to us and yes, we still have ups and downs, but at least he can now communicate his emotions and we can deal with any problems immediately. He loves his Soetlief and will continue the programme this year as we feel you can never give your child enough tools to deal with Life!

Starting Grade R is generally very overwhelming for parents, however for me it was extremely stressful for both me and my son. Prior to Grade R we had chosen to keep him in a small play group, which we thought as parents was a good fit for him. Christopher was never a child for big groups. Prior to starting Grade R, he was a confident child within his familiar surroundings. We always knew he suffered with anxiety, especially to change in routine, events or anything that was unfamiliar, so needless to say we expected Grade R to be an adjustment, we just never had any idea how much.

Christopher started Grade R not knowing any children, and the first few weeks we saw many tears, both for him and for us. On seeking further advise from his teacher she said we should try Soetlief which would help him to emotionally express himself. Many days he came home almost in a bad angry place, unable to express to us how he felt, and kept bottling up all this unhappiness that he felt. Once Christopher started the classes, we saw changes in him, that happened in leaps and bounds. Christopher went from a boy who was scared of trying new things, someone who battled to make friends, who blocked himself off from most things around him to a child who could come home and express his feelings in a way that made him feel he was understood in an acceptable manner. Christopher learnt ways to cope with new stresses, learnt life skills about making friends, especially how to come out of his Shyness and to try new things. Christopher learnt challenges like it was ok to be scared but not to let the scared feelings over take and control his life, but rather for him to control and express his feelings.

Christopher went from a boy crying not wanting to go to school, to a child begging me to put him in aftercare. Soetlief has given my child the life skills to face life and its challenges head on and with confidence, it's given my child a platform to assist himself that he can do almost anything he wants to, and it brings me no greater joy as a mother, to see my child re-discover his confidence and push himself further along.

I am especially grateful for all the words of encouragement and advise that soetlief has provided me as a parent, in understanding my child, and for me to understand him has brought us closer than we could have ever wished for.

My little girl Sofie was 7 when she started the Soetlief programme. From pre-primary she had bad tummy aches and after extensive and expensive medical testing and scans etc. we discovered they were caused by emotional stress. She was also exceptionally fearful and being South African, constantly exposed to stories of crime and violence.

Soetlief was a safe and gentle place for her to talk about her feelings and she was equipped with the tools to deal with all the emotions she faced every day. Her fear decreased which meant less anxiety and less tummy aches.

She was also able to see when I was not coping and offer me her new found wisdom and advice.

I so recommend this program for any child that needs that extra little help or is coping with a stressful situation or life transition. I also appreciate the willingness of the presenter to give me advise as a parent when I needed to make an important parenting decision.

This is one of my fave pics.. a little girl with plenty responsibility who just needed a little extra help.

Our child is shy and Soetlief helped him to gain confidence and try to do things on his own. I am grateful to Soetlief for that! I would recommend it to any child, it would help children to come to terms with their emotions in a safe environment.

I cannot begin to describe how Cynthia's knowledge and approach has helped us.

We were in a really negative space and didn't have much hope for our blended family to work after trying for 2 years. We were ready to give up and decided to see her for private sessions.

Cynthia worked with us and our 2 girls on the principles of authority, routine, discipline and boundaries. We were amazed how simple the solution to our problem was. We just needed a plan, some practice and to stick to the plan!

It's only been a month since we did the sessions and our girls are responding to the principles so well. Mom & Dad feel supported and we're in control of keeping our family safe and happy.

I now can't believe we almost gave up! The change in our family life is remarkable and we are so thankful for Cynthia's program & insight.
Eileen Grobler

Empowering kids and parents to…