Functional Kids

We all want our kids to grow up happy and healthy. When they are young, we provide them with everything they need: safety, nourishment, and love. As they grow up, they begin to form their own opinions and want to make decisions for themselves. We provide them with our insight to guide them in their decision making, but often they don’t truly understand ‘the why’. We all know that telling them what to do is not as effective as them wanting to do it themselves. But this requires understanding.

The Five Elements Model provides a framework which our kids can use to not only understand themselves and others, but to create an appreciation for all types of people, which is necessary to develop empathy.

It shows them the nature of all the Elements, their strengths and their challenges, and how another person’s strengthens and challenges can be very different than theirs. It also shows them the common challenges that manifest between the different Elements. This is the framework Tournesol Kids Coaches use to support kids using cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and communication tools.

The Five Elements Model also provides insight into how the body is functioning, or dysfunctioning, which practitioners of Chinese medicine use to clinically diagnose and treat kids. When they understand themselves through this model, it provides them with a base to be their own health advocate.

In this program, I create a safe environment with a set group of kids, and guide them through the Five Elements framework. Your child will explore:

  • The Five Elements within nature

    The rhythms of the Earth:

    • We will discuss each season and how to follow the yearly rhythm of the Earth:
      • Wood Element: Its season is the spring where life expands out of the ground and everything comes out of hibernation.
      • Fire Element: Summer is the season of Fire, when it is too hot to work. Time to get outside and enjoy nature, or just relax in the sun.
      • Earth Element: This is called Late Summer or Harvest Season. The Earth provides nourishment which we enjoy with others. This is a time to connect with those we care about and show appreciation.
      • Metal Element: After the Earth has provided, everything falls to the ground to nourish and protect the soil in preparation for winter.
      • Water Element: The winter is the time of the year when we repair. We sleep more and spend time reflecting inwardly.
    • We will discuss the monthly rhythms of the menstrual cycle, and the daily rhythms of the sun.
  • The Five Elements within us

    The three levels of the brain:

    1. Autonomic Level – where our basic human needs are managed:

    • Wood Element: the ability to physically move
    • Fire Element: the use of our senses
    • Earth Element: the ability to digest
    • Metal Element: the ability to breath and deficate
    • Water Element: the ability to sleep

    2. Emotional Level – this level is activated when our needs are not being met and we feel insecure:

    • Wood Element: tendency to want to fight
    • Fire Element: tendency to get overly excited
    • Earth Element: tendency to worry
    • Metal Element: tendency to be compulsive
    • Water Element: tendency to run and hide

    3. Thinking Level – when all is well our superpower can be shared:

    • Wood Element: grit
    • Fire Element: zest
    • Earth Element: generosity
    • Metal Element: grace
    • Water Element: insight

    How to take care of our bodies:

    • Wood Element: Movement
      • External: Mild, moderate, and high-intensity
      • Internal: qi gong, tai chi
    • Fire Element: Mental-emotional health
      • Mindfulness and intention
      • The importance of joy and having community
      • How to deal with difficult conversations
    •  Earth Element: Nutrition
      • Real versus processed food; organic vs nonorganic; GMO vs non-GMO
      • Macro and micronutrients
      • How to prepare food
    • Metal Element: Process
      • Intentional abdominal breathing
      • Creating routines
    • Water Element: Sleep Health
      • Sleep hygiene: ideal bedtime and waketime, importance of avoiding pre-bedtime stimulation (blue-light, technology), ideal room temperature, and the value of sleeping in the dark
  • Our relationship with the Earth

    • How the Earth is a Macrobiome and we are a microbiome within it
    • The parallels between the Earth’s soil and our microbiome
    • The importance of ingesting quality air, water and food

    • Discuss the unique personality-types of each Element
    • Discuss the relationships between the Elements
      • Example: A Wood Child’s gift is their drive and ambition, and a Fire Child’s gift is the ability to have fun and not take things too seriously. A Wood Child and a Fire Child often get along since a Fire Child care more about having fun than being the leader, so the Wood Child does not feel threatened and can relax. Whereas if a Wood Child is playing with another Wood Child, their competition and dominating nature can create conflict and potentially lead to a fight.
    • Discuss how to use the communication tool OFNR (Observation, Feelings, Needs, and Requests) to deal with difficult conversations:
      • One of the Wood kids above could say to the other Wood kid when they begin to get too competitive, “Hey. We are so competitive with each other because we are both Wood kids (observation). I’m getting angry (feelings) because I want to be the leader (need) and I know you want to too. Can we take turns so we don’t fight (request)?”
  • Next Group

    Tuesdays from 11-12am

    July 14 – August 11, 2020

  • Recommended Ages


  • Value


  • A mom of an 11-year old girl and an 9-year old boy
  • Holistic practitioner integrating Functional medicine with Chinese medicine
  • NYS Licensed Acupuncturist
  • Nationally Certified Herbalist
  • Specialty in developmental pediatrics via Stephen Cowan and Moshe Heller
  • Functional Health Coach
  • Tournesol Kids Coach

The content of the Functional Kids program is a culmination of all of the above, with emphasis on providing kids with the knowledge, cognitive and behavioral skills to be their best selves!