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The Heaven and Hell of Parenting

by Chanti Niven

Creator of the Captivating Kids Program


I'm a parent just like you. I have two daughters, Candice and Donna, and a son, David.  I also have two grandsons. To be a parent is a great blessing and a great responsibility - a heaven and a hell all at once. You know what I'm talking about don't you? It's such a joy but when you hold your child in your arms for the first time it hits you - their whole life is resting in your hands. It's enough to send a great shudder up your spine. Are you up to it? You want to give them the greatest opportunities for success but what if in spite of your greatest efforts, they don't succeed? It's scary stuff. 

I remember when my daughter struggled at school how I felt personally responsible. Had I done something wrong? Had I not done enough? What could I do to help her? The strange thing is that the answer to this question set my feet upon a path that ultimately led me to create this program, a program that is helping so many kids achieve unparalleled success. 















So many of our fears, foibles and insecurities were first planted when we were kids. You can give your child the best upbringing and give everything that money can buy and your child will still have to face life and all the challenges that come with it. You can't protect your child from disappointment, hurt and pain. It's out there lurking and it can pounce at any time. You know it. I know it. When you drop your child off at school do you know what other kids are saying to your child? Do you know what the teacher is saying?



Remember the old rhyme "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never harm me."?  A greater lie has never been told. Words can and do hurt, especially when you're young and naïve and when you long to be accepted by others.



Think about this for a minute. If I had to ask you what skill is most important for surviving and thriving in life, what would you say? I know what my answer would be. It's the ability to communicate well. Great communicators are successful. They are leaders. Eloquence is a gift. Some people seem innately gifted. For most it's a struggle. The good news is that these are skills we teach. For those who have these skills, there is great power. In the wrong hands, this can dangerous and that is why we take our responsibility seriously. We want to teach young people compassionate and constructive communication. Communication that builds and doesn't break down. Above all, we want young people to achieve success because their success is our success. 


I was successful in my business life because of my communication skills. Someone who has known me for years recently said, "You could put Chanti in the middle of the desert and she'll create a business from sand." I laughed because it seemed such a strange statement but there is some truth in it. I have developed great survival skills because I've had to overcome so much (that's a story for another day). I'm a natural entrepreneur and one of my passions (aside from helping kids) is to help people create successful businesses and successful lives. When someone comes to me with a problem, I immediately get into problem-solving mode. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not boasting here. I've made many mistakes and I've had to learn my lessons the hard way. The point I'd like to make is that the ability to communicate well has been my saving grace. It has helped me to bounce back after I was knocked down. It has helped me to develop relationships that have sustained me through the tough times. It has helped me to become a better person and that puts me in a better place to help others.

You see, if you wish to communicate well, you must think well. This is why I tell people that we teach kids to think. You can't speak well if you can't think well. Sadly our educational system is not helping kids to think. They do a good job at getting information into their heads. In this new age of technology, tweets, status updates and instagram, social skills and communication, real in-person communication is suffering. Kids are struggling with depression on a scale never seen before. More kids are self-harming or committing suicide and cyber bullying is on the increase. Kids are turning to drugs and crime. We read awful news stories of teens shooting up schools or shooting their families. It's not the guns that are to blame. It's society and the breakdown in communication. 


While your child may never face these extreme circumstances, equipping them to handle every day life is the best gift you can give them.



My team and I have a burning desire to make a difference in the lives of kids. We have already seen what this program can and has achieved with kids in just a few short weeks. Imagine what we can achieve if we can give ongoing training? Now it's our mission to train more teachers to teach these skills, to have teachers in schools learn these skills and to model them for kids. We are already teaching teachers and received rave reviews. In the end, the kids benefit and that, my friends, makes me very happy indeed.


Click on the orange PROGRAMS tab above if you'd like more information and wish to learn how you can give your child the benefit of Captivating Kids & Teens training. If you live in the valley, you may wish to enrol your child in the classes we run out of GC Studios in Woodland Hills and give them the benefit of the very best training money can buy. There simply is no greater investment you can make than the investment in your child's success. We have not failed yet. Every child has noticeably improved their speaking skills. If your child is the first to fail to show any improvement after our program, we will refund every penny you've paid. 


"Words cannot express how thrilled and amazed I am at my daughter's progress in such a short period of time.  Captivating kids has been the very BEST PROGRAM I have enrolled her in. I am definitely continuing with the course and am going to enroll my son in as well. Thank you to the amazing teachers. Your positive attitude and words of encouragement have allowed my daughter to flourish and become a more confident individual."

- Mary Tavidian

Your passion for what you do is evident in every word you say and move you make in front of the children and us, parents.  I appreciate that you are challenging the status quo and guiding our children down new directions and creativity! 

For me, this was the best extra curricular activity, or better yet, the BEST INVESTMENT I have been offered at our school.  THANK YOU!!

- Taleen Akopyan 


"Today I witnessed my son Robert (5th grade) present his final "speech" in the captivating kids after-school class.  I cannot tell you how impressed I was with his presentation. The skills and tips they learned in this class are life changing. From encouraging the kids to providing constructive criticism to improve their basic speaking abilities is true values they can carry with them a lifetime.

This class exceeded all of my expectations. He even said this was the "best" class !  I was also very pleased to hear our teachers will be taking this class as well. Every single teacher we have can benefit greatly from this class."

- Melina Ghotanian


These are just a selection of the hundreds of testimonials we've received from happy parents.


Hi, my name is Desiree Luethy and I'm a Captivating Trainer and  on the board of Captivating Kids and Teens. Like Chanti, I'm extremely passionate about helping kids be successful. I'm not a parent yet but I know how important these skills are because I wasn't provided this training when I should have received it - at school. I knew it was important and I needed to learn how to speak better to achieve success in life and that was something I wanted. That's why I attended my first Toastmasters (International non-profit Organization dedicated to improving communication and leadership skills) meeting at age 21. This is where I first met Chanti. My first speech was terrible. I cried all the way through. After it was over, Chanti, who was one of the leader of this club, offered to mentor me. I was so happy and I jumped at the opportunity because I knew that she was an international award-winning public speaking champion. The first time I heard her speak I knew that I wanted to speak just like that. Well, in a short time, my life was completely transformed. I was working for Guitar Center Corporate Office when she began training me and as my skills developed and improved, my company promoted me twice in one year. I was soon being asked for advice from others. It didn't take long to realize where my future lay. I joined Captivating Kids in 2010 and haven't looked back since. I have worked diligently and am proud to say that although I started off as Chanti's assistant at Captivating Kids, I became a fully accredited Captivating Kids trainer and am now a partner in the company.  This proves dedication does pay off.  It's quite an accomplishment for a girl who couldn't speak without crying.





"Sawubona" I see you!

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