All profits of the sale of this book go to The Secret Parent Foundation


How many people does it take to raise a child?
There is a lovely African proverb that says: ‘It takes a village to raise a child.’
African culture recognises that parenting is a shared responsibility – a communal affair – not just the concern of parents or grandparents, but of the extended ‘family’.


About the Book

Kids Life Coach, Zelna Zeal, sheds light on the painful issue of what it means to have a fundamental choice taken away – the choice of being a biological parent.

In this eye opening snapshot of her views on life, parenting and childhood, she whispers out loud the secrets which once held her back from finding and living her purpose fully. This gripping and poignant book reveals the previously hidden story behind her lonely and challenging healing journey through being childless, depressed and labelled as mentally ill.

As she travels this road, she shares the interwoven stories of other peoples’ children whom she had the privilege of coaching. All of them have two things in common; they rebranded their childhood by learning how to make better choices relating to the parts of their lives they were able to control. These children were the inspiration behind Zelna finding the strength to do the same.

Full of uncomfortable truths, “The Secret Parent” shows you that your real worth is derived from who you choose to be, even when life has different ideas for you.

Chapter 1 The mother of many

Chapter 2 Kids in the attic

Chapter 3 Taking a bath in cold jelly

Chapter 4 Condom boy

Chapter 5 When you’re hungry, eat cake

Chapter 6 Pain behind the veil

Chapter 7 The circus ring-master

Chapter 8 The diplomat who misplaced his son

Chapter 9 No building tall enough

Chapter 10 Stripped to the bone

Chapter 11 Empty vessel full of sand

Chapter 12 Puppet on a string

Chapter 13 The ghost in the fireplace

Chapter 14 Secrets whispered out loud

A Word

From the Author

My book, THE SECRET PARENT not only shares the lessons derived from the children I have coached but it presents the uncomfortable truth of how society judges and has a tendency to judge and label those with mental health problems.  There is so much more that can be done to educate, enable, empower and equip. The amount of pressure placed on children to be perfect can be overwhelming, and this coupled with so many negative external influences can result in a multitude of side effects. I believe parents need all the support they can get when it comes to giving their children a true reflection of life and the importance of taking care of their mental health. Children are faced with many challenges outside of their control which are causing side effects such as self-harm, suicide, bullying, eating disorders, drug and alcohol abuse.

THE SECRET PARENT presents a sweeping action plan for achieving the best from children and for harnessing their full potential so that they can grow up strong and resilient and able to break the chains of potential mental health problems. This all starts with laying a foundation for making healthy lifestyle choices at a young age. It all starts with every adult taking steps to be a “Secret Parent” in a child’s life. No matter the context, every teacher, sports coach, counsellor, social worker or kids life coach is a role model and in order for children to live a genuinely happy life, they need tour guides who are doing the same and showing them how it should be done.

– Zelna Lauwrens


An avid advocate for children’s mental health and wellbeing, Zelna has been active in promoting resilience, positive mindsets & leadership building in children since 2003.  As the founder of The Kids Life Studio®, a global organisation with representatives on 6 continents, she offers sustainable solutions to current day challenges children are facing.  She is also the co-founder of The Secret Parent Foundation® (, that focuses on research, development and training with a focus on supporting children faced with trauma.

Not only has she supported the children of celebrities, entrepreneurs, corporate leaders and high-profile personalities, she has also spent time helping children involved in human trafficking, living on the streets and in orphanages.

All profits of the sale of this book go to The Secret Parent Foundation

If you are a member of the media you can download the SECRET PARENT media kit and press release here.

For podcasts, radio, speaking engagements or television interviews please contact Zelna and her team on