Have you worked with a parent coach before? Do you know what parent coaching is and how it works? If you’re like some parents today, you’re unsure of exactly what a parent coach is and how to leverage the power of coaching to experience what you want most out of your parenting life.
If you’ve already worked with an excellent parent coach, then you’ll know how satisfying and fulfilling the experience can be. Some of you may have found your path to a top-notch parent coach through word-of-mouth. Others may have met a professional parent coach through a chance meeting or even via in-person or online presentations.
Whatever your path to learning about parent coaching, chances are you’ve loved what you discovered and understand that a parent coach can be a valuable human resource you can count on at various times along your parenting journey.
Before I share the 7 ways a parenting coach can support you, here’s a quick definition of a parent coach: a certified professional who helps parents create a healthy family life for themselves and for their children.
In other words, a parent coach works with parents in person, on the phone or via Skype to assist the parent in creating parenting plans that are unique to their family’s desires, needs and context. A parent coach focuses on supporting parents with everyday parenting challenges that all parents face at one time or another – parental self-care, power struggles, school and homework challenges as well as addressing difficult attitudes and behaviors.
Sometimes it is very helpful to understand a concept by first defining what it is not.
- A parent coach is not a therapist.
- A parent coach is not a counselor.
- A parent coach is not a medical professional.
- A parent coach is not a mentor.
If you or your children have physical or mental health concerns, have experienced trauma or are currently dealing with a crisis, you will need to consult with a medical professional, a therapist or a counselor for assistance. A parent coach is not qualified to work in these domains of family health.
However, if you are dealing with some difficult situations in your daily life that are not crises and not related physical or mental health issues, then you can benefit from the resources and care that a parent coach offers. Parents face stress every day – lots of it! Any parent who is interested in focusing on developing solutions that will resolve daily challenges in their parenting life will appreciate the services of a quality parent coach.
When looking for a quality parent coach, I recommend that you use the following checklist to assess how the parent coach measures up to what it takes to coach parents knowledgeably, professionally and with heart. Click here to get the Quality Parent Coach Checklist.
Here are 7 specific ways that a parent coach can support your parenting life:
1. Confidential conversations about what matters to you most in your parenting
If you’re wanting a safe space to discuss important parenting thoughts with someone who has a professional standard for confidentiality, than a parent coach is a great person with whom to examine a parenting challenge, unpack a problem into something you can work with or count on for support and encouragement as you meet changes head on in the areas that are closest to your heart.
2. Reliable resources regarding child development at various ages and stages
Yes the internet offers much in the way of abundant and quickly attainable information about just about every topic on parenting imaginable, but some of the information out there is simply too superficial or simply insufficient. For parents who prefer enjoying more time with the people they love rather than searching endlessly for reputable resources online, working with a parent coach is an effective idea. Parent coaches have a wealth of training and reputable resources for a range of parent concerns. Child brain development at various ages and stages as well as childhood personal, emotional and social development is the cornerstone of a well-trained parent coach.
3. Support and supreme respect for your parental self-care
Parent coaches, like you, have the same 24-hours in a day to tend to their personal lives while also engaging in relationships of all kinds throughout the day. Not an easy task as they too are human. No one is immune to negative time stress, work stress, and other kinds of stressors, but few work on self-care strategies with the goal of reducing overall stress. A high quality parent coach will have significant training and practice in the art of self-care and will show signs of being dedicated to practicing their own self-care. Having a parent coach as your caring companion through the tough challenges of attending to your parental self-care needs while meeting the needs of their child/ren is a wonderful experience.
4. Clarity in understanding the impact of digital-media culture on children and youth
It goes without saying that today’s parents are faced with tremendous influences on their family lives with the advent of screen technologies and non-stop media due to the internet dominating global communications. The reach and connection of millions of people around the world in mere seconds through the information superhighway mesmerizes not only adults but in particular, the sensitive and impressionable developing brains of children. A parent coach can support parents in making sensible plans for including (and limiting) screen technologies according to ages and stages of development.
5. Research-based information on various parenting styles
The domain of personality and temperament research has been around for quite a while however it’s usually used as a tool solely for a person’s individual assessment and review. In the realm of relationships, personality and temperament have big effects on the sense of harmony…or lack of it. Teachers know this intuitively from years of classroom work with various mixes of personalities and temperaments among the students in their care. A parent coach trained in the relevance and research on temperament in the parent-child relationship can help a parent better understand particular responses in the family dynamic.
6. Cross-cultural understanding and respect
The world is full of diversity everywhere if one is able to truly look and appreciate it. The social environment has a huge impact on the culture of any family – possibly life-enhancing or life-degrading. A parent coach that has experience and training in cross-cultural communication is also likely to be highly aware of and sensitive to the many potential challenges and joys that come with the territory of living in our increasingly globalized world. Meeting parents where they are in a respectful and open-minded way is a benefit of working with a parent coach who has personal and professional experience in developing the “global mindset”.
7. Suggestions and resources for productive communication with teachers and schools
Schooling is one area that causes many parents negative stress. Whether it’s a child who is not adjusting easily to a new school or a student who is not engaged in learning, a parent coach who understands a broad range of approaches that schools use today is of huge benefit for parents. The realities of school life – both social and academic – have changed a lot in the decades that have passed since most parents attended primary and secondary school. A parent coach who has taught, or is teaching, in K-12 settings is a valuable current resource for navigating the challenges that often come along with the territory of schooling today.
Parent coaching is an effective relationship-based route to not only a deeper understanding of your present parenting reality, but also a means for resolving everyday parenting issues. Why not partner with a parent coach while you move forward with your parenting dreams? Why not really go for it?
The realm of parenting is a unique space for you because you and your child/ren are unique. Coaching provides superb support as you move towards experiencing and realizing your dreams and intentions with care, respect and focused attention on what matters to you most in your parenting life.