About Parent Coaching
The emerging field of parent coaching was thrust into the limelight not long ago, when two Hollywood stars, Britney Spears & Anne Heche, were ordered by a Los Angeles judge to hire a parent coach or lose custody! Some parents in my practice have been court ordered – but many simply want help & support with difficult issues that cause unwanted stress and frustration.
Parent coaching is a process that gives parents the opportunity to realize and incorporate powerful skills that promote a calmer and happier household, because using these techniques diffuse difficult situations and ineffective behaviors, leading you to gain back self-control. It’s called parent coaching with techniques so effective they work in all other relationships in your life!
Most parents want to raise confident, resilient, responsible and considerate children. Parent coaches realize that parents make every effort to cope with the influences in our society that impact children every day and sometimes find it difficult to construct safe, healthy boundaries.
Many parents have little or no training in child development and don’t always have access to the most recent research as guides in daily decision-making. Coaching can provide training and guidance about what is normal and healthy for children at different ages and stages of development.
What is the Difference Between Therapy and Parent Coaching?
Therapy focuses on issues of pathology, healing and unresolved psychological issues of the past. Coaching on the other hand, begins with the present and assists clients in setting very clear, and specific goals that they want to achieve in the future. While the past may be discussed on occasion, it is addressed in the context of discovering what is blocking the client from moving forward. In parent coaching, the primary focus is on movement and taking action.
What happened in the past has everything to do with what we are today, but we can only satisfy our basic needs right now and plan to continue satisfying
What Exactly Does A Parent Coach Do?
A professional parent coach listens intently, asks key questions, provides important information and offers specific suggestions to help you implement positive changes in both you and your family. A parent coach guides you toward development of more effective behaviour, leading to a finer balance in your family.
Though many parents hire a coach for a specific issue such as tantrums or a defiant teen, the primary objective of coaching is to empower parents by giving them a set of strategies and skills to enable them to handle any parenting challenge, present or future, in a thoughtful, positive way.
My process is very results-driven. By this, I mean that my focus is on you getting what you want. Many of the challenges you bring to the session can be resolved in just weeks. Others may take a longer time, depending on your situation.
In each session, you and I develop a clear, practical plan for you to put to use each week. Some people prefer to conduct these weekly meetings in person, while others find the phone more convenient. Forward movement is the way to success, so weekly meetings are highly recommended.
What Are Your Areas of Greatest Concern?
- ADD or ADHD
- Bullying or being bullied
- Bedtime battles and routines
- Chores and household responsibilities
- Disrespect & talking back
- School, truancy and homework battles
- Computer, TV, telephone & Video usage overuse
- Noisy homes – loud kids
- Mealtime chaos
- Morning routines
- Sibling rivalry
- Whining, complaining and negativity
What Are The Benefits of Parent Coaching?
There are many, many benefits – in fact, too many to name right here! Having said that, here’s my top 10 list:
- You’ll be happier, you’ll have more fun, and so will your family.
- You’ll feel more in control and more confident.
- Your relationships will improve.
- Your day-to-day life will be calmer.
- You’ll communicate more effectively (without yelling!).
- You’ll end the power struggles & battles that keep you up at night.
- Your children will become more productive, accountable and make more effective choices.
- You’ll learn how to be fair, firm and consistent.
- You’ll identify your strengths and hopes for yourself.
- You and your partner will get along better.
How Does Parent Coaching Make A Difference?
Coaching is for the everyday, real-life parent doing his or her best to provide the most rewarding and effective parent-child relationship possible. Parent coaching is based on helping you identify your strengths and hopes for yourself and your children while getting encouragement, support and ideas for building on your own strengths.
Is Being on the Same Page Important?
I used to confuse my partner’s parenting style with being “wrong.” I thought that he should do exactly as I did for consistent effective parenting. Until I learned to pick my issues, we fought about the kids, which led to fighting about us. In the meantime, I was stressed out and the fighting was not helping with the parenting. In time, I learned that his way often worked just as well as mine – if not better.
Kids Learn From Different Parenting Styles
Getting to the point of acceptance and even appreciation of the way your partner is different from you can be challenging – but the rewards are worth it. I teach couples how to recognize the red flags and what to do about it before the frustration/anger/fighting takes over. The last thing you need is another fight with your partner. By all counts, relationships succeed best with respect and a give and take. If you and your partner are willing to be more flexible – try this technique. When faced with a parenting decision where your partner and you differ, ask yourself “whose need and/or anxiety is greater?” If your partner has more anxiety than you – place your belief aside this time, and consider theirs. Start with smaller, less important decisions to gain more confidence with this method. It does takes practice because old habits die hard, but if you can master it – I guarantee less fighting, better parenting and a happier daily life for you.
Do we Always Have to Agree?
No relationship is perfect, so expect to encounter differences in parenting styles as the challenges present themselves. When your kids see how you handle your disagreements respectfully, it will encourage your children to do the same and also help them learn some negotiation and bargaining skills that will come in handy when trying to convince others of their point of view.