A Parent Coach Is
Like a mentor who wears different hats – advocate, teacher, listener, questioner. Yet, the certified parent coach has a primary role as supporter and connector for parents who want assistance, help, expertise, empowerment, or confidence. The mottos of the Academy for Coaching Parents International also serve as the first two goals of parenting coaching
- to empower and sustain loving relationships
2. to make a difference.
The first thing a coach does is establish a mutual respectful relationship with the client, who may be a parent, grandparent, caregiver or anyone who has hired a coach to help them better parent or serve as a more effective guardian or caregiver to children.
Parent coaches assist, help, inform, inspire, and educate.
They provide clarity, reflection, and reality checks for parental illusion, and support a parent's intuition.
They are responsive and responsible as they provide frameworks and structures for conversations around sensitive issues.
A parent coach may serve as a coach for a parent’s personal confidence or is involved with family relationships and parent/child issues. A parent coach is a mentor, not a doctor, therapist, or counselor. A certified parenting coach is a friendly or warm-hearted person a parent can call with everyday problems. A coach provides encouragement and expertise, coaching and challenges.
Thriving As A Person And A Coach
Most of those who go into fields like coaching and psychology understand that to be a successful person, you have to have success in your personal life as well as business. Success is not always about money, but also about finding a balance between family and business.
When you work out of your house, if you don’t set perimeters around your business life, your work can take over your home and family life. Whether you are single and childless or married with children, carve out a personal life for yourself beyond coaching in order to have a life of balance and joy. If you overload yourself, you will not get satisfaction from either one.
Do you want your life to look like this?
You’re going to your son’s soccer game at four, but you need to be home by five-thirty to take a client call, so you have to arrange for your son’s ride home. You can’t concentrate on the soccer game anyway because you need to prepare for your client’s call. You have a splitting headache because you feel torn between the game and your client. Later, your family goes out to supper because there’s not enough time to cook. After dinner, you go grocery shopping. BY nine p.m., you are exhausted.
You actually hate driving up to your own house because it is like driving up to a pile of unfinished work – home is never a place to relax anymore. You are not making much money because you are going out to restaurants and hiring babysitters all the time. You took up coaching because it was work you could do at home when your kids were little, but instead you are constantly yelling at them to leave you alone, be quiet while you’re on the phone, and stay away from your room. Your spouse is upset and puzzled by your constant irritability.
That doesn’t sound like much fun does it? It can be someone’s reality and it is the number one reason why home businesses can fail. So don’t let it become your reality. Let’s devise a better vision!
You love working at home from the convenience of your home office, which is really a comfortable den, but one corner is yours and holds your computer, your dedicated business line, and your desk. You keep pictures, candles, music CDs and plants around your corner to feed your comfort.
You schedule your client calls at one time during the day for a four-hour block of time when the kids are in school, with dad, in day care, or otherwise occupied. You hold this time sacred so that you can be present with your clients. They pay you $100 per hour for your time, and you believe in service: listening, suggesting, confronting, sensing. You are finally being paid for doing what you love: networking, talking, sharing heart, educating and helping people lead better lives.
You love people, and people love you. This shows up in the mutual respect you and your clients have for each other and in client referrals. You have more clients than you schedule, and put their names on a waiting list. The waiting list represents clients who would wait for the time to see you, but you are content right now. You have the income you desire and the time you want to be with yourself and your family.
You will grow your business when you are ready!
Put A Fence Around Your Personal Life
Before you take your first client, you have to design the perimeters of your business. There are practical steps that will put boundaries between your personal life your business.
- First, have a separate phone line for your busine
- Second, make a separate room in your house for your busine Your room should be relatively soundproof and away from the family living area.
- If possible, enclose your space and have a door you can shut. That closed door will be a signal to your family not to interrupt you.
Some people have solved the “home business” problem by building a workspace that is on their property but separate from their residence. Charles Schultz, creator of the Charley Brown cartoons, used to walk about twenty feet from his home to his studio every day. There are homes with separate guesthouses or “Mother-in-law” quarters that convert into great home offices, provide the privacy, and give the atmosphere needed for work.
Some people simply cannot work at home because of all the interruptions. In this case, it may be best to rent office space. Many coaches rent office space for only a few hours a week to accommodate clients who prefer meeting in person. Or, you may be a coach who provides in-home visits, or you may work from phone calls only.
Dr. Caron Goode
Founder--Academy for Coaching Parents International