Parent Coaching vs. Counseling or Therapy?

Wouldn’t the world be an incredibly effective place if we viewed each other as competent and knowing? Perhaps this ideal behind the parent coaching movement is the appropriate mindset and intention to help parents fulfill their roles consciously and parent effectively.

 

In parent coaching, the underlying assumption is that the client is well and resourceful and can handle his or her life. In psychotherapy, the assumption is to treat the symptoms and underlying causes. Both coaching and also psychotherapy or counseling can play a role in our lives depending upon our abilities to manage our emotions and our realities.

For example, a client may enter psychotherapy because he gets into fights at work with his supervisor. After a few sessions in which he brings up his past and talks about his parents, the client realizes that he is repeating problems he had with his parents with his boss. In fact, he realizes that he has deliberately chosen a boss who reminds him of his father.

If this same client were to hire a coach, the coach would ask empowering questions and challenge his thinking about handling the boss issues. A coach does not delve into a client’s past, but focuses on the present time, issue or goal.

"Some coaches do have a background as therapists and are thrilled to switch from the model of fixing symptoms to empowering others to move ahead with life. I was a licensed therapist, and I like coaching better. In coaching, the client is whole, resourceful, and ready for change. Yet, the model in therapy is that the client is broken."
…Mark Brandenberg

In coaching, the WHY is not important! Coaches deal with the HOW. Coaches intervene all the time with advice, encouragement and expertise!
As Coach Brandenburg said, “As a therapist, I used to only listen and never give my opinion. Sometimes I felt as if I could be replaced by a mannequin.”

"Therapy is about looking backwards. Coaching is about working with today. We deal with what is now".
… Jill Herman

Coaches review a client’s strengths and focus on them. The medical/psychological establishment focuses on problems and pathology. We look at wellness and not what is broken. If a coach finds a true pathology, the coach refers that person to a psychologist or other appropriate specialist. Troubled persons with long-standing problems may not think rationally and that is why coaches refer them.

In coaching, the model is that the client is whole and wants to achieve goals. He is open to advice and discussion, and looking to the future, not the past.

What Is Parent Coaching?

   "I'll tell you about Parent Coaching? You have to have a plan and it has to be a plan that works.  You should not settle for the mediocre in life.  Coaching helps you set goals.  I collaborate with my clients.  I am on their side.  As a coach, I help and strategize with my clients so they can achieve their goals.  Coaching is about personal evolution, vision, what’s next, what’s now, and moving forward. It’s about having standards, not settling for the mediocre in life, but looking and feeling your best.  ~ Annemarie Brown~

Parent Coaching focuses on listening, empathizing, asking questions and sharing love. Imagine how relieved frustrated parents will be to have someone listen and clarify the problem they feel.

The feeing is very personal, very individual. Some parents want to "teach" their children. Other want to "discipline" their children. These words become confusing and don't realize...

how empowered they are or how powerful they appear to their children.

People can turn their problems around.  They can be whatever they want.  They can have whatever they want. Coaching is about that process.  You help them and it is an incredible job.

Coaches review a client’s strengths and focus on them. The medical/psychological establishment focuses on problems and pathology.

We look at wellness and not what is broken.  If a coach finds a true pathology, the coach refers that person to a psychologist or other appropriate specialist.  Troubled persons with long-standing problems may not think rationally and that is why coaches refer them.

In coaching, the model is that the client is whole and wants to achieve goals. The parent is open to advice and discussion, and looking to the future, not the past.

The clients who employ coaches are healthy and happy people who want to improve their lives. They want to go from good parents to better parents.

Are you ready to help families going through a difficult time? or help people being great parents to bring a positive change in this world?

Coaching Whole-Parent and Whole Child-2

Parents should also thoroughly examine themselves to see if they are getting all of their needs met. All too often parents neglect their own needs for the sake of their children.

BY KRISTY DIXON

While this seems like an honorable sacrifice, parents may not be doing the best parenting they could be doing if they are feeling physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and socially unhealthy. The whole-parent parenting coach should inquire about the parent’s needs and which ones if any are being met and which ones are not. I can identify with this personally. When my daughter was born I was so exhausted and overwhelmed not only from round the clock feedings, but also from visitors. I literally forgot to eat. When I took her to the pediatrician for her 2 week check up she had not gained much weight. Immediately after taking her off the scale the pediatrician told me to stand on the scale. This did not make any sense to me at the time, but looking back now I see why it was important and how gaining information about the mother gave him information about the child. He said that I was loosing too much weight too fast and that my milk was probably too low in fat for her to gain enough weight. He ordered me to eat spinach dip, a rib eye steak, and a glass of red wine. He also told me to pump milk for a bottle for my husband to feed her at least once in the night to give me a little extra sleep and to allow him some bonding time. She started gaining weight so fast after I did that. As a parent who forgot to eat because I was too busy taking care of everyone else and trying to be the perfect hostess, I cried a lot those first few weeks. I have learned a great lesson from this experience and plan to do things differently with the next baby. I also plan to share this experience of what-not- to- do with my future, overextended clients.

Many parents try to do everything on their own. They try to control it all and be in control of everyone. However, parenting never used to be and was never intended to be a one or two person job. Pam Leo tells us that the key to Connection Parenting, not Controlling Parenting, is support. Children’s needs are best met by parents who’s needs are met. Parents need to learn that it is ok to date their spouse and to relinquish control of their kids to friends and family members once in while in order help each other become a parent and spouse.

See also Coaching Whole-Parent and Whole Child 1

Coaching Whole-Parent and Whole Child

When coaching whole parent, child or family member, the best coaching model is the wholistic viewpoint: involving the physical, mental, emotional, intuitive, spiritual, and social intelligences affecting each person.

It can be of no benefit to simply examine one or two of these intelligences.  This would not give you a holistically complete and thorough view of the child and parent. Coaching whole parents and whole children is more beneficial when you look beyond the surface level of behavior and symptoms. What is truly influencing or causing the reaction or behavior?

  • Temperaments?
  • Emotional frustration?
  • Lack of Understanding?
  • Need or more information?
  • Need for more experience? 

For example, if a child gets an ear ache or undefined tummy ache, do you check in with the doctor? Are medications enough? Not likely. It would be in everyone’s best interest to look at what is going on with that child from a whole perspective. Determine what is going emotionally, mentally and/or socially. A child may also be having trouble with a peer at daycare or in school or maybe even with the teacher. Emotional and social problems can show up as physical symptoms.

ACPI Coach and parent Kristy Dixon explains why:

"In coaching whole parent and whole-child, the parent is guided to self-discovery of their internal and external influences. They envision  their parenting goal and feeling baby steps of success along the way. When looking at the whole child, the parent is better able to help rather than punish that child. For example ,if a child is having a fit. the parents  would allow that child time to release their anger, frustration, disappointment, whatever it may be that needs to be released rather than labeling that child as ADHD, Oppositional Defiant, challenging, or out of control. If looking at the whole child one may find that the true culprit of this fit may be the result of the child “using up all of his good” (self-control and restraint) at school, or again of too much sugar in the diet or reaction to a food allergy, or of not feeling heard by his or her parents. Children struggle to learn how to express their feelings and needs appropriately. It is our job to investigate the mystery of what is causing this type of behavior. Then help the child express  in a more effective and safer way. However, we cannot do that if we do not thoroughly look at all influencing factors in the child’s life."

See also Coaching Whole-Parent and Whole Child 2

 

Have The Empathy Gene?

The great gift of human beings is that we have the power of empathy, we can all sense a mysterious connection to each other." ~ Meryl Streep

Get Paid For Your Talents

The ability to resonate with another person on a deep level is the talent of a parenting coach, and all coaches for that matter. Such resonance is achieved through empathy, the ability to feel with her client, not to feel for them or about them. Resonating with clients is a striking intuitive knowing which enables you, as a parenting coach, to predict their needs and provide an unprecedented quality of caring.

The ability to resonate with others is the character strength of a person whose core temperament is Interpersonal, adaptive, or supporting. You are a natural in being supportive and caring in your responses to others. The mottos of the Academy for Coaching Parents International are focused around this concept of empathy:

"To empower and sustain loving relationships" and
“To make a difference.”

The first thing a coach does is establish a loving 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, minister or therapist. A coach is a friendly person a parent can call with everyday problems. A coach provides encouragement and expertise, coaching and challenges, all with the foundation of empathy. Through empathy the connection is made.

Are We Born With Empathy?

  • Empathy is more than feeling pain; it is also connecting to one’s struggle, emotional intention, as well as feelings of joy and celebration.
  • Babies demonstrate empathy in a global sense. If other babies cry, then babies respond with crying.
  • By the time a child is 2 ½ years old, he or she has developed a self-identity and understands the feelings of distress belong to his playmate or parent or sibling.
  • You will see preschool children empathize by reaching out to alleviate another’s distress through words or touch.
  • By age 8, a child understands the human plight of birth, death and vulnerability.

Children depend upon the demonstrations of responsiveness, warmth and empathy from the people in their world to continue cultivating connection and empathy within themselves… or their ability to remain empathic is up for grabs.

A parent coach is the model for empathy, helping a parent to learn the use of empathy through modeling. In turn, a parent who feels successful will model responsiveness with their children. AND…we will have succeeded in making a difference – the truer mission of a parenting coach.

Let your genome make you successful:

Now you think have an empathy gene? Would you like to use it for making a difference in the world and at the same time get out of this rat race and be financially successful at the same time?

Become a Certified Parent-Family Coach

4. Envision Your Role As A Parent Coach

Five Years From Now?

It is important to have a vision of your future when you design your parent coach business plan and marketing strategy as a parent coach. Here is a checklist to spark innovative thoughts for your business.

  • How big do you want your business to grow?
  • How much time can you devote to it now, and five years from now?
  • What hours of the day do you want to work now, and once your business is going?
  • Are you going to take phone calls all hours of the day and night?
  • Are you going to take evening clients? In parent coaching, many clients will want evening or weekend appointments.  Can you accommodate them?
  • What hours do you want to relax with your family?

Take the time to write down a schedule of your ideal week, including time for relaxation and taking care of your health. Whether you are single or married, whether your children are in college or are toddlers, come up with a personalized design that allows you to meet your family obligations and your own needs to relax and grow as a person.

If your best moments come when you are in nature, plan your week so you have that time to spend in nature and to reconnect with yourself. Don’t let go of what most satisfies your own soul because of business obligations.

As a coach to families, people regard you as a role model. You have to model a healthy integration of work and family for your clients. If you don’t succeed, how can you expect help others succeed?

In the beginning being a parent coach you will focus primary energy into marketing and networking, which are usually unpaid tasks to build into your business plan.

Fill your heart and mind with optimism as you network and market your parent coaching practice. Your positive attitude and caring are what attract people to work with a parent coach. The image you reflect when you show up is much more important than any piece of sheepskin.

When small businesses fail, it is usually because of lack of planning and design. When you create your coaching business, be sure you have realistic expectations about how much time you can devote to it now and in the future. Develop a schedule for today and five years from now. If you work out of your house, build clear separations between your personal life and your business. Do this by only working certain hours, shutting the business down regularly for personal time, and by having a work place clearly separate from your living area.

Now if you are looking right ahead into the future, it’s now the time to take step toward that goal or desired future.  If you are not a parent coaching already, look into our certifications for parent coaching but if you are already a parent coach and you are looking for someone to show you all the steps to make your coaching business successful, signup for our course Successful Business Set-up in systemized steps to skyrocket your startup today.

Successful Business Set-up in systemized steps

certifications for parent coaching