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.
Are you ready to take your passion for having an impact on this world to the next level?
By Being a Parent Coach, you can follow your passion and be financially successful at the same time. Take a minute and look at our coaching certifications
Dr. Caron Goode
Founder--Academy for Coaching Parents International
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?
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.
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.
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?
- 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.”
Behavioral Regulation-3-Choose Successful Play Activities
Play Activities Contribute to Bonding & Regulation
- Coach, clinician, and parents choose an activity the parent believes will be most successful.
That is, the parent believes they have the ability, skills and presence to initiate the activity, invite and prepare the child and family for positive interaction, and equally include each family member. The parenting coach and parent join in accessing and reinforcing abilities. For instance: Help the parent gauge stress levels and practice self-calming breathing before the activity.
Parent and Coach Role Play Words
- Gathering the family, (“As soon as you complete your homework and Dad walks the dog, we will begin game night! You can make the popcorn!”)
- Eliciting the child’s cooperation, (“Where do you want to sit so you will feel safe and comfortable? Do you want to sit near Mommy?”)
- Words or phrases that convey inclusion, affection, or safety. (“We are glad you can join with us and play rather than stay alone in your room.”)
The parent must also be able to arrange the environment to facilitate their child’s success according to their child’s particular needs. For instance: Perhaps cell phones need to be turned off so as not to draw any family member away from the play activity. Kindles, tablets, gaming systems or other technology need to be put away to limit distraction. Positive ground rules or guidelines are established prior to beginning. This is what you, as a coach, will discuss with the parents before they introduce new activities to the family. You might ask them; “Looking ahead – What can you do to orchestrate success and help prevent a catastrophe?”
- Can the parent pull from their resources and strategies to adjust the environment to help insure greater success?
- What can the parent do to create safety?
- Can the coach and parent pace an enjoyable game and then escalate the skills for a child over activities?
For example, if the parent knows their child has difficulty with close physical proximity to other family members, or, that their anxiety levels rise with increased expectations (even when they are positive in nature) resulting in undesirable behavior.
Attend to the Environment
- Do lights need lowering?
- Will soft music or deep breathing help with the regulation of excitement the child feels?
- Does the child need to participate while sitting on a balance ball, or handling a fidget toy?
- Does the child or family need a slower paced activity to begin, or one that will appropriately help release the child’s pent up energy?
- Encourage parents to think like a kid!
- Ask whether the parent is able to share a game or activity they remember loving when they were their child’s age. Again, this will be a challenge for some parents.
- The coach encourages a parent to examine the roadblocks they experience preventing them from moving into a playful relationship with their child, rather than a blaming, grudging, and resentful relationship.
I mentioned earlier that some parent’s just don’t feel like participating. Fun! Bah, humbug! Consider this a normal reaction. It is the culmination of so much internal pain, hurt feelings and disappointment. It is part and parcel of the confusion and rejection the parent feels from the child, and perhaps, disappointment in themselves.
- What is holding you back?
- Where do your fears linger?
- What could be the result when you decide to do this?
- What will happen if you don’t do anything?
Regulate the parent first. Coaches help parents apply and practice self-calming, stress management and grounding or centering strategies by asking: What can you do right now, to organize and regulate your inner body and mind so you can make a clear decision you feel good about, and help your family to enjoy this time together?