Parent Coaching

parent coaching

Some times parents need a little bit of extra help. There is absolutely no shame in that! Is there is a tough problem you just can't seem to solve on your own? Do you need someone who knows how to work through tough adoption or foster related issues to work with you on your problems? You might benefit from Parent Coaching!

What is Parent Coaching?

A coach is an expert in the process of change, setting goals, and in the process of accountability. They are here to help clients who are looking to change habits. The coach’s job is to facilitate conversations that are going to help the client by  helping them identify and maintain their focus on the outcomes they have decided to work towards.

The coach helps them determine the goals that they're going to be working on and making concrete plans to help them get there. The coach helps them think about the possibilities and explore their options because sometimes they can't think outside of the life that they're in. Parent coaches help clients see the strengths they already have as a family, and not just the issues or problems. Parent coaches offer an outside perspective and ask probing questions to help them dig deeper or help them challenge any limiting beliefs.

Parent coaches help clients by:

  • Calling them out on things when they seem to be limiting themselves or falling back into their old patterns.
  • Helping get clients in the right state of mind to feel empowered and believe in themselves.
  • Keeping clients motivated.
  • Helping remind them why they're doing what they're doing.
    • Keeping them inspired by having them reflect on their life and pointing out to them the things that they have accomplished so that they can build confidence.
    • Helping people make decisions that they can commit to for their own lives – not make decisions for them.

The coach's role is to structure the coaching experience, to encourage the client and to provide tools. The client's role is to be honest and open, communicating what it is that they’re wanting to work on, what their needs are, and what their concerns are so that the coach knows what they’re dealing with. Additionally, the client’s role is to actually take the action that the two of them decide on together during the coaching sessions.

Life coaches, in general, are not required to have specific expertise, such that they give advice; parent coaches most likely will have some expertise in the field of parenting; however, advise giving is not the goal in parent coaching.

Who benefits from Parent Coaching?

Because of the interconnectedness of family, the whole family benefits even if only one parent uses the services of a parent coach.

Why use parent coaching?

A very common thing that brings people into parent coaching is that they have something – maybe a parenting pattern of some sort that they're wanting to change for the better. The coach’s job to help them determine what that ultimate result is that the client is wanting, and then make a plan to get there.

How is parent coaching different from therapy?

A parent coach is not a therapist or a counselor because they are not trained to identify or heal or work with emotional trauma or mental illness. They often make referrals. It is important that any coach you use does not cross that boundary.

Can I use insurance on Parent Coaching?

Generally, not.

Can I use Parent Coaching with just my spouse, and also with my children, but keep the two separate?

Typically, only one parent uses the services of the parent coach, but both parents could as well. Sometimes some of the goals and assignments that the clients work on between session would involve the whole family.

How does Parent Coaching help my children?

Often parents come seeking help with troubling behaviors of one or more child. They are at their wits end about how to help their child and they initially come for advice. And another big reason parents come to a coaching session is that they're wanting to create a specific result, such as less whining in a child, or more obedience in another child.

Why should I use Parent Coaching with my children?

  • You can build on what you’re already doing well as a family.
  • Have an outside set of eyes and ears to see strengths amidst the chaos of the day to day parenting struggles.
  • Using your own family strengths, you will increase your competence, commitment, and confidence regarding the specific goals you set.
  • You’ll learn more ways to connect with your children
  • You’ll learn how to diffuse situations that have caused issues in the past.

What happens if I don’t like my Parent Coach?

It’s important to be comfortable with your coach. If at any point this changes, please do talk to them about it so see if there is something making you uncomfortable that they can change. Coaches often have a policy of righting wrongs and adjusting methods to suit the client. Sessions can be booked individually or in blocks of time. Always make sure that there is a money-back guarantee and the ability to end the coaching session if things don’t work out.

What if there isn’t a Parent Coach in my area?

More and more often, parent coaches will work remotely via skype or another method.


SuddenlySiblings™ own Gail Heaton is a registered Parent Coach! Check out the informative page on our sister website, The Connecting Space, for more information! 

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