Before you are allowed to drive a car, you need to learn how to drive.
For every job you’ve ever done, you’ve had training. Sometimes just a few hours ‘on the job,’ sometimes several years.
But for the most important (and, some say, most difficult) job we will ever do, being a parent, most of us have no training whatsoever. And in the last few generations, many Americans have also been obliged to parent in isolation, each small family on its own.
Many parents say and have said for a long time that they would really appreciate some professional input. Input of their choice. Input that doesn’t just consist of conflicting advice.
Not because they are bad parents, but because they are good parents.
And now there is an option that parents all over the country are using already with great success: Parent coaching.
What is parent coaching?
Parent coaching is a certified method delivered by a professional parent coach who helps parents have a more meaningful and joyful parenting experience, and helps them create well-functioning, healthy families where both children and parents lead good lives.
In most cases, parent coaching consists of a series of structured sessions either in person or by phone/Skype. The content of these sessions is tailor-made for the individual set of parents and their concerns and interests.
You may be surprised to hear this, but parent coaching begins and ends with parental self-care. Everything you do in parenting comes from you – from your own internal dynamics, your feelings, your memories of your own childhood, your stress levels, and your belief systems.
Therefore, parental self-care is the best care you can give your children.
Certified parent coaches have access to many parenting tools based on cognitive/behavioral methods and many decades of research-based professional parenting experience, for families on the whole spectrum of difficulties.
Together with you, they can identify the most urgent and the most deep-seated issues you may have as a parent and work out solutions that integrate and benefit the whole family.
A lot of research has been done on the best parenting approach to different personalities and how to support each child on his or her own individual journey. Relationships in the family deepen and mutual understanding will inform parental decisions and interactions.
Parent coaching is based on respecting cross-cultural and personal values. Everything is collaboration.
Parent coaching empowers parents to trust in themselves and develop their parenting skills. This is a positive experience that will help you grow.
When is the best time to seek parent coaching?
When their first child is born, parents’ lives change out of all recognition.
Parents often fall in love with their baby, but there are also many challenges that they are unprepared for. Parent coaching can teach many skills and tools that can make even the first difficult months a lot easier and enjoyable.
As your child develops from baby to school age, he or she goes through complex developmental stages. Your coach can ease the journey with specific information about physical, behavioral, and relational development appropriate to your child’s age and personality.
Teenage kids often pose new and particularly daunting challenges. The child that you know so well can change his or her behavior almost overnight. Puberty can cause mood swings, changing interests, problems at school, and oppositional behavior.
This is another era in the life of your family where parent coaching can be very beneficial.
So, the answer to “when is the best time?” is probably “now” at all stages of your parenting life.
Who are the coaches?
Parent coaches are trained and certified professionals who specialize in parenting and family issues.
So, whether you are starting a family, or are a veteran with a decade or more of parenting under your belt, why not inform yourself online or with a brief phone call about parent coaching services in your area?
Parenting is, after all, the most important job you will ever do.