Everyone thinks they’re an expert on parenting until they become a parent. Maybe you once believed that parenting would be a breeze. But now that you have a child or children of your own, you feel confused and overwhelmed. You may even find yourself wishing that kids came with an instruction manual.
While no such manual exists, there is something else that can help you become the best parent you can be: parent coaching.
What is parent coaching?
The goal of parent coaching is to identify opportunities for improvement in your childrearing methods, to improve your relationship with your child, and to put things back into perspective when your parental responsibilities become overwhelming.
Typically, a parent coach will meet with the parent or parents for a one-on-one consultation. During this session, you can share your general concerns with the counselor. Be sure to let the coach know whether the issues in your parent-child connection started at a specific time.
Most likely, most of your sessions will involve both parents, or you and the child’s stepparent. Together, you will learn how to best communicate with your child, help your child learn to communicate well with you, and how to communicate your feelings to each other . The important thing is to learn to work together as a team and find productive solutions to your family problems.
When to seek help
If you and your family are dealing with any of the following situations, parent coaching can help.
When children’s parents split up, many issues can come to the surface. Your children may feel forced to choose a favorite parent. Some children feel obligated to be the parent. The stress and confusion of your divorce can negatively impact them in ways you may not be able to see. With the help of a parent coach, you can learn to meet your child’s needs while also taking care of your own.
A sudden change in your child’s attitude
Does your child seem quieter and more reserved than usual? Did their grades in school take a nose dive? Do you find yourselves fighting often over small things? Did your positive relationship suddenly, and without warning, turn bitter and resentful? A parent coach can assess the situation from an objective place and help you uncover the cause of your child’s sudden attitude change.
If your child is disrespectful? Do you suspect that your child is engaging in reckless or illegal behavior, a parent coach can help you communicate your concerns, set firm boundaries, and work to correct the behavior.
Sudden life change
Are you moving to a new city? Is your child starting a new school? Did you or your child recently experience the death of a loved one? Whatever life throws at you, a parent coach can help you withstand the impact of a sudden life change – so you can continue to provide your child with the emotional support and security they need.
There’s no shame in seeking help
There’s a common myth that good parents know how to raise children instinctively – as if everything you need to know about parenting suddenly becomes clear the moment your child is born. This misconception is why many parents feel embarrassed, ashamed and reluctant to ask for help. But there’s no shame in reaching out for guidance, especially because today’s generation lives in a culture saturated with new forms of technology. The techniques we learned from observing our own parents growing up simply aren’t relevant to today’s children.
As the world changes from generation to generation, so should our parenting methods. A good parent coach remains up-to-date with the latest in child psychology, research on family dynamics, and the impact of cultural trends on families.
So, if anything on the list above resonates with you or if you just want to be a better parent for your child, reach out to a parent coach. You’ll be glad you did.