Parent Coaching for Expectant Couples and Parents of Young Children
Do You Have a Baby on the Way? Did You Recently Bring Your Baby Home?
Expecting a baby is a big milestone in your life as a couple. You and your partner are probably feeling excited and a bit nervous at the same time. These feelings are appropriate and normal for all couples waiting for the birth of their child.
You and your partner may have already brought your baby home and be in the early weeks and months of settling into your life as new parents to your precious child. Your hearts are full of indescribable love for this tiny little person who is dependent on you for everything.
Having children is a major life transition for all couples. Actually, it’s one of the biggest life transitions you will ever experience as a couple. Along with the love, happiness, and joy you are feeling for your baby and your partner, you may also may be realizing there are new stressors in your life, which may affect your relationship with your spouse or partner.
So Many Babies!
Approximately 4.2 million babies are born in the United States every year. Worldwide, approximately 135 million babies are born each year. Research with new parents shows that a large percentage of these couples will have a drop in relationship satisfaction, along with increased conflict and hostility, within the first three years of welcoming their baby into their lives. Research also shows that your satisfaction and happiness in your relationship does not have to decrease after having a baby.
Four Common Trends for Couples after Baby Arrives
Researcher Dr. John Gottman identified four common trends among couples when they become parents.
- Philosophical shifts
- Relationships change
- Fathers may withdraw
- Physical and psychological changes
These shifts change the dynamic of the relationship between you and your partner. For most couples, the changes are unexpected and can leave you uncertain about what is happening and why. Parent coaching can help you if you need a little help to get your relationship back on track and be the best you can be for your child. Being proactive and taking advantage of parent coaching before your baby arrives, will help you enter parenthood with the tools you need to avoid some of the common challenges most new parents experience.
How Can We Keep Our Relationship Strong After Having a Baby?
When you bring your baby home, the exclusive focus of family life often becomes caring for the baby and you and your partner may not realize that your relationship is being neglected. Parent coaching will help you stay connected to each other while giving your baby all the love, attention, and care he or she needs from you.
Working with a counselor who is trained and skilled in parent coaching can help you and your partner gain the knowledge and skills necessary to help you with the following in your relationship:
- Strengthen your friendship
- Increase intimacy
- Improve communication
- Effectively regulate conflict
I work with parents to honor their relationship as a couple and to honor their roles as mother and father. Parent coaching will also help you to understand more about:
- The “baby blues” and post-partum mood disorders (Dads get the blues, too!)
- How Dad’s involvement with baby is important to the health and development of your baby
- Your child’s emotions – what is your baby telling you and how to respond
- The importance of Mom and Dad cooperatively playing and interacting with baby to foster love and trust
The Greatest Gift You Can Give Your Child
All parents want to be the best they can be for their children and provide a wonderful life for them. Research shows that a strong relationship between parents is the greatest gift you can give to your child. It makes sense that beginning your parenting journey with the skills and tools you need to maintain your relationship with each other is a gift you can give your child, but also a gift you and your partner can give each other.
Questions you may have about parent coaching….
Is parent coaching about my relationship with my partner or is it about learning to take care of my baby?
Actually, it’s both! The primary focus of parent coaching is work with you and your partner to maintain a strong and happy relationship with each other when your child is young, and set a stable foundation for your relationship for the years ahead. Parent coaching also provides additional guidance to help you understand your child’s emotions, how you and your and your partner can play together with your baby, and how your good relationship with each other contributes to your baby’s emotional health, well-being, and development. Parent coaching is not instruction on basic child caregiving, but is about relationships, and emotional health and well-being for the family.
Why should we see you for parent coaching?
As a therapist, and a parent, I understand the importance of satisfying relationships between parents, and positive relationships between parents and children. A large part of my practice is working with couples to help them when they find their relationship has hit a time of struggle. I’m also a Gottman “Bringing Baby Home Educator,” which means I have been approved by The Gottman Institute to teach psycho-educational classes to help parents in their transition to parenthood. My training in each of these areas has given me the expertise to help you and your partner have a healthy and happy relationship and provide a safety and security for your new baby.
Are there a prescribed number of sessions for parenting coaching?
The number of sessions with me are based on the needs of each client couple. There is no average number of sessions. I work with each couple to tailor their parent coaching to their particular set of circumstances. When you meet with me, we will discuss your goals and what you need to address in your parent coaching sessions. From there, we will work collaboratively on a schedule that works best for you.
Want to Know More?
You may have more questions to ask about parent coaching and my work with expectant couples and new parents. I offer a free 30-minute consultation in my office for you to meet me and decide if I’m a good fit for you.
Call me today at 512-739-2494 to schedule a consultation and appointment or click here to have us contact you.