What is a Parent Coach?

A coach is that supportive person on the sidelines who is championing your growth and development. A coach calls the plays but ultimately stays off the field and lets you make the plays.

Parenting coaches are mentors who listen, educate, and teach. They can provide clarity about your parenting, offer reality checks, shift your perspective to a more productive one, and inspire you to not only be a better parent, but a better person. They will assess where you are, where you want to go and will chart a path on how to get there.

How is coaching different than therapy?

Parent coaching is different than therapy. It has boundaries around the types of issues it can address. Therapists dive into the past, looking for causes of dysfunction. This is a useful and often times a necessary process for people to go through. We all need to understand the question, "How did I get here?" Therapists receive specific training to deal with a multitude of issues and are state licensed. They can also help families process deep trauma.

Coaches are not state licensed and have various levels of training. (However some coaches are also professional therapists.) Coaches have a focus on the present. The question is, "How do I go from here to there?" The focus is also on daily life with your children, but does not go beyond that. Through advising, giving suggested readings, showing you a different way to see your child, assigning specific tasks, and reflecting back your own thoughts to you, a structured framework is crafted by you and your coach. Step by step, if you follow through, you can create lasting change in your relationship with your child. When the relationship is healthy, when you step up to be a confident parent, when your child feels a connection with you, difficult behaviors change.

If deeper issues surface in the process of working with your coach, he/she will advise you to seek the professional support of counseling.

Remember, ultimately, the "ball" is in your hands and it is up to you to decide how far down the field you will run it.