Parenting is a hard job, but you don’t have to do it alone: The power of parent coaching
By: Angela Mancao, MSW, LCSW
Parenting is the journey of a lifetime that is filled with beautiful and rewarding moments. But as wonderful as it can be, it is also filled with challenges that can make parents question themselves.
If you are a parent, you might be all too familiar with the ups and downs that come with raising a child or teen. You may experience sleepless nights and anxiety as you are unsure about what you “should” be doing. Although the love for your child is unconditional and unwavering, it can be difficult and overwhelming to navigate the complexities of parenting. It may also feel isolating to feel like you have to figure out parenting all on your own.
But we want to reassure you that you do not have to go through the turbulent waters of parenting alone! One helpful resource that can help support you in figuring out parenthood is parent coaching.
Benefits of Parent Coaching
Parent coaching, which can be offered by a coach or trained mental health professional, is a way to get support for yourself and for your child. There are various benefits of parent coaching, including the following:
1. Alternative to Child Therapy: Parent coaching is a great alternative if there are logistical challenges that make it difficult for your child to meet with a therapist (such as, the local child therapist having a waitlist or availability that does not work for your child’s schedule) or if your child is not willing to participate in therapy at this time. Parent coaching allows parents to receive the support and guidance they need to make lasting, positive changes in the parent-child relationship.
2. Focus on Preventative Care: Parent coaching is an opportunity for early intervention. Parents are taught skills and strategies to anticipate and proactively address challenges before they escalate. Parents who seek support to address challenges on the parenting level may reduce the likelihood that they would need intensive therapeutic interventions later on in their and their child’s lives.
3. Gain Parental Skills and Strategies: Parent coaching helps parents develop a variety of skills to improve the parent-child interaction and overall relationship. For instance, parent coaching equips parents with the tools to communicate more clearly and respond empathetically with their children. Parents are taught to assess their child’s needs that are often expressed through their behaviors or emotional reactions and then respond in a helpful manner. Parent coaching can also support parents to adopt positive discipline strategies without resorting to punishment to foster a sense of responsibility and self-control among their child. Having more skills in your parenting toolbox can help you feel more confident!
4. Build Stronger Parent-Child Bonds: Families are built upon and depend on strong, secure attachments between parent and child. As mentioned above, parent coaching can improve parent-child relationships by offering education of its importance and strategies to enhance the relationship by engaging in bonding activities, dedicating quality time to your child, and engaging in activities that meet your child’s unique personality and interests. A strong relational foundation can nurture your child’s (and the whole family’s!) emotional growth and development.
5. Receive Individualized Care: Every family is different and parent coaching can be tailored to your specific needs. When meeting with a therapist for parent coaching, the professional works with the parent to gain a comprehensive understanding of the dynamics of their family, with consideration of cultural, individual, and situational factors. The therapist will use this information to create an individualized treatment plan that is applicable to the family’s situation and aligns with the family’s values and beliefs.
6. Support for Your Own Well-being: There is no denying how difficult of a job parenting is! Parent coaching provides parents with the space to share their experiences with a trusted professional who can help them manage their own stress that may or may not be related to parenting. Parents who take care of their own stress and wellbeing have an increased capacity to respond to and meet their children’s needs, which can create a positive and harmonious family system.
Parent coaching is a valuable and proactive approach for parents. It provides a safe space for parents to receive their own support while learning and developing parenting skills to navigate current and future challenges. It can help parents feel competent and confident to have positive interactions with their children and create nurturing and support family environments that set their children up for life.
Parent Coaching at CFCE
If you are interested in parent coaching, our therapists can support you! You will be paired with a fully licensed or pre-licensed therapist who can help and support you in achieving your goals for yourself and your family. We know how busy your schedules can be, and our clinicians also offer telehealth sessions so we can meet you where you are.