Posted by: coachingparents | February 15, 2010

Is Parent Coaching Right For You?


Parent coaching has all the right stuff for a person seeking self-employment. As a career, it offers flexibility, personal satisfaction, and unlimited earning potential. It is also one of the fastest growing home based businesses today. This makes it ideal for parents, career switchers, and retirees, but is it right for you?

Parent coaches come from all walks of life. They are teachers and therapists. They are mothers, fathers, and grandparents. They are former corporate leaders and nine-to-five refugees. They are anyone with an intense desire to help parents get the most out of family life.

Coaching is solution oriented,” says seasoned parent and lifestyle coach Natalie Gahrmann. “It is not someone just guessing. It is, ‘Tell me about the problem, then tell me what you are going to do about it.’ If you don’t know what to do about it, I can help you with that, but don’t tell me there is nothing you can do about it and you are stuck here as a victim.”

Characteristics of a Good Parent Coach

A successful coach/client partnership is built from the ground up, and is essential to the entire coaching process. In order to help parents reach their personal and familial goals, a coach must be able to develop a trusting and respectful relationship with their client. It is from this point that she can begin to chip away at the parent’s insecurity, which gives parents the confidence to handle problems and reach their desired goals.

“A parent coach is someone who partners with you to help you remove all your fears of parenting,” says veteran parent coach Peggy Alvarado. “They help you gain the confidence to raise the type of children you always wished them to be.”

Alvarado, a former software technology executive, believes that even though each individual has a unique coaching style, there are certain characteristics all good parent coaches share. They include:

  • Being a good listener. Parent coaches are trained to be compassionate and insightful listeners. They do not listen for listening sake. They instead listen for clues and solutions to problems that maybe even the client does not realize they know.
  • Inquisitiveness. Parent coaches must have an inquisitive nature. They need to be able to ask thoughtful questions that require action oriented answers. “It isn’t just about listening,” says Gahrmann. “It is also about being provocative and helping people get to a new place. I help people find their own solutions, and together we come up with the action to do that.”
  • Objectivity. Parent coaches must be capable maintaining objectivity when it comes to their clients and their situations. Coaches are not friends who are called upon for unconditional support. They are people who you enlist to help you define your goals and help you devise an action plan to meet those goals. They are someone you depend on to see all the picture and support you in the decisions you make.
  • Assertiveness. Parent coaches must be assertive enough to challenge their clients and ask questions that demand answers. “There is a synergy that happens between people that helps come up with other solutions,” says Gahrmann. “Some people say I can do A or B, and they are often opposite ends of the spectrum, but if I say well what if you do this, the next thing you know, they have ten choices in front of them.”
  • Openness. Having an open nature is one of the greatest attributes any parent coach can have. It is important that coaches be open minded in regards to people, situations, and themselves.  Coaches must be open to all people in all stages of life, but they must also be aware of their own individual strengths and weaknesses. They must realize that no one person can ever know everything or be the most non-judgmental or objective you can be.
  • Curiosity. Good parent coaches are curious people. They are interested in learning about their clients, their situations, and what resources and information is available to them. Coaches are constantly working to find new approaches and solutions for their clients and themselves. They are always learning and interested in learning because parent coaching is definitely a continuing education field. “One of the things that makes a great coach is realizing that because you are a coach today does not mean you are done and you can go on and not work on it,” says Alvarado. “There are always ways to develop yourself and become that much better.”

If you feel called to make a difference in the lives of children and parents, please visit http://www.acpi.biz for our new program offer.

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