When to work with a parent coach

We are prepared for many things in life, but one of the things that we must learn on the job is parenting. Most of us have an innate intuition and internal compass and a set of values that give us a framework for parenting. But sometimes, life throws an unexpected curve ball. A child gets bullied in school and starts to withdraw. An unfortunate loss envelops a family in grief. A move from one city to another leaves children with more questions than answers as they navigate a new school, neighbourhood and house. Just like the child might be overwhelmed, the parent too might be overwhelmed. In recent history, the covid lockdowns were times when we had a collective experience of going through a very difficult time globally. Yet every child might have needed different support and every parent might have needed a different kind of support. At times like that we look to friends, family, loved ones for guidance and support. But we can also consider looking externally to individuals trained in and passionate about supporting and providing a safe space and support to families, individuals, and children to navigate their thoughts, feelings, emotions and behaviours at such times.

When we look at athletes, they are always with their coach. This two way dialogue between the coach and athlete is a very important component of the training process. So too, we believe that we should redefine the concept of asking for help, and normalise it. When we sign a contract we need a lawyer. So, too when we find ourselves in new territories, it is okay and healthy and a sign of strength to reach out to a trained individual who will provide a safe space to work with us through the emotions, feelings and thoughts that arise.

What kind of things can you learn from a parenting coach?

“As children develop, their brains “mirror” their parent’s brain. In other words, the parent’s own growth and development, or lack of those, impact the child’s brain. As parents become more aware and emotionally healthy, their children reap the rewards and move toward health as well. That means that integrating and cultivating your own brain is one of the most loving and generous gifts you can give your children.” Dan Siegel

A parenting coach provides a safe space where clients are heard and provided with tools to be more attuned to the needs of their children. A parenting coach can provide guidance on setting boundaries, promoting emotional intelligence, and addressing specific concerns related to the child’s growth and well-being Parents acquire skills to better cope with challenging behaviours of their children and learn how to navigate different developmental stages. Parents may gain insight into their own emotions and behaviours which impact their relationships. The sessions may help with reducing stress in the homes and build a nurturing and supportive family environment.

By Maheen Hamid, Parenting Coach and Counsellor, Reviewed in December 2023