What is a Parenting Coach and Do I Need One?

A parenting coach can help you address a variety of parenting issues.
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Parenting coaches are emerging as a new way for parents to gain support for a variety of parenting issues. Unlike psychotherapists who treat diagnosed mental health conditions, coaches behave more like consultants. They provide tools, ideas, and support without treating underlying issues, like ADHD or depression.

How Do I Know if I Need a Coach?

Parenting coaches can help with a variety of issues. Here are a few services a parenting coach may be able to offer you:

  • Behavior problems – help you find effective ways to address issues such as aggression, sibling rivalry, and defiance.
  • Stress-related parenting issues –find ways to take care of yourself and manage your stress.
  • Best parenting practices –assist you in following through with research-based best practices in regards to issues such as homework, electronics, and exercise.
  • Developmental activities –strategies that support your child’s physical, emotional, and social development.
  • Parenting during transition or crisis –help you be the best parent you can during a crisis or hardship, such as divorce or loss of a loved one.
  • Parenting questions –answer a variety of questions regarding best parenting practices.
  • Practical problems –help you create a plan to address childcare issues or educational problems.

How Are Services Offered?

Some parenting coaches go to parents’ homes and provide feedback while you’re caring for your child.

Other coaches meet with parents anywhere, including in the community, or at your office. Other parenting coaches over services by phone, email or via video conference.

It’s up to you to determine which type of services would be most beneficial to you. While some parents enjoy having a coach they can call on the phone during evening hours, other people prefer face-to-face meetings only.

How Much Does a Parenting Coach Cost?

Coaches establish their own prices. In general, you can expect to pay somewhere around $100 an hour, but fees vary greatly depending on the coach and the area in which you live.

Insurance companies do not cover the costs of parenting coaches. If you or your child has a diagnosable mental health or developmental disorder, you may be eligible to receive services that are covered by your health insurance. Talk to your doctor, your child’s pediatrician, or your insurance company directly if you think you may qualify for this type of service.

What Should I Look for in a Parenting Coach?

While there are some parent coaching certification programs, most coaches aren’t certified. Some of them have college degrees and experience working as therapists or teachers, but others have few qualifications. Inquire about what type of experience, training, or certification a coach has before making any decisions.

It’s important to find a coach that you feel comfortable talking to about various parenting issues.

An open and honest relationship is an essential first step in finding someone who can help you reach your goals.

Ask questions about a coach's policies regarding confidentiality and paperwork. Make sure the person you work with is going to keep your conversations private.

Whether you hope to prefer to meet with a coach face-to-face, or you’re looking for someone to speak with over the phone, a quick online search can help you locate the best services for you. Many of them offer a free initial consultation and a quick conversation may help you decide if that coach is a good match for your needs.

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