Recent world events have left many parents serving as both parents and teachers. If you felt your frustration level rising, you may have acted in ways that made both you and your child unhappy. Building better parenting skills often take a mentor or a coach to boost your communication and empathy. If improving your skills improved your results, you may be ready to coach someone else.
Why Become A Parenting Coach?
Many of the people who choose to become a parenting coaches do so because their childhoods were challenging. They may have grown up in a home that felt chaotic or unsafe. They may have been verbally or physically abused. When their own children were born, their goal was to do things differently.
However, having a positive goal of being a good parent will take more skills than just being better at parenting than your parents were. A negative example is a good start. Doing everything you can to keep your child happy all the time will not serve your child long-term. Sometimes, being a good parent means setting boundaries for your child, which can upset them.
What A Parenting Coach Does
A parenting coach helps their client by helping them to accept their feelings. On the surface, this sounds fairly simple. A parent may see their child acting out in anger and understand that the child is upset and overwhelmed. If your inner reaction is also to become angry, you will increase the confusion, frustration, and upset for all concerned.
Avoiding a judgmental mindset of condemning some emotions as undesirable is a critical first step. An emotion is just an emotion; resisting or reacting to it can be positive or negative.
Many children (and adults) experience displaced emotions. They get in trouble at work or school and yell at a playmate or spouse. These bad behaviors are symptoms of how difficult emotions show up in our lives. Understanding and accepting that base emotion that is churning up bad behaviors and putting a name to tough feelings will help your child to accept, process, and deal with the feelings so a healthier choice can be made.
How You Become A Parenting Coach
You do not need a degree to become a parenting coach. You can boost your ability to manage the communication and empathy needed by studying
- early childhood education
If you have personal knowledge of some of the tougher aspects of childhood, such as ADHD or other processing challenges, you may choose to target your training and coaching in that direction.
It is important to note that many processing challenges such as ADHD and hyperactive or impulsive behaviors are tied to genetics. If your childhood or schooling history was especially challenging because you struggled to function in a classroom setting, your empathy as a coach could be invaluable to families struggling to help a child who finds a traditional school setting too restrictive.
You can pair your studies in psychology with the life lessons you’ve learned and make yourself an invaluable coach for families struggling through these tough situations. You can also help adults in the household deal with their difficult memories tied to their own childhood trauma.
Turning Parenting Coaching Into A Career
As a parenting coach, you may find that you’re most effective in working inside the home. You may visit the home to observe the interaction between parents and children and between the siblings if there is more than one child in the household. As an in-home coach, you may well need to work evenings and weekends or put in a lot of summer hours to effectively provide observation and feedback.
You may also coach online. These sessions can offer both parents in the household the chance to have some one-on-one coaching time so they can both process their reactions to tough parenting events.
Finally, you may work as an observer in your own office. It’s important to remember that your goals as a coach will be different than those of a therapist. You may be working with a parent who struggles to avoid anger when their child is overwhelmed. That parent may want to seek therapy to attend to any difficult events from their own childhood, but your job as a coach is to help them work through the here and now to support a child before the meltdown hits.