There is a myth that “Parent Education” must only be for people who “need” it. My motto for the past 30 years is that all parents deserve support and guidance. “Coaching” seems to be a term most people can relate to, but what is “Parent Coaching”?
What is Parent Coaching?
When faced with challenges, parents can often identify what they want but not always their (or their child’s) needs. Parenting Coaching can normalize these uncomfortable and stressful parenting experiences.
Parent Coaching can:
- Meet a parent where they are on their journey and strategizes with them to identify what it is that could be worked on.
- Bring a sense of control over the situation(s) which brought them to Parent Coaching so they can begin to feel more hopeful and less bewildered, defeated or stressed.
- Give parents a starting point to better consider solutions to improve the well-being of their family, their relationship with their child, and have their child get their needs met too.
- Provide a collection of tools, strategies and resources to serve as go-to’s for your long-term parenting journey.
Why try Parent Coaching?
Parent Coaching is not about telling how to “parent” as much as it is about supporting a parent on their parenting journey–which can reach far beyond just child rearing. Parent Coaching supports all the ways that we support someone in their parenting experiences, whether it be solving a parenting problem, coping with the demands of parenting or needing to improve their balancing act.
Presently, mental health providers, especially for children & adolescents, have long wait lists. Sometimes Parent Coaching simply helps the parents and children cope in the meantime–providing tools and resources to bridge a gap. But, the skills learned through Parent Coaching are also lifelong tools on your parenting journey–bringing value through each developmental stage.
To quote my favorite cousin, “It’s hard to be human”–and, it's even harder to be a human in development!” Parent Coaching reminds parents that development underlies most of children’s behaviors that challenge us.
"Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better."
Parent Coaching can help sort out what’s behind actual challenges so that problem solving is possible. Helping parents, and children, to ‘name it’ is often a first step towards clarity which leads to empowerment and validation. Not all adults are innately versed in child development and, in the throes of parenting, it is an easily forgotten fact that children are undergoing constant change and learning.
The Name Game
Research tells us that being able to identify emotions enables us to gain a sense of control. Dr. Daniel Siegel1, a master synthesizer of research findings from neuroscience and child development, coined the phrase, “name it to tame it”, which I quote often working with parents.
Parents who help a child to identify their emotions are nurturing developing emotional literacy. In an article Tame Reactive Emotions by Naming Them2, by labeling an emotion, we create distance between ourselves and our experience that allows us to choose how to respond to challenges. This holds true for any age human in need of taking the reins back.
Psychologist David Rock states3, “when you experience significant internal tension and anxiety, you can reduce stress by up to 50% by simply noticing and naming your state.” Parent Coaching involves helping parents to “name it” for themselves, too.
We Can Help
Contact us online, at 952.230.5117 (EAP Members) or 952.250.5109 (Physician Well-Being Members), or through the VITAL WorkLife App to get started with Parent Coaching. VITAL WorkLife is also here to support you in whatever stressors may be impacting you at home or work.
- Siegel, Daniel J. Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation. Random House Publishing Group, 2010.
- Abblett, Mitch. “Tame Reactive Emotions by Naming Them.” Mindful.org, 25 September 2019, https://www.mindful.org/labels-help-tame-reactive-emotions-naming/. Accessed 1 December 2022.
- “Name It to Tame It: Labelling Emotions to Reduce Stress & Anxiety.” Oral Health Group, 3 May 2021, https://www.oralhealthgroup.com/features/name-it-to-tame-it-labelling-emotions-to-reduce-stress-anxiety/. Accessed 1 December 2022.