Having children doesn’t come with an instruction manual. Parents learn as they go, leaning on others for advice and expertise. When going through more challenging phases, some parents don’t have the skills and know-how to parent with confidence. Also, when children are experiencing certain challenges, or are a challenge themselves, it can be difficult for parents to help.
That’s when parents can call upon the help of an expert – not a grandparent, doctor, or friend – but actually hire someone to help them navigate through those challenging times when books, blogs and websites won’t just cut it.
When our kids are struggling with school work, we hire tutors. When we can’t seem to get our children to sleep through the night, we work with sleep consultants.
Parents are turning to parenting coaches for one-on-one instruction. These professional coaches charge $125 to $350 a session, according to Star Tribune who covered an article on this new trend.
The idea of coaching parents isn’t new; remember ABC Television’s “Supernanny”, the reality program with British nanny Jo Frost who would enter a new household each week, observe the interaction of parents and children, and then teach parents new ways of handling their kids?
Now, parents can consult with a parenting coach over the phone or via Skype to help them develop a plan for their child.
Personal coaching is a $1.08 billion industry in the United States; you can hire a sleep coach, a financial coach, a life coach, and a fitness coach. Add to the list – parenting coach.
According to Star Tribune, most parent coaches have some kind of certification, and have a background in school psychology, education, or mental health.
But the profession isn’t regulated, which leaves some parenting experts concerned about the advice offered. Others wonder why parents would shell out hundreds of dollars for suggestions they might easily get elsewhere.
Toni Schutta is a licensed psychologist, but also a parenting coach. She listens to parents, and suggests tools to address a specific issue and keep them accountable for a set number of weeks. The top reason most clients hire her to help is because their kids don’t listen.
Plus, parents who hire a parent coach felt more comfortable asking a coach for parenting help with day-to-day struggles instead of a counselor, specialist, therapist — or even a member of their own family. Plus, coaching is often easier to fit in around busy schedules, since it can be done over the phone.
Would you hire a parent coach?