As a life coach, many of your clients will be parents in need of advice, guidance, and parenting plan support. Whether you choose to specialize as a parenting life coach or just take on parent clients from time to time, it’s important to understand the roles you’ll play when providing coaching services to parents of all kinds.
When you practice life coaching for parents, you’ll offer a wide range of services depending on your clients’ unique needs and preferences.
Assessing Parenting Needs and Goals
As a parenting life coach, your chief responsibility before doing anything else will be assessing parenting needs and goals. Every pair of parents is different, and every set of parents or single parent has a different collection of challenges and difficulties they face.
As an example, a single parent will have a much tougher time raising even one child compared to a happily married couple. It’s up to you as the life coach to:
- Assess what each parent needs
- Identify each parent’s strengths and weaknesses – this can help you develop a good parenting plan for them specifically
- Set goals for both personal growth and healthy family dynamics
Let’s return to the example of the single parent once again. Maybe that parent is struggling with raising their child, holding down a job, and developing as an adult.
You can come up with a parenting plan that includes:
- Setting aside some time for the parent to focus on their hobbies and themselves each week
- Helping the parent figure out how to teach their child to care for themselves some of the time
- And more
Note that this can be a good thing! Parenting life coaches have to wear a lot of different hats and provide many different types of assistance.
Building Effective Communication Skills
Life coaches like you can help parents build effective communication skills: an absolutely vital necessity for any pair of parents hoping to work together and build a foundational relationship for their kids going forward.
Specifically, you might help parents build and maintain skills like:
- Active listening, which is the art of actually listening to and absorbing what someone has to say
- Empathy, which many partners need help with, even if they have already been married for some time!
- Expressing emotions and needs constructively instead of aggressively
All of these skills can be invaluable for parents who may be experiencing a little relational friction after the birth of a child, for example. In this way, you’ll technically fulfill a dual role, guiding parents to become better guardians of their children and better partners in a romantic context.
Parenting Strategies and Techniques
Many parents – especially new parents looking for assistance with their first child – may need a leg up when it comes to parenting strategies and techniques. As a life coach, you’ll be well-equipped to provide those strategies and techniques to need for parents.
For instance, some parents might have difficulties getting their kids to behave, do chores on time, etc. You can help them come up with action plans to establish healthy routines and boundaries for everyone in the family.
Alternatively, parents may have difficulty teaching their kids responsibility or encouraging autonomy. Maybe a mother needs her child to strike out on their own and be a little more independent. You can provide that mother with help by showing her exercises she can do with her child, bringing up incentives like rewards or allowances for the child, and so on.
Managing Stress and Self-Care
Many parents feel a ton of stress when they suddenly have one or more children to take care of! Life coaches like you can show parents how to manage their stress and practice self-care. Just as a few examples, you might:
- Teach parents how to practice mindfulness, which can reduce stress and reduce forgetfulness when there are a lot of things that need to be done
- Show parents how to perform stress-relieving yoga by themselves or with each other
- Practice exercises for balancing daily tasks and responsibilities, such as writing down “to-do lists” and so on
Many of these stress management and self-care techniques will benefit parents both as parents and as people. After all, lots of parents report feeling like they lose a bit of themselves when they become caretakers of children. You can help them recover those elements of their personalities and be all the happier for it.
Navigating Parenting Challenges
Perhaps more than anything else, you’ll help parents identify and navigate distinct parenting challenges. Of course, life coaching for parents can be different depending on the stages of their children’s development.
Parenting challenges with kids in infancy, for example, are very different than those with kids in adolescence! Say you have to help a pair of new parents learn how to balance their work lives and their new responsibilities to an infant child.
You might suggest that they come up with a labor plan to split the time they spend with their little one, or suggest that one parent start working part-time to save money on daycare.
However, another pair of parents comes to you with challenges associated with teenage parenting. Maybe their teenager, for instance, no longer listens to them and doesn’t want to do their part around the house because of teenage rebellion. You might suggest exercises like active listening, providing the teenager with an allowance, etc.
Just from these two examples, you can see how your task as a parenting life coach can vary heavily.
All in all, you can provide a lot of real value as a parenting life coach. Parenting is one of the toughest jobs there is, and your expertise could help make that road a little less burdensome for your clients.