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Saturday 24th of June 2017
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Parent Coaching – could it be right for your family?

Posted by on March 13th, 2012 |

Many times, parents call my office and describe an issue their 3-6 year old may be having. They describe separation anxiety, hitting siblings, talking back to parents, difficulty with transition, inattention, and problems in the classroom amongst other issues. They also mention their frustration with their child’s behavior. They are at the end of their rope and often say, “we just don’t know what to do any more!” And then the follow up question I usually get is, “But what can a clinical psychologist do by talking or playing with my child?”  Which is when I explain that I can help the family as a whole. A parent coach listens to concerns, takes time getting to know the child, makes suggestions and gives constructive feedback.

This is not a “Super Nanny” approach to psychotherapy, but instead a holistic, family-centered therapy where everyone is listened to and can feel safe. In parent coaching there are no fingers being pointed – no judgments. Just problem solving! Thinking of what has worked in the past with your child and what hasn’t. The goal is to develop a plan that works with everyone’s personality style and comfort level. While behavioral plans are often implemented, parent coaching is creative and decidedly not “cookie cutter.” The realities of a family’s life are taken into consideration. Certain things (such as a 7 pm bedtime when parents don’t return home until 6:30 pm) may be ideal, but just not possible. Once a plan is in place, families or sometimes just parents, return on a weekly basis to tweak the plan and discuss what still needs to be changed. Although my door is always open, the goal is to gradually decrease parent or family meetings. I find that parents find renewed confidence and can begin to more greatly enjoy their time with their children. As for children, they seem to feel calmer and safe when limits are put in place. As a whole, families are happier! Call us at 773-244-3151 if you think that Parent Coaching could help your family.

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