When it comes to parenting, there are so many things we all think about, worry about, stress about, and rejoice in...! Every day dawns, with a new series of ups and downs that change our lives from minute-to-minute. The great news is parenting isn’t a solo sport. There’s a vast network of expert coaches able to help in almost any area of parenting (and life!) you can imagine. The resources you need are only a few clicks away.
Each coaching specialty comes with a unique set of skills and tools to help in specific areas. Before meeting with a coach, it’s recommended that you do a little research and have any questions ready to go for the consultation. By preparing ahead of time, you can use the consultation time wisely to really get a feel for the coach and make sure they are a good fit for you and your family. This article will share some of the standard expectations of working with different coaches and some questions you should ask during the consultation.
Keep in mind, coaches have a wide variety of backgrounds, certifications, and skills. Some coaches consider their life experiences as their best qualification for the job. A life coach is not the same as a licensed mental health practitioner. Depending on where a coach studied and trained, any initials after their name may vary from coach to coach. It’s always recommended that any questions or concerns about training, certification, or licensure be asked during the consultation.
There’s nothing better than bringing home a newborn baby from the hospital. But after a few months, if your baby still isn’t on a sleep schedule, you might feel differently. Baby Sleep Coaches specialize in working one-on-one with you and your baby to help personalize a plan to help get your baby to sleep through the night.
Important things to look for when hiring a baby sleep coach:
A personalized plan. Not all babies fit into a one-size-fits-all sleep program. Every baby and family has unique needs, and a coach should create a plan that works for your family dynamics. It’s perfectly normal to ask to see a sample plan during your consultation.
Most coaches will not only create the plan but also work with you to help implement it, support you if there are obstacles, update the plan as needed due to unforeseen obstacles, and be available for follow-up. If a coach just wants to hand you a plan and walk away without being a support person, they aren’t an actual “coach.” Coaches will be there every step of the way to help keep you motivated and focused while going through the process of sleep training your baby.
Finding someone upbeat, positive, and compassionate is essential. Sleep training can be a daunting task, so finding a coach who is excited and up for the challenge is important. They should also have some great recommendations on their website, or you’ve personally heard great things from another parent. Positive word of mouth goes a long way.
Most new baby sleep coaches go through a lengthy training process. Make sure your coach has at least a few hundred hours of experience in the field as well as formal training.
Any time your family grows, there may be a shift in life circumstances. Whether you are looking for a new job, considering a significant life change, or are needing some relationship direction, you may want to consider hiring a life coach. These trained individuals tend to focus on areas that help their clients improve their day-to-day lives. They can be instrumental in assisting individuals in setting personal goals, identify obstacles standing in the way, and create a strategic plan to help achieve personal success.
Important things to know when hiring a life coach:
Life coaches aren’t therapists. Think of them as consultants aimed at helping you realize your goals, set a plan, and help navigate the obstacles that arise on your journey to success. In the area of career coaching, some life coaches also offer resumes, interview skills coaching, and networking services.
Know your needs going in. Are you working on a long-term life project or something more short-term, like a career change? Make sure the life coach is able to accommodate your timeframe for your goals.
Availability is key. Some life coaches offer online services or phone appointments rather than in-person appointments. This can provide a level of flexibility you might need. Verify how the coach’s program works and ensure it is compatible with your schedule.
Experience is a must. There are plenty of certification and training programs available to life coaches. Verify yours has completed one and has at least a few hundred hours of experience outside of their formal training program. Some coaches are trained in all three major life coaching areas but choose to specialize in only one. Make sure to ask about any areas of specialization.
Often nutrition coaches and wellness coaches are used interchangeably. A nutrition or wellness coach works with clients to improve their lives through better eating habits and lifestyle changes like basic fitness. When it comes to your family, if you or a child is diagnosed with a medical condition that requires a major diet modification, a registered dietician can help create meal plans, shopping lists, and healthy recommendations to achieve the new eating protocol’s needs. However, suppose you or your family is struggling with making good nutrition habits a cornerstone, and you want to improve your collective health with food. In that case, a nutrition coach can help you set healthy goals, create personalized meal plans, teach meal prep skills, teach shopping secrets to keep you on track, and how to overcome obstacles that may appear. A nutrition coach can also be a helpful ongoing approach to maintaining a new dietary plan in place after working with a registered dietician.
Things to know when hiring a nutrition coach:
Nutrition coaches are not registered dietitians. In some cases, you may be recommended to work with a registered dietician. A nutrition coach is not licensed in the same way a dietician is, but they are trained on specialized dietary needs and focus on helping coach their clients in techniques that result in better eating habits.
Nutrition and Wellness coaches may also have crossover training in personal fitness. Many personal trainers add either a wellness coaching training or nutrition coaching training to their education to provide a more well-rounded and holistic approach to better health and an overall increased quality of life. When having a consultation, ask what background the coach has and where their specialty lies. It’s normal to ask to see sample nutrition plans or shopping lists during the consultation.
Breastfeeding is a specialization for nutrition coaches. For new moms, it may seem daunting to try to manage your own nutrition as well as that of your newborn if you are breastfeeding. While some doulas provide basic breastfeeding services, they only focus on areas concerning latching and suckling. In contrast, nutrition coaches focus on creating a plan to get both mom and baby the proper nutrition they need for healthy growth and development. If you are seeking nutrition assistance while breastfeeding, ensure your coach has the appropriate training and experience.
Parenting can feel overwhelming on the best of days. With each new member of the family, the dynamics of parenting change. Equally, as children age, parenting dynamics must shift and adjust as well. A parenting coach can help parents identify and strategize for any behavior, age-related, or unmet parenting goals that might be causing stress in a family. These trained professionals work together with families to identify any dynamics that may be working against the family’s goals and strategize methods to overcome them. They can also help create behavior shifts in family members for a more pleasant family environment.
Things to know when searching for a Parenting coach:
Parenting coaches can be formally trained and usually take continuing education credits to keep their skills current. This formal training plus the continuation of training on a regular basis keeps them current on parenting issues, methodologies for coaching, and medical conditions in children.
Bring both what works and doesn’t to the table during your consultation. If you have a child with special needs that you’ve found a specific method works in one area, let the coach know as well as where the struggles are with that child. The more information you can provide, the better. Plus, there is no reason to fix what is already working. These professionals can take strategies that are known to be working and create similar or parallel strategies to use in other areas of concern.
Parenting coaches are first-line responders in your parenting support system. While friends and family members might be full of good advice, a parenting coach has more real-life experience in various family situations and their education to provide comprehensive plans and tools to achieve your parenting goals. They come without any bias, judgment, and motives. Their only goal is to help you reach your parenting goals for your family.
Whether it be your home or your family that needs some organization, organization coaches might be a good fit for you. Organization coaches are trained to help transform your home and family into a more organized and productive space. This can be especially helpful if you experience stress walking into your home at the end of the day. These trained coaches are also skilled at working with children to make their space more organized and teach them age-appropriate behaviors related to time management and project organization. These skills then translate to good study habits and planning for larger school projects as the child ages.
Things to know when hiring an organization coach:
Know your goals. Be open about your goals in the relationship. If you need help organizing your home and after-school routines, be clear those areas of focus are important.
Availability is important. While some coaches prefer an in-person approach, others are open to virtual meetings. Make sure whatever their approach is, the availability matches with yours. Often if you are looking for help after school or work to organize and streamline your schedule to be more productive and get more family time at the end of the day, the coach may want to observe during that timeframe.
Personality matters. Make sure your coach has an open mindset, is optimistic, and has an organized and strategy-focused approach. Coaches in organization have a wide variety of skills, and you want to make sure that both the skillset and personality are a good match for you and your family.
In today’s virtual world, screens are more prevalent than ever. Commonly parents are as engrossed in screens as children, and the desire to break “the screen habit” is becoming more important. If you are struggling to find quality non-screen time in your home, it might be worth reaching out to a screen coach. These coaches are adept at strategizing ways to break the screen habit and get both parents and kids away from technology for more quality family time.
Things to consider when hiring a screen coach:
Screen coaches are typically a subspecialty of parenting or life coaches. These individuals work with you to identify actual screen needs versus screen time-sucks. They develop plans to help create a structured approach to how long screen time should last and how to help children transition from screen time to other engaging activities.
Have an understanding of your current screen time usage and your goal usage. Knowing ahead of time how much screen time your family is regularly consuming, it’ll be easier for your coach to help you strategize better time usage for your entire family.
Parenting isn’t always simple and straightforward. Having an accessible team of coaches available to help makes navigating any parenting obstacles easier. To find virtual coaches or coaches in your area, check out our coaching resources. Our goal is to help you and your family achieve your goals.