By Leslie Crawford
As parents, we're expected to be experts. From the moment we laid eyes on our newborn babies — so perfect, so innocent — we vowed to be ever-patient, loving, and devoted. We follow through, too, doing our homework, devouring parenting books, magazines, and (ahem) websites. But then, all our best intentions are undone in untenable trigger moments: on "happy" family vacations when backseat whining morphs mom into Medusa; when frantically hunting for missing homework and bellowing, "You're making me late for work again!" or during the pre-dinner witching hour when kid crankiness reaches its nails-on-the-chalkboard peak. "Help!" we silently scream during those darkest of parenting moments, followed by: "Isn't there someone out there who can tell me what to do!?"
Why yes, there is. Enter the parent coach, a modern invention that is slowly gaining a foothold with a generation of overtaxed parents desperate to do a better job. Parenting in the 21st century means that — sprinkled amongst those joyful moments that come with raising a new human being – you will face an unimaginable smorgasbord of pitfalls. Sure, you might have taken birthing classes, but after that, from toddler tantrums to adolescent attitude, it's up to you to be a pro at parenting.
So, what exactly does a parent coach do? Act as your very own 24-hour personal parent trainer who rubs your shoulders and gives you a pep talk whenever you endure a tough bout of back talk? ("Go, Mom, go! You can win this round. Remember: Gentle but firm!") Or does she march into your home à la TV's Supernanny, take a prim white glove to your family’s dirty laundry, scold your ill-behaved children — and ineffectual parenting — and send you to your naughty corner?
Neither, according to Gloria DeGaetano, founder of the Parent Coaching Institute (PCI). Parent coach graduates don’t blithely ladle out advice or admonishments. As with a career or life coach, a parent coach assesses her clients' strengths and challenges. This is not therapy, stresses DeGaetano. Instead, the coach's goal is to help moms and dads minimize the difficulties and maximize the joy of parenting. "Parents are the experts on their own children," says DeGaetano, who explains her coaches — just like athletic coaches – are there to help parents improve their game. "Our coaching helps parents be more authentic. So instead of screaming, they say, 'I feel like screaming.'"
Sign up for our newsletter and we'll send you more
insights to help you help your child succeed.
Thank you! You will begin to receive newsletters from us shortly.
Great work! Only one more step. Now we just need you to verify your email address. Please click on the link in the email we just sent you to complete your registration.
Great work! Only one more step. Now we just need you to verify your email address. Please click on the link in the email we just sent you to submit your review.
Please click on the link in the verification email we just sent you to complete your change of email address.
Whoops! It looks like we still need to verify your email. To do so, please click on the link in the email we sent you. Can't find the e-mail? Click the button below and we'll send you a new one.
Thanks for registering. Welcome to GreatSchools, the largest online community committed to improving educational outcomes through parental involvement.
Thanks for verifying your updated email address.
Oops! You haven't verified your email address yet. To do so, please click on the link in the email we sent you. Can't find the email? Click the button below to receive a new one.
Oops! That email verification link has expired. Please click the button below to receive a new one.
Create an account to submit your answers.
Sign in with an existing GreatSchools account or using Facebook:
Your review has been posted to GreatSchools.
Share with friends! Post your opinion of on Facebook.
Welcome to GreatSchools!
For principals and school officials, we offer a special Enhanced School Profile (ESP) which allows you to update and add information about your school, as well as respond to reviews. If you are a school official, click Continue to start.
Please note that it can take up to 48 hours for your comment to be posted to our site. While you're here, we'd like to invite you to fill out a survey on your school's programs, activities, and extracurriculars. It only takes a few minutes and will help parents get a full picture of your school.
Get started now! You have successfully registered and can now start updating your Official School Profile. The information you provide is extremely valuable in helping parents and students learn more about your school, so thanks for taking the time!
Thank you for registering as a school leader. We just need to verify your email address. We've sent you an email - please click on the link in that message to get started editing your school's information!
Thanks! We just sent you an email – please click on the link in the email to post your answers.
Get timely updates for , including performance data and recently posted user reviews.