Family Coaching: Who, Why, When, How?
January 10, 2022
Children aren’t born with an instruction manual. You’ll inevitably face some challenges, and when you do, turning to a family coach can be very helpful. What is family coaching exactly? How can it help and when should you consult a family coach?
What Is Family Coaching?
Family coaches work with family members to help them improve their relationships and find solutions to various problems. Family coaches know how to adapt to the reality of families and their values. Their role is to support parents (and their children) to help them reach their goals. What sets family coaches apart is that they work mostly at the family home. This means they can, on one hand, more easily observe interactions and, on the other hand, better understand the factors that may be causing a problematic situation.
Why Consult a Family Coach?
Many problems can be tackled with family coaching, such as situations happening on a daily basis: routine management, difficulties with sleep, following instructions, managing anger or temper tantrums, discipline, fostering independence, siblings fighting, etc. Family coaches can also provide support for specific problems: bullying and assertiveness, parental separation, moving house, conflicts, homework motivation, social skills, etc. Parents can also be coached on having better leadership, improving communication in their relationship or if they’re separated, etc.
When Should You Consult a Family Coach?
Ask for the help of a family coach as soon as you feel you need it. I’ve noticed that a vast majority of parents come to us when they feel overwhelmed by the situation: “I don’t know what to do anymore!” That’s quite normal. Parents try different ways to improve the situation first. However, those who decide to start seeing a family coach before finding themselves at the end of their rope are often more motivated to bring the necessary changes and sometimes get quicker results.
What Are the Limits of Family Coaching?
It’s important to understand that family coaches aren’t psychologists. Family coaching isn’t therapy, it’s a helping relationship. Family coaches try to understand the causes of the problem to come up with concrete solutions that can meet the family’s needs. They don’t make any diagnosis, “treat” or “heal” anyone. They identify a family’s needs, help its members set goals for themselves and suggest means to reach those goals. If the problem can’t be solved with family coaching or persists despite having tried the suggested solutions, the family coach will refer the family to the right professional.
Who Are the Family Coaches at Nanny Secours?
The members of the Nanny Secours Network have different backgrounds but have all received training centred around children or families: special education, early childhood education, social work, psychoeducation, teaching. Most have also received additional training in family coaching at the SOS Nancy coaching school. You can read about each coach and their area of expertise on the Nanny Secours website.
It’s important that you make sure your coach has the necessary skills and knowledge to give you the support you need. Since establishing a relationship of trust is crucial, don’t hesitate to read your coach’s profile and talk with them before making an appointment.
What Can You Expect From Family Coaching?
Family coaches work with families to help them improve a situation considered problematic and restore harmony. They gently steer families in the right direction to help them set achievable goals, taking into account their reality, needs and values. It’s all teamwork. Observation is a key factor in all forms of coaching and sessions usually take place at home. This way, the coach can be an active participant, using concrete educational tools. Remote consultations are also offered and can be useful. As part of Kaleido’s accompanying services with Nanny Secours, you have access to remote consultations, including 2 hours for free1! You also get a preferential rate on additional consultations.
How Do Coaches Work With Families?
Although coaches adjust to each family and its specific challenges, they follow a set of guidelines. First, the coach assesses the family’s needs.
Sessions usually last between 90 minutes and 2 hours, and all family members are invited to participate. The family coach acts a little bit like an investigator and asks many questions to get a good understanding of the situation.
Based on their observations and the information they gathered, the coach formulates hypotheses about the reasons that may explain the difficulties. The coach then invites the parents or children to set goals for themselves. Depending on the problem and the goals that were set, the coach will follow up and suggest concrete tools that could be used. The coach may suggest meeting with the whole family or only with a few of its members. They could also suggest a session of observation, where they insert themselves in the family’s daily life, when a problematic situation arises: at dinner time, bedtime, etc. You can usually expect between 4 and 8 sessions in total, with two to three weeks in between each session.
Some parents may feel uncomfortable or ashamed to ask for the help of a third party. I’ve heard this so many times: “I’m the parent and I don’t even know what to do!” Being a parent is the most rewarding job in the world, but let’s be honest, it’s probably the most demanding too. Do you know any other 24/7 job? Be kind to yourself: being a parent is something you learn!
Mélanie Dugas, Family Coach, Speaker and Trainer
Member of the Nanny Secours Network
Want to learn more about the family coaching services that come with your RESP? You too could take advantage of Nanny Secours’ offer and optimize your family relationships1! Learn more today 🙂.
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1. Certain conditions and restrictions apply.