How Parenting Coaches Work

Author's Note

Since it's often referred to as the most difficult job in the world, is it really any wonder that parenting now comes with optional coaches-for-hire? Parenting coaches aren't to be confused with babysitters, nannies or child psychologists; they're paid mentors who cheer on moms and dads and, more often than not, simply reassure them that they aren't so terrible at raising kids after all.

A direct product of the time-strapped, stress-fueled environment of modern family life, parenting coaches pinpoint problems and troubleshoot solutions to parenting issues in order to save moms and dads the hassle of having to seek out therapy or read the library of parenting self-help books out there. At the same time, the existence of parenting coaches also points to the oversaturation of the 21st-century business of bringing up babies. So many models of and methods for ideal parenting exist, many parents are terrified they'll do something wrong and ruin their kids, necessitating a coach to guide them through the more challenging twists and turns. And while that kind of resource can be invaluable to frazzled moms and dads, it also provokes the question of when parenting turned into such an endurance sport.

Related Articles


  • Adams, Cathy Cassani. "Parent Coaching: A new option for parents." Chicago Parent. March 23, 2010. (May 15, 2012)
  • American Academy of Pediatrics. "A 'Perfect' Parent." (May 15, 2012)
  • Belluck, Pam. "With Mayhem at Home, They Call a Parent Coach." The New York Times. March 13, 2005. (May 15, 2012)
  • Fillion, Kate. "Parent coaches: they'll come to your house and fix your kids." Macleans. March 13, 2006. (May 15, 2012)
  • "Gloria M. DeGaetano." The Parent Coaching Institute. (May 15, 2012)
  • Good Morning America. "Overwrought Moms Turn to Parenting Coaches." ABC News. (May 15, 2012)
  • Jeffrey, Nancy. "When Parents Outsource." People. Aug. 01, 2005. (May 15, 2012),,20143955,00.html
  • Kuchment, Anna. "When Kids Attack." Newsweek. April 14, 2008.
  • Lee, Meghan A.' Schoppe-Sullivan, Sarah J.; and Kamp, Claire M. "Parenting perfectionism and parental adjustment." Personality and Individual Differences. 2011. (May 15, 2012)
  • Marchant, Michelle and Young, Richard K. "The Effects of a Parent Coach on Parents' Acquisition and Implementation of Parenting Skills." Education and the Treatment of Children. Vol. 24, No. 03. August 2001. (May 15, 2012)
  • Nemours Foundation. "Taking Your Child to a Therapist." KidsHealth. September 2010. (May 15, 2012)
  • "Parent Coaching Is Effective!" (May 15, 2012)
  • Rosenberg, Meisha. "Just a Spoonful of Sugar." Bitch. Fall 2009.
  • Schiffrin, Holly and DeGaetno, Gloria. "PCI Parenting Coaching Pilot Projects." February 2007. (May 15, 2012)
  • Wade, Shari L. et al. "Live coaching of parenting skills using the Internet: Implications for clinical practice." Professional Psychology: Research and Practice. Vol. 42, No. 06. December 2011. (May 15, 2012)