MAKE THE FIRST STOP TOWARDS A BRIGHTER FUTURE FOR YOUR FAMILY.
This page includes information you need to know before enrolling in- or referring a family to- free parent coaching resources.
Important: You MUST receive consent from the family BEFORE providing a referral.
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Parent coaching can be a lifesaver when you feel overwhelmed and out of your depth.
Raising children can oftentimes be stressful, confusing and overwhelming. Compounded with the stressors and complexities of maintaining adult relationships, self-care, obligations with work and paying bills, its no wonder many people buckle under weight of life.
On top of that, children change on a daily basis; they don't come with an instruction manual. And, while that is true-- there are no "one size fits all" manuals for raising children, we have something else that can help you or a loved one become the best parent they can be.
The best part, is that our services are free. Some of our programs even offer free childcare so parents can attend class, completion bonuses, and more incentives simply because we are proud of you for reaching out for help. Even the most "put together" parents need help sometimes and it takes a strong person to accept vulnerability for the sake of benefiting your children and your family. We're proud of you for taking the first step towards a brighter future.
What is Parent Coaching?
Parent coaching is when one or both parents (or any primary caregiver) meet with a professional coach in an effort to gain knowledge and foster parenting skills. Our goal is to identify opportunities for improvement in childrearing methods, to improve relationships with children, and to re-establish parenting roles and responsibilities when life becomes overwhelming. Parent coaching classes are non-judgmental and we do our best so make parents and families feel as comfortable and optimistic as possible. Evidence-based programs help us strategize and navigate familial issues related to children and what makes the family unique. Our efforts help families function better, improve communication, develop skills needed to understand nonverbal cues, and teach parents how to play and respond appropriately. We help parents foster a positive home life; we learn from playing and interacting with each other; and, so much more.
It is so important to remember that all parents can benefit from parent coaching classes. Even parents who seem to have it all together need help sometimes and we want parents to know that it isn't shameful and shouldn't be embarrassing to reach out for help. On the contrary, we know how tough it is to accept advice, but its even tougher to make considerable efforts to improve oneself.
Parent coaching is useful for any parent or caregiver who needs support to navigate their child's developmental needs. Depending on what type of class the family is enrolled in, professional coaches watch parents and children interact with each other and offer strategies for support. Together, we work on fostering communication and coping skills. Positive family relationships are established, parents develop confidence and self-efficacy, solution-focused thinking, nurturing behaviors that improve the family dynamic and help children grow.
Classes can help with a multitude of things, from transitional and home life changes in relation to adoption, foster care or parent separations. Some programs are trauma-informed interventions that build parenting skills as an alternative to abusive, neglecting parenting and child-rearing practices. We specialize in helping new parents and families recovering from domestic abuse and violence, and substance abuse.
Frequently Asked Questions
What to expect during sessions
When should I seek help
Does parent coaching work
How does parent coaching differ from other counseling options
Thanks to funding support, parent coaching classes offered by Smart Start Northwest Kansas and LiveWell Northwest Kansas are free. There is no charge to receive services. Additionally, some of our programs offer a $100 completion bonus, free evening meals, free childcare during class, and other incentives.
We want you and your family to succeed and we believe you should be rewarded for making positive changes if your life.
Play and Learning Strategies (PALS) and Attachment Bio-behavioral Catchup (ABC) are both offered privately in your home. This is important because we want you and your family to act as normally as possible in the place you feel most comfortable. The Nurturing Parenting program can be implemented with a little more flexibility. It can be offered in your home or as a community class with other families. During our first session, we'll visit and get to know each other better, we'll go over important paperwork and discuss what goals we hope to achieve. We encourage you to share your general concerns and to let us know if issues in your parent-child connection started at a specific time, or are the result of a specific incident. We encourage all parents and guardians to attend sessions so we can learn and communicate effectively together. We can't stress enough how important it is that all parents grow and learn together to ensure stability and consistency. Each home-based session lasts about an hour. Nurturing Parenting community classes run longer to account for an evening meal and socializing.
If you and your family are dealing with any of the following situations, parent coaching can help:
Divorce and other sudden life changes
Having overwhelming feelings of depression, anxiety, stress
Sudden behavioral and attitude changes for anybody in the family
Friction in communicating with children, not understanding nonverbal cues of an infant
Inability and having difficulty responding to children with positivity and nurturing behaviors
If children have any kind of contact with an adult who is abusive (either physically or mentally), is living with mental illness, or substance abuse
All of our programs are proven to make a lasting, positive impacts on families; they are based on studies and evidence.
Of course, we can't do the work for a family. We have to work as a team. The more interested and eager a family is to participate, the better their results are. From a systemic lens, any parent who wishes to learn helpful strategies to support their child and family can benefit from parent coaching.
Parent coaching is streamlined to focus one of three specific parent-coaching curriculums and its intended goals. As as stand-alone service, it is generally an approach that focuses on strengthening the parent, foster skills, enhance knowledge, improve confidence and empowerment. When utilized in conjunction with family therapy, it has clinical capabilities to improve the overall family system.
3 PARENT COACHING CLASSES to choose from
PALS Parent Coaching
COST: FREE + $100 Completion Bonus
DURATION: 10 Weekly Sessions
ELIGIBILITY: Families with children between 2-48 months can enroll.
Learn how to strengthen your bond and help your child grow simply by playing with them. PALS is short for our "Play and Learning Strategies" intervention program. Our certified educators are trained to provide learning strategies for both infants and toddlers. Over the course of 10 weekly sessions, we help parents master the art of play. In doing so, children develop early language skills and important social and emotional development. Parents learn how to pick up on their child's needs which ultimately encourages daily positive behaviors and reactions.
ABC Parent Coaching
DURATION: 12 WEEKLY SESSIONS
ELIGIBILITY: Families with children between 6-48 months can enroll.
Learn how to be a nurturing parent and build a stronger bond with your children. ABC is short for our "Attachment and Biobehavioral Catchup" intervention program. Over the course of 12 weekly sessions, we offer in-the-moment help to help parents learn how to identify behavioral signals and tips on how to respond sensitively. Parents are able to strengthen bonds, help children cope with stress, and many other daily parenting skills.
COST: FREE + $100 Completion Bonus + Free evening meal and childcare
DURATION: 10 Weekly Sessions
ELIGIBILITY: This program is designed for the whole family.
Each family is unique, with a variety of struggles. This program, designed for the whole family, fosters positive parenting skills and nurturing behaviors. The proven curriculum also promotes healthy physical and emotional development in children up to 18 years and teaches the entire family about appropriate roles and developmental expectations. This program can be offered privately in the home, or in a group setting.
We're here to help. If you're still not sure if parent coaching is right for you, or if you can't decide which program is right for you-- simply contact us for a quick meeting and consultation. There are several ways you can contact us. You can click on any of the "make a referral" or "enroll" buttons on this page, which will take you to an online submission form. Or, you can continue scrolling to learn about us. We've included our emails and phone numbers here for you. Feel free to reach out at your convenience!
STILL NOT SURE? No worries.
Meet our Certified Parent Educators
Maureen lives near Oakley and is the mom of three grown boys. She brings over 40 years of experience to the job and has an incredible passion for helping families and children overcome struggles together. Maureen holds many fancy titles, certifications and degrees demonstrating her credibility and how great she is at her job, but the most important detail about her is that she's friendly and eager to help you succeed in your parenting journey.
ABC Parent Educator
Emily lives near Brewster and meets with families all over northwest Kansas. Raising five children of her own, she knows how difficult it is to juggle kids, the stresses of life, and a job. And, she's ready to share her tips with you to help you navigate this complex world of parenting. Emily has a passion for integrating play and learning strategies, helping parents develop a nurturing bond and can show you how to de-escalate an unhappy kiddo.