What is a parental coach?

Parental Coach
Parental Coach

The profession of parental coach, although it is not regulated, has more than ever the wind in its sails! This professional supports parents to help them resolve conflicts with their children or simply improve their parent-child relationship. We tell you everything about parental coaching!


More and more parents are tempted by parental coaching to better manage their relationships with their children. In the United States, where this profession was born more than 30 years ago, some parents go so far as to entrust the training of cleanliness or politeness to these "experts" in parenthood. In France, parental coaching has even inspired many television programs such as Super nanny or Pascal the big brother. Beyond this “fashion” effect, what does the job of parental coach really consist of? Why call on this professional?

Zoom on the job of parental coach

The parental coach supports parents in resolving conflicts with their children by helping them to cope with deadlock situations. Also called a family coach, this professional advises parents on education or school organization ...

The objective of family coaching is to allow a family to live peacefully together. Unlike a psychotherapist, the family coach will solve a problem based on his own assessment of the situation, based on the facts he himself observed. As the behavior of a difficult child is not necessarily linked to a pathology, the coach and the parents will collaborate to define together a concrete solution to overcome a conflict or a crisis.

In summary, family coaching is:

  • A comprehensive analysis to identify the origin of conflicts;
  • An observation phase followed by coaching;
  • An intervention based on coaching, systematic approaches or even neurolinguistic programming;
  • Positive intervention, based on respect;
  • A formula allowing the family to find harmony and a fair balance.

In no case does the parental coach judge the parents' decisions. Its role is limited to giving advice adapted to the situation after a full analysis.

Why use a parental coach?

In general, parents call on a parental coach when they are in a situation of blockage vis-à-vis their offspring. This professional has solid educational knowledge to help parents better manage their relationships with their children. Its intervention helps to better resolve a conflict, a problem of authority or educational difficulties. The parental coach can also help parents to motivate the child to do homework or to study well. He also guides them so that they regain their lost authority.

A parental coach also knows how to find the right words to reassure parents, so that they keep hope.

Family coaching is an effective tool to help parents better regulate power relationships. By benefiting from support to educate their children, they learn not to give in to their whims, to be better respected, etc.
The purpose of this supervision must also allow the child to correct his deviations or to remain calm. By learning to manage the anxieties of their children, parents regain confidence in their educational role.
During the coaching sessions, the expert helps the parents to better define their objectives. He will then put in place the appropriate tools to reach them.
In agreement with the parents, the parental coach will set progressive goals (do not aim too high from the start).

Here are some examples of contexts where the family coach intervenes:

  • The child refuses to eat;
  • The child always seeks conflict and says "no" to everything;
  • The child is violent at school and no longer works;
  • The child opposes any form of authority and no longer cooperates at home;
  • Parents divorce;
  • Parents have no authority;
  • The child or adolescent has difficulty developing their social skills;
  • The mom and the dad cannot agree on the education of the child…

What type of program does the parental coach set up?

Initially (in the office or at clients' homes), the guide meets the parents and the child to understand and observe the signs of distress within the family.
Depending on the difficulties encountered, he establishes his program and generally provides for ten sessions, the duration of which varies between 45 minutes and 1 hour 30 minutes.

At the beginning, the parental coach stays in the background to better observe the life of the family and better understand the role of each member. It then becomes part of the family's daily life by offering tailor-made solutions which will be put into practice by the whole family. The parental coach is there to support the family, their role is not to reframe the children.
Like a sports coach, the guide will help parents to adapt their actions to improve the child's psycho-emotional development.

The priority of a children's coach is to help a parent understand himself before he can understand his child. The proposed exercises are designed to overcome any blockage. Thus, parents have the opportunity to really question themselves and benefit from the keys to react differently to conflict situations.

It is advisable to contact an expert teaching coach with a highly developed empathic sense. For effective support, the professional must be able to understand the needs and fears of his clients.

What training to follow to become a parental coach?

Two courses are offered to those who wish to become a family coach: the Bac Pro service of proximity and local life (SPVL) and the Bac Techno Sciences and Technologies of health and social (ST2S). Two courses of Bac + 2 level allow you to acquire more in-depth skills: the BTS in social and family economy and the DUT in social careers / option social assistance or personal services.

The qualification certificate for the Conjugal and Family Council is a plus to exercise this profession.

In addition, many schools offer training related to supporting families. After obtaining a professional coach certification issued by the Haute École de Coaching, apprentice coaches can undergo training in parental coaching. This validates a block of skills of the Professional Coach title registered at RNCP level 6 (European standard).

The objective of this training is to allow future carers to better understand and grasp the most frequent problems encountered by parents.

At the end of the training, the expert will be able to restore a healthy and harmonious parent / child relationship thanks to the educational tools and family coaching methods he will have learned.

On the other hand, competition is very fierce in this sector where more and more people are opting for self-employed status. In order to stand out, it is important to prove yourself with your customers, by establishing a climate of trust. Maybe some of them will recommend you to other outdated parents…