What is a Family Coach?
I really wish that we'd had a family coach when my
kids were growing up. We sure could have used one. Because hindsight is 20/20, I know exactly where we
went wrong and boy, were we out there! If we would have had a good family coach, he/she would have had quite
a talk with my husband and I. There were so many things that we were doing (and not doing) that led to a lot
of dysfunction in our home. I'll give the "Reader's Digest" version at the end of the
Very few "family coaches" are adequately
There are very few family coaches that are
genuinely trained in family systems. It takes a lot more than just hanging your shingle out and calling
yourself a Family Coach. Many coaches will just "side" with the parents and try to get the kids to
comply. That's not what it's all about. The training I received was a graduate level training by a
company that specialized in coaching families and troubled teens. If your coach doesn't have a genuine
training certification from a school that specializes in this area, you may not be getting the level of assistance
that you need for a whole and healthy family.
A kid that "acts out" is the symptom of what's
really going on in the home.
Unfortunately, there are so many influences on the
American family right now, and we've pretty much lost any functionality that we might have had even 20 years
ago. The amount of technology that our kids use is mind-boggling. Then when you add on the television,
games, test pressures, sports pressures and more, they're a walking bottle of Coke with a Mento thrown in!! I
won't even mention the cell phone.
What can a Coach do for the family?
The first thing I do with families (and office teams and individuals for that
matter) is to define our values. Values are consciously chosen guiding principles for every
area of our lives to be lived at all times. Values are non-negotiable!! Picture a
flashlight. Our values are like a flashlight - they guide us through all of the stuff that goes on so that
we'll know how to handle it. We have to sort through whether it's our "parent stuff" or our "values" that are
being stepped on when we're making decisions on discipline and consequences.
What VALUES look like in the home
I remember when my daughter had moved back in and informed me that since she was 20, that she should be able to
come in at any time she pleased. Well, my first reaction was to tell her "my home, my rules". But,
because we've grown beyond that, I chose to use the values instead. So I ran through my list...
Immoral? No. Unethical? No. Illegal? No. Then I ran through the values (our
family values are Respect, Honesty and Integrity)... Respectful? No. There it was. It wasn't respectful
because coming in at any hour meant that we would be woken by barking dogs when someone was coming in the door at
2:00 a.m. What was really going on was that my "mom stuff" was kicking in. No one wants their kid
out at 2 in the morning when nothing good is happening.
A couple days later, my daughter came back and brought up the subject again. She said she had it all
figured out. Her solution was to move into the basement. That way, the dogs wouldn't hear her coming in
the door. I ran through my list again - and unfortunately (for me), it weighed in her favor. It wasn't
against any family values. And I choose not to impose my "mom stuff" on her. So, she moved into the
basement. Without any heat. In the middle of winter. But, she made it work. I wasn't going
to bend on the values - remember that they're non-negotiable. They're made of steel. Even though she
would be cold, it was her choice. She had the choice to live where it was heated as long as she wanted to
live within the values. But she stayed within the values to have what she wanted. That was a
The next thing you learn is how to set
While values are pretty straight forward, boundaries are a little more confusing sometimes. If I
drive down my street, the city has drawn the boundaries for me by covering them in black pavement. Now, I
"could" drive down the sidewalk, but the city drew the boundaries with the pavement and by putting a
sidewalk in with a pretty steep curb. Yes, I could hop the curb, but it's not going to be comfortable, and I
may pop a tire. That's what I get for trying to cross the boundaries. Boundaries keep
us safe, and on the right path. Aren't you thankful that there are concrete barricades on the freeway
between the opposite directions of traffic?
So... what if those were made of rubber bands?
Even though there's a "boundary" drawn, it's only held by a loose, stretchy substance that only has a so-so
chance of holding the oncoming vehicle back... but it's still going to come through on your side. When
parents hold what I call "rubber band boundaries", the kids aren't very clear as to how far they can go
before they cross the line. How much disrespect? How big of a lie? How much past
curfew? Disrespect is disrespect, a lie is a lie and late is late. PARENTS are the ones that have to
hold those boundaries. That is what creates a safe space for the family to live and grow ... and it's what
... and last but not least, the RULES
Rules are individual to the family. Your family can figure out the rules
depending on the personality and beliefs in your home. Some parents have a curfew of 8:00 p.m. for teens, and
some have a curfew of 10:00. The rules are up to you and sometimes the kids are able to make requests
regarding the rules. They are NOT non-negotiable. There may (and will) be circumstances where the rules
have to be bent or broken depending on the situation. Say 8:00 is the rule for curfew, but the
football game won't be over until 8:30, making 9:00 the time your teen would get home. This is where, if
you choose, you can bend the rule with a prior agreement. Agreements, communication,
circumstances, etc., are all things that must be discussed to have a happy and healthy
So, those are the big things... Values, Boundaries and Rules
But, here are some truths about families that are elements of getting a solid system in place:
- Families are a unique collection of past experiences, personalities and ages
- Families are whole and complete - operational awareness is the key
- There is no such thing as failure - only feedback
- Having a choice is better than having no choice
- The meaining of your communication is the response you get
- The element with the least engagement in the family will be the controlling element
- People always make the best choice available to them at the time
- For every negative action, there is a positive intent
- Every behavior is useful in some context
- Families already have all the resources they need
- Every family operates as a single unit even though each member is different
And of course, communication, accountablity, clarity, victim mentality, emotions, choices, responsibility,
creativity, barriers, outcomes, attitudes, friends, goals, dreams and so much more are part of the
Anything and everything is possible!!
Phone and Online Coaching is Available!
First, most people love phone coaching. You don't have to go anywhere, get
ready or go out in the rain. You get to talk with me in the comfort of your own home, office or where ever
you are at the time.
I have a 100% Happiness Guarantee!
Before we start the coaching process with phone
coaching, we'll have a "trial spin" where I only charge you $79 for a 45 minute trial. You will
call me at the appointment time, and we'll talk for 45 minutes. If you don't get something from that trial
spin, I'll refund all $49 and my feelings won't be hurt. This way, there is no risk for you. I'm not
for everyone. If you decide to go forward, that's awesome, if not, that's okay too. I have different
packages available for phone coaching, depending on the type and your situation. I'm not cheap, but
I'm absolutely worth it (see the testimonials)! I absolutely expect you to work - hard! I
will hold you accountable for follow through on your assignments and challenges. I'm not always going to
tell you what you want to hear. With that being said, and if I haven't scared you off yet, I do
attempt to make it as cost-effective as I can for you. And don't forget the happiness guarantee ... it's
always there! To sign up for online coaching email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As with everything I do, this carries a "100%
Happiness Guarantee" as well. I have a trial module for everyone that is considering online coaching - a full week
of online coaching around the trial module! It's $49. If, after completing the trial module you
don't think that online coaching is going to work for you, just let me know and I'll happily refund your
money, no questions asked. Again, no risk! I'm always available by email to my online clients.
What it looks like is that you will receive a module where there will be a lesson, then some questions that I will
ask you. Then you send the answers back and we will go back and forth regarding your answers refining
the concept until you receive the next module the following week. This way, you can do your modules whenever
it's best for you, even if that's 2:00 a.m. Sometimes the going get's tough... That's where the changes
occur. And that's why I stay available via email for online clients. You won't have to wait til
the next week for answers... it's always an on-going dialog.
How do I go about signing up for regular
Just email me at email@example.com.