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Parenting is stressful. This is the nature of the job, and that stress doesn’t go away when your employees enter the workplace.
No matter what working parents do for a living, they are constantly torn between the demands of their families and personal lives. Even mild stress from this constant juggling can affect cognitive function and overall well-being.
To make matters worse, stress is compounded when support isn’t readily available. One way that employers can support working parents at their company is by offering parent coaching. This will allow them to identify the source of their stress, adopt coping tools, and prevent burnout.
The challenges facing working parents
As a coach, wife, and mother of three (two middle schoolers and a four-year-old), I understand the complexity that accompanies raising a family.
Your employees might suddenly need to fill the role of advocate and researcher to meet the developmental needs of their kids. They may be grappling with how they were parented, not fully knowing how to do it differently.
They may be sitting with heavy-hitting questions like:
- Am I doing enough?
- Am I dedicating enough time to my family?
- Am I meeting my expectations of what parenting should look like?
For working parents, the concept of time is pressing. Change is constant in the many stages of developing children, which can make time feel more urgent. Situations are more predictable at work—the routine of roles, expectations, and responsibilities offer a sense of manageability.
As a result, parents often feel more comfortable with what has to be executed and performed at work versus home. Navigating these two worlds leaves parents feeling isolated and pressured to compartmentalize their lives, even though it’s often impractical to be present in both places simultaneously.
To fully show up for the demands of work life, team members need to first work through the challenges that inevitably follow them from home.
What working parents don’t check at the door
The truth is: you never stop being a parent, even at work. At some point, everyone on your team brings something that happened at home to work with them.
For parents, the inner dialogue can be especially difficult to put down. This kind of mental stress dampens our ability to use our executive function, which is crucial at work.
Executive function allows us to manage time, be productive, prioritize, and perform well. It also enables us to provide responsive care to our families. When we’re under stress, our planning, focus, self-control, and mental flexibility can become compromised.
Parent coaching can empower working parents to acknowledge the complexities of balancing work and family life. It can help them cope with feelings of stress and guilt while recognizing that their experiences are shared by other parents in their situation.
What is parent coaching?
Parent coaching is a specialized coaching approach that offers invaluable support to caregivers, helping them navigate their unique parenting experiences and achieve their shared goals.
With the guidance of a professional coach, parents receive assistance in addressing various challenges that can often emerge in child development.
Common issues that parent coaching can help address include:
- Developmental challenges
- Mental and physical health
- Behavioral and learning challenges
- Substance abuse
- Family transitions
- The experience of being a new parent
- The importance of self care for parents and caregivers
The ultimate goal of every parent is to raise independent individuals who can communicate effectively, think critically, regulate their emotions, act responsibly, and lead happy lives.
Parent coaching provides caregivers with insights that allow them to embrace their roles as parent-leaders. It empowers them to make intentional decisions in their parenting approach and strategize methods to create a fulfilling and well-rounded experience for their family’s well-being.
The benefits of parent coaching
Through parent coaching, working parents can gain essential skills and tools to nurture desired qualities in their children, shaping their future character.
It enables parents to model these qualities, establish effective facilitation systems, and engage in meaningful conversations that support their children’s growth and advancement through the different stages of development.
Furthermore, parent coaching serves to normalize the experiences of working parents, emphasizing that they are not alone in their challenges. It highlights the shared commonality among parents rather than focusing on perceived differences.
By acknowledging the unique and demanding nature of parenting, employers can offer this invaluable resource that allows working parents to embrace the vastness and complexities of their dual role.
Reimagining the village
Working parents know that it takes a village. Today, the village can look like an employer providing access to parent coaching.
Spring Health provides in-network coaching to employees and their families. Working parents can find a coach who understands their unique family dynamic. With them, they’re supported in tackling the inevitable challenges that arise as their children grow and develop.
Members are paired with a dedicated care navigator who matches them to a coach within two days, and remains with them throughout their wellness journey. This timely process allows parents to get the support they need right away.
As they develop systems to support their families, companies often see a change in productivity and absenteeism. Spring Health members see a 24% increase in productivity and 25% fewer missed workdays among participants.
Coaching can help working parents move beyond the inevitable challenges, support their families, and improve their capacity to focus and grow in their profession. As parents learn to redefine parenting as the ultimate form of leadership, they move the needle for how they show up for their families, themselves, and their workplace.
Learn more about how your organization can provide direct access to a range of care options that meet your employees’ unique needs.