Parenting is often full of joys, and it is also true that sometimes our kids give us a real run for our money. Sometimes it really does take a village.

We used to live in communities of family and caregivers that helped by providing a much needed break, a fresh set of eyes, or a different perspective. Families raising children in multigenerational care communities also had an inside view of how child development varies among children.

That is no longer the case for many modern families. We are often isolated from support of the “village”. And the books and website advice, while they seem helpful, often do not work in our situation. This is especially true when a child is neurodiverse.

Parents come to childrearing with beliefs, values, knowledge and a history of being parented. They rely on these factors to create a parenting style that feels right, it makes sense. But when parent and child caregiving behaviors are not a match, families often find themselves in a rough spot.

During these rough spots families often seek out new supports for their child. These might include therapy, tutors, coaches and more. While these resources are incredibly helpful to the child, they may have less impact on parents’ experience of raising their child.

Parent coaching provides families with the understanding of how their family interactions are perpetuating both effective and unpleasant cycles of interaction. Coaching starts from the view that there is no such thing as a bad kid or a bad parent, we are all doing our best with the knowledge and resources we have.

During parent coaching, families gain essential information on developmentally appropriate expectations for their child and how their child’s learning or processing style is impacting family interaction. They learn to recognize the hidden benefits of the current interaction style which are perpetuating the repetition of unwanted behaviors.

With this new perspective on parent-child interactions, parent coaches support families to change old patterns of interaction to work better for the entire family. Parent coaching does not change your culture or values but rather capitalizes on these important aspects of your family to help you develop skills that result in things running more smoothly.

Are you interested in learning more about parent coaching?

Michelle Ficcaglia, PhD, BCBA-D is a board certified behavior analyst living in the San Francisco Bay Area. Michelle has a PhD in special education. For more than 25 years she has provided coaching to families nationwide to understand their child’s development and behaviors so that they can nurture critical skills.

Michelle specializes in coaching families with children ages 0-10 years of age and has expertise in understanding the needs of families with a neurodiverse child.

For more information about Michelle’s services please visit her website Be sure to mention Yellow Parachute!