Where do you go to get credible advice about how to raise your children? The classic parenting expert is Grandma – but does she always know best? Another prominent parenting expert in parent’s lives is the Pediatrician – but what happens when you need advice which doesn’t necessarily directly relate to your children’s health?
Coaches as Parenting Experts
When you think of a Coach (no not the sports related type) you usually think of a professional who helps guide you through your career, relationship and life in general. There are quite a number of coaches out there who specialise in parent coaching. If you think of it, parenting is a life long challenge just as a career or marital relationship is.
An example of an institute which specializes in training parent coaches is thepci.com. There are also online directories where you can find a parenting coach near you, such as www.thecoaches.com.
Social Workers as Parenting Experts
Social workers are not only trained to work with families and children, by virtue of their job they tend to see the most challenging cases in the community. The experience they gain over the years along with their ability to emphathize with people allow them to be a prime resource for parents looking for advice and expertise. The largest listing of social workers can be found at www.helppro.com
Counselors as Parenting Experts
Another certified and experienced resource for parents is the Counselor. Councelors interact with both parents and children and should be used not only in a situation where a child is causing problems but also as an expert that parents can turn to in order to help prevent future issues through correct parenting. The National Board of Certified Counselors lists these parenting experts at http://www.nbcc.org/directory/FindCounselors.aspx.
Family Therapists as Parenting Experts
As with the professionals listed above, Family Therapists have seen a lot of bad parenting and are tasked with helping parents to develop some very robust parenting skills in order to help dig them and their children out of the deep ditch which they have dug for themselves. The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy has a listing of these parenting experts at http://www.aamft.org
Super Parents as Parenting Experts
For some parenting related questions a certified professional is not necessarily the best parenting expert to contact, for example:
- What is the best stroller to buy?
- What are the best schools in my area?
- What is a good technique to get my kids to eat veggitables?
- How do I prepare my children for a trip to a developing country?
In these cases you have “Super Parents” parents who have been there before, have done their research and have made the mistakes that you can learn from. A great way to connect with these parents is a community or forum such as www.cafemom.com.