Do you give parenting advice?

Not when I serve as your mediator. I’d love to, if you prefer to have me serve as your parenting coach. That’s a different role, and the distinction is important.

As a mediator, I help you, the parents, reach a voluntary agreement. This agreement can be about any topic, including your desired parenting style. And if you have a difference of opinion, I can help you navigate your differences and come to a resolution.

It’s far better if your agreement is based on your own ideas and understanding of yourself and each other. I would do you a disservice if I came in and gave you advice based on what I usually teach in a coaching session. You would be deferring to “authority” if I have any. Or at least you might have the idea that you follow an “expert’s” advice rather than your own.

For parenting advice to have any positive effect at all, you would have to make it your own. Whether you follow my advice again is a voluntary decision you need to make. And when you are in a conflict about parenting styles, it’s less likely that you reach an agreement when you hire a coach to help you. Even at an unconscious level, one party is likely to feel that they have been in a minority position. Most people don’t like that feeling and that makes it far less likely that you will have full buy-in on your agreement.

Again, it is precisely the voluntary nature of the agreement you reach in mediation that gives it its strength. When both parents agree they will follow through. If one says they agree, but have some reservations, they will not honor the agreement fully.

Having said that, if all parents agree, I’d be happy to serve as your parenting coach, instead of as a mediator. Give me a call or send me a note, and we can discuss it.