When your child is angry, anxious, or easily overwhelmed, you do your best as a parent - and sometimes it feels like too much. That’s where parent coaching comes in.
Parent coaching is a way for you to get direct feedback and advice on how best to manage your child’s behaviors and emotions, along with recognizing the family dynamic. It’s like having a really supportive therapist just for your parenting. And we have a fabulous resource online and in St. Louis - Nicole Schwarz!
For some kids with anxiety and anger management, individual therapy is the best bet. We can work individually to help them build the skills they need to manage their emotions before they feel too big.
For other kids, individual therapy helps, but it’s not enough on its own. That’s where parent coaching comes in.
Read below to learn more about how Nicole works with parent coaching tailored to parenting styles.
I often refer people who are parenting anxious children to Nicole, because of her understanding and empathetic approach. I’m so excited to share this interview with you all!
Why did you choose to become a Parent Coach in St. Louis?
I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Parent Coach. I started my career as a therapist working with children, teens, and families because I wanted to provide kids with tools and support early in their development. However, over time, I realized my favorite way to support kids was to empower their parents. I no longer provide mental health therapy, instead focusing on giving parents tools and education through Parent Coaching.
What kind of treatment do you provide?
I provide Parent Coaching which is personalized support, education, strategies, and encouragement to help you parent well through the difficult stages of child development. My coaching philosophy is rooted in Positive or Respectful Parenting, which focuses on brain research, connection, and teaching - rather than consequences or punishments.
What ages do you work with?
I primarily work with parents/caregivers of children between the ages of 3 - 12
What can parents expect to leave with after working with you?
My goal is to help parents manage their current parenting challenges with confidence. Unfortunately, parenting challenges change as kids grow. I see Parent Coaching as an ongoing relationship, one that can be accessed any time a parent feels they are getting off track with their goals, is feeling overwhelmed, or is unsure how to parent well through a new stage of development.
How long have you been working with anxiety, and how long have you been in St. Louis?
I worked with kids with anxiety, aggression and ADHD for 11 years before becoming a Parent Coach 5 years ago. Though I do not diagnose individuals during the coaching process, I still address anxiety as a root cause to both child and parent behavior during parent coaching sessions.
I have been in St. Louis for 6 years.
Who are your favorite types of clients to work with?
I love working with parents who are willing to be honest about their own stress, challenges, and triggers. I'd love to work with any parent who is willing to observe their own behavior and is open to making changes to themselves first - rather than expecting their kids to be more mature. And, I love working with any parent who is willing to embrace imperfection as part of this process - none of us are doing this parenting thing perfectly, and that's OK!
What happens during a first appointment with you?
All sessions are held online via Zoom, so we will both log in on our devices and be able to hear and see each other on the screen. The first 15 minutes or so, you will have a chance to talk through your current parenting challenge. I'll ask questions about your child's personality and development. We will discuss what you've tried already, what works, and what doesn't work at this point. From there, we will focus on one or two specific parenting challenges. Looking at them critically, being curious about the root of the behavior. By the end of the session, you will have 1-3 new strategies to try over the next two weeks before our follow up appointment.
Could you talk a little about your approach and how it plays into your work with kids and families with anxiety and behaviors?
My approach focuses on being curious about the roots of behavior, rather than just addressing the observable behaviors. I believe kids are doing the best they can with the skills they have at the time. When we are curious, we uncover lacking skills, big feelings (that are often covered by anger), social challenges, sensory concerns, and other issues that impact their anxiety or behavior. Addressing these issues gives the kids the skills they need to manage difficult situations with confidence and helps parents be empathetic and patient during the process.
What do you wish people knew about getting treatment for family issues, anxiety or behavioral concerns?
Help is available! It's OK that you're overwhelmed, confused, or frustrated with your current situation. Many professionals, myself included, read, research, and think about these issues constantly. It's our passion and we are honored to share our knowledge and support with you. As a parent coach, I am not here to judge you or criticize how you've managed things so far, this is a safe place to address concerns, make changes when applicable, and move forward in a positive direction.
How can people learn more and contact you?
You can learn more about me and read parenting tips on my website: Imperfectfamilies.com
The best way to contact me is via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Share one fun fact about you that most people don’t know.
I grew up in Chicago but went to Truman State for my undergraduate degree!
You can find more about Nicole and Parent Coaching at:
Curious to know more about Compassionate Counseling St. Louis? Kelsey Torgerson Dunn, MSW, LCSW specializes in anxiety and anger management for kids, teens and college students in St. Louis, MO. You can set up a free phone consultation with her by visiting her website, www.compassionatecounselingstl.com/consult. We work with kids, teens, and families throughout Clayton, Brentwood, Ladue, Creve Couer, and West County. And if we’re not the best fit, we’ll help connect you with other amazing St. Louis counselors, therapists, psychologists, or psychiatrists - just like Nicole!