Guest Blogger! Elaine Taylor-Klaus, CPCC, PCC

Elaine is the co-founder of, a global resource dedicated to helping parents raise confident, successful children with ADD/ADHD and related challenges.

There are many different styles of parenting -– authoritarian, disciplinarian, supportive, involved, helicopter, dive-bomber…you get the idea. No matter what approach you take, someone is going to tell you why it’s the wrong approach.

But the “coach-approach” is one that can be added to ANY parenting style with some degree of success because it’s not really about raising kids. The coach-approach is all about how to communicate with kids so that they’ll become independent, successful adults.

What You REALLY Want

Seriously, we have kids because we want them to grow up, right?

Now, we all have our favorite stages and ages for children: some of us love little ones, some can’t wait until they can think and talk, and others can’t wait until they can drive!

But ALL of us want our kids to make it to adulthood.

And, at least at the beginning of this journey called parenting, we all want them to become adults who can take care of themselves and lead independent lives. Even better, we’d like them to be happy in the process.

What Will It Take?

So how do we foster independence and long-term success? A coach helps his/her client focus on the important aspects of his/her life, clarify what he/she wants to change or make happen, and figure out what actions will help him/her reach his/her goals.

Imagine if you could do that for your kids? Especially for the kids you’re really worried about. To be honest, parenting complex kids can be stressful, overwhelming, isolating, and frustrating. We fear for them every day, and we fear for their future.

The coach-approach is a style of communication that offers a way out of constantly fearing-forward, replacing it with confidence instead.

The Coach-Approach to Parenting

It is commonly accepted that when kids have a champion in their corner, they perform better and achieve more success in life. As parents, sometimes our wanting the best for our children gets in the way of our relationships with them. We get so caught up in what we think is best that we forget they are independent human beings. We forget to be their champion. And that is true at every age and stage, even for the little ones.

The coach-approach helps parents learn to champion their kids in a positive, empowering way. It is a way of relating that is motivating, encouraging, non-judgmental, open, accepting, honest, and constructive. It helps parents navigate the fine line between guiding their kids and still encouraging independence. It helps parents see the best in their kids and seek to help them reach their full potential. The focus is primarily on learning and improvement, rather than correction and re-direction.

For parents, a coach-approach offers a way to:

  • Help kids determine their strengths and motivations
  • Expose kids to the benefits of celebrating successes
  • Teach kids to shift perspectives and get “unstuck”
  • Pass on life lessons, both positive and negative
  • Support kids in figuring out what they want in their lives
    • Provide constructive feedback and accountability
    • Share their values, beliefs and perspectives


How Do You Learn to Take a Coach-Approach?

Do you need to go to Coaching School to learn how to take this approach with your kids? Absolutely not. But you DO have to learn how to pay attention to yourself, the motivations for the choices you make, and the impact of your decisions.

Some of this you can do on your own by reading, listening to webinars, and engaging in a process of self-discovery.

“But my child is the one we’re talking about here!” I hear you cry. “Why should I focus on myself?”

And the answer is simple. Because you are the parent. And HOW you bring your values, your concerns, your energy, your capacities, and your love to the role you play in your family’s life makes all the difference for your kids.

At ImpactADHD, we coach and train parents on the coach-approach in many different ways, depending on learning styles. There are home-study programs, coaching groups, training modules, and private coaching. All are accessible from the convenience of your home or office, your phone, or computer, and all are designed to help you help your complex kid grow up to be the amazing adult you know is in there waiting to be discovered.

Find out about the coach-approach and available programs at Not sure if coaching is a good fit for you? Take this quiz to see.


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Elaine Taylor-Klaus, CPCC, PCC is the co-founder of, a global resource dedicated to helping parents raise confident, successful children with ADD/ADHD and related challenges. ImpactADHD programs are available online and on the phone so that all parents can access critical support. A writer, parenting coach and public speaker, Elaine advocates for and trains parents of children with “complex” needs. She is a contributing blogger for the Huffington Post and a member of the Board of Directors of CHADD (Children and Adults with ADHD). She does work for the American Academy of Pediatrics, and has served as a national expert for the Making Moments education campaign for parents. First and foremost, she is the mother in an ADHD family of 5.