There are three key parts to parenting consultants (also called parenting coordinators). I don’t think people tell you that. You go into it thinking parenting consultants do one thing and you find out it is something horribly different. What a parenting consultant can be is a big money sucking machine. If you give it your money, it is going to take it and it is basically like feeding a stray cat, if you keep feeding it, it will keep coming back and who needs that? Well, truly, if you quit paying them, not surprisingly, they’ll go away. A little disclaimer on that statement is that if you stop paying them and your ex wants to make a federal case out of it, they probably can, so use your own judgment and conscience. You should also know that some parenting consultants will take your case for a reduced fee. It never hurts to ask. I would just be careful what I brought to them. If I didn’t want to pay, I would not seek out their help. The other parent might and again, you will probably have to jump in the game or lose out. Sorry I went off on a little side track there, but it was important. What this article is really about is the 3 key parts of what a parenting consultant will do.
The first part is, they are facilitators. They will bring you and your ex together and want you to talk. It is kind of like a mediation, but it is not. Beware of that. If you were to go to mediation, everything said there is confidential, but nothing is confidential with a parenting consultant. One of the reasons I think that it is such a bad deal for people is because when you don’t feel at liberty to talk without your words being used against you, you won’t talk about what needs to be talked about. When you get burned by that once, you will not do it again. When you cannot truly talk, it is not helpful. Parenting consultants will make you feel like it is a mediation and want you to talk about the issues in dispute. Some of them are facilitative, and will want you to talk more, and some are directive, they will want you to get to the solution quickly. Those are usually the attorney pcs. Therapists who are pcs tend to be the facilitative ones. Either way, they’ll bring you in to talk, expecting you to pay a bill for that time, and if you don’t get anywhere, it is time to move on to the next part.
Part two of the parenting consultant process is parent coaching. In this part of the process they will start coaching you on what you should parent, how you should communicate with the other parent, how to follow the advice of or make use of other professionals in your child’s life, how you should get along with the other party, all kinds of things that may or may not be how you want to parent your children. It is designed to make you a better parent. Of course you have no way of knowing how the pc is as a parent or if they have kids, but they will feel fit to tell you what you should be saying or doing in this situation.
PCs can charge as much as $350 per hour to coach you. As you know, I am a coach. I do it for $50 per hour. I don’t tell you what you should do. I do, however, give you tips about this God awful system and how to deal with PCs in general. I’ll tell you my experience of what I have seen happen, in certain cases, but also what can happen and what can’t really happen. Usually once you know that, you won’t waste time in the system anymore because you’ll realize what a big joke it really is. I show you what is behind the curtain and I also work with you to move forward in your life. I do not charge a big retainer for this and I charge a low hourly rate, considering what a pc charges, you may want to tell the pc that you want to get coaching elsewhere. I am not sure if they will listen to that, but it is always worth a try.
The third part of how parenting consultants operate is decision mode. Hopefully, they will let you know when they are in decision mode. From people I have talked to who use one, I suspect they don’t. Anyway, they go into decision mode and make a decision about the matter that is in dispute. They may decide which school your child will attend, if your child should be enrolled in sports and things of that nature and there you have it. The three parts to parenting consulting.