Becoming Your Child’s Coach

Maybe this will work…

Jeremy Zerby
4 min readNov 27, 2022
Photo by RODNAE Productions

Being a parent is hard.

To be totally honest, it is in a lot of ways impossible.

Making the kids is the easy part. That kind of just happens. But even when you have rigorously planned the whole thing out, you are still not ready for it.

You never are.

Anyone who says they are ready is lying to you, and to themselves. You might be ready to have the baby or ready for the concept of parenting, but the whole thing never works out the way that you had intended.

Add to this the fact that there are endless books and websites offering parenting models. And all of them guarantee successful, well-rounded adults once childhood is over.

Throw some kind of disability into the mix and…well…you might as well be trying to swim toward land blindfolded in the middle of the ocean.

The models stop working.

All of them.

So I have decided to take a different approach. Rule or reward/punishment-focused approaches are not working for us. And I believe, if you look at the broader culture, you will see that they have stopped working overall.

Case in point: that TikTok challenge where kids were tearing apart public restrooms. Or the one where they were abusing their teachers. Kids have always been this way, or I should say there have always been kids who behaved this way, but there seems to, previously, have been a sense in which even the concept of consequences prevented the spread.

Consequences do not seem to matter anymore.

It is not just kids on whom consequences are missed. A whole generation of adults, this generation of parents, seems to think they can do whatever they want as well. And their kids are seeing that, even if it is not their own parents, and are following the example set before them.

So, like I said, I am taking a different approach. I am making a conscious decision to act more as my child’s coach than an arbiter of the rules. I am taking the concepts I learned in my pastoral and life coach training and adapting them into my own parenting model.

I am by no means saying this is an original concept. Google “parent as coach,” and you will find countless books and resources on the topic. But I want to share with you what I am doing and offer it to you as a framework if you find yourself struggling with how to be the right kind of parent for your children.

Fixed Mindsets

We are going to begin by talking about our fixed mindsets.

Notice I said, “we”. That is because we are going to be doing this together. Everything that I challenge her to do, I am going to be doing for myself as well.

We are going to figure out the areas where we just keep falling into the same self-destructive cycles.

Make A Plan

Then we are going to make a plan to break those cycles.

In our current situation, technology is the catalyst for the bulk of the problem we are having. She finds herself making poor decisions on the internet, getting distracted from her main tasks in much the same way we as adults spend hours doom scrolling.

If you haven’t noticed, I have not written here as consistently as I imply that I will. I was writing once a week at least and that has dwindled. On the one hand, some of that is because of a focus on creating content for the Podcast. But a lot of that is because I broke habit and have spent way too much time doing things that have nothing to do with any of this.

We are going to remove shortcuts and bookmarks that draw our attention away from the tasks at hand. We are going to clear browser histories so it is harder to pull up those games and websites that distract us. Personally, I am really bad about going to the news websites when I get on my computer to write and just reading about topics that have no bearing on what I was intending to do. She gets on her school computer and watches YouTube.

Stick To It

We are going to stick to this. We are not going to add those bookmarks back. We are going to change our digital habits.


We are going to win. The change in habits is going to lead to changes in behavior that will ultimately lead to success and achievement of our goals.

We are going to win and overcome.

And come January 1, when it is time to make our New Year's resolutions, we are going to expand those positive habits and move forward into even greater victories.

Technology is only one example here. In our case, it is a root problem for a lot of the other issues that we are trying to get straightened out. But this same approach can be used in practically every area and, I believe, it can lead to positive, meaningful changes in behavior.

Wish us luck!



Jeremy Zerby

Hermeneutics, religion, pop psychology, self-help, and culture. They are all connected, and I am here to explain how.