The last time you visited my website, did you notice the banner at the top of the page? Along with my smiling face, it displays two books: Connect with Your Kid and Parents Coaching Parents.

Parents Coaching Parents is a brief, easy read that explains how one parent can be an effective skill development coach for another parent. This approach isn’t about extensive training and certification to be a parent coach. With the tips featured in this book, any parent who cares about the success of another parent can be an effective coach.

Why is this kind of friendly, supportive coaching important? Because parent-child communication involves several specific skills, and you can’t acquire these skills just by watching a webinar or reading a book. Knowing about a skill is good, but it’s not the same thing as being able to apply it in the heat of the moment in the real world. To achieve that level of comfort and automatic reactiveness, you need to wire your brain for the skill. And brain cells need lots of repetitions to wire together to enable a skill.

You gotta get your reps.

This kind of self-development journey always involves both exhilaration from using the skill successfully and frustration from missing an opportunity or using the skill awkwardly. With frustration can come discouragement and possibly the feeling: I’m just not comfortable with this. This isn’t for me.

But if you give up on your quest to be a better communicator with your child, then you’re done. You’ll go back to your old habits of reacting emotionally and falling back on parental authority.

The answer is coaching. And I believe you can get excellent support, encouragement, and accountability from another parent who has the same aspirations. You can coach each other as you master the skills, one at a time. Moms and dads can coach each other. Moms can coach moms.

One thing that professional coaches do that most peer coaches aren’t prepared to do is to remind the learner of the fundamentals. After all, parents aren’t experts in interpersonal communication.

That’s the purpose of the book, Connect with Your Kid. It’s a very unusual book in that it’s written to be that resource that explains the fundamentals. It’s like a manual or learning reference. You’ll use it when you need to recalibrate your approach to make sure you’re ingraining the right behaviors. All your coaching partner has to do is refer you to the chapter that explains the skill you’re working on.

And that’s why images of the two books are displayed together. You and another parent can use them to help each other master powerful skills, one at a time, to draw your kids closer to you at a time when they may be seeking more independence. The bond will grow stronger, and they’ll remain open to your guidance.