Kristy Dixon '00 teaches parents to guide and relate to their children


As a parent coach, Kristy teaches other parents that children look to them for guidance, rules and unconditional love. Credit: Kristy Dixon '00
Written by: CEHD Communications Staff
Post date: April 21, 2010

Parenting is a natural skill, says parent coach Kristy Dixon '00, but good parenting is an acquired skill.

"I believe that when a child is born, God gives parents the natural ability to love that child unconditionally, along with the natural desire to care for and nurture their child," Kristy says. "Good parents make mistakes and learn from them. They acknowledge their faults and shortcomings within themselves and not in their kids."

Kristy, who earned a bachelor's degree in middle grades English literature and a master's in educational psychology from Texas A&M University, came to parent coaching through an odd twist of fate. Out of concern for her then 1-year-old daughter, she had reluctantly left a half-time position as a school counselor after the job became full-time.

"I remembered hearing about how Brittany Spears was assigned a parent coach by the courts to help her as she went through a custody battle," Kristy says. "I was curious about parent coaching, so I searched online and found The Academy for Coaching Parents Institute."

Soon after, Kristy enrolled in certification courses to become a parent coach. She completed her training just before delivering her second child.

"When I was a school counselor, I would find myself naturally coaching parents when I met with them to discuss their child's progress. I wanted to be the one guiding parents to discover what their child's needs were and how they could better communicate with their children," she says.

As a parent coach, Kristy helps parents set realistic and attainable parenting goals, while addressing different personal and parenting styles in the home and assessing how to get those personalities to fit together.

She runs her own home-based business - Pure Parenting - in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, where she counsels parents by phone and in person.

Kristy sees parents who make many common mistakes, such as trying to be their child's best friend. "Parents today don't demand respect from their children for fear of not being liked by their kids. Kids have plenty of friends, but they look to their parents for guidance, consistency, predictability, limits, unconditional love and reassurance - much more than a friend could ever offer," Kristy says.

"Another big mistake parents make is not connecting and playing with their kids. Instead of relating with their kids, parents connect with them via the Internet or texting," she adds.

Kristy enjoys helping parents overcome mistakes like these to build better relationships with their children.

"It's rewarding for me when parents have that moment when they realize they need to change their behavior or when they tell me I saved their marriage or when I helped them learn to remain calm when their child is having a tantrum," she says. "I get so much joy out of knowing that I help parents come to the reality that they need to change what they model for their children as opposed to forcing their children to change."