Frequently Asked Questions

Your Questions Answered

What is parent coaching?

A parent coach is a highly trained individual who, through a supportive relationship and intentional coaching process, helps parents navigate challenges with their children and gain clarity to strengthen their family lives.

A parent coach listens intently, asks key questions, provides information, and offers specific suggestions to help you implement new attitudes and strategies in your life for you and your children.

A parent coach is a supportive companion who champions your highest aspirations for yourself, your children, and your family. Parent coaching services are for parents, couples or families who would like to engage in a harmonious, joyful, purposeful family life. Parent Coaching is a co-creative, gentle, non-judgmental and empowering platform for parents. With my guidance, you will find what is working in your family dynamic so that you can experience more of it.

  • A safe place for you to gain support and understanding
  • Expert, individualized attention to help solve your parenting challenges
  • Opportunities to practice new evidence-based skills
  • Renewed hope and improved confidence
  • Help to create a solid bond with your child so that you can experience more joy together
What is Collaborative Problem Solving®?

Collaborative Problem Solving® (CPS) approach by Think:Kids, is a program based in the Department of Psychiatry at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, MA. The Collaborative Problem Solving®approach is a strength-based, neurobiologically-grounded model that starts with the philosophy that all kids want to do well and will do well if they can—that kids lack skill, not will. CPS® addresses challenging behavior while building skills for success. Additional resources can be found at Think:Kids.

How is coaching done?

It is flexible based on your needs. I can work with you either in person in my Montclair, NJ office, over the phone, and/or by web conference. Remote coaching has many advantages: You don’t have to hire a sitter or make special plans to leave your house or desk. I can accommodate to fit your schedule – lunch hour at work, during your child’s nap time, or in the evening when things quiet down.

Interested in a more in-depth education about a particular topic? Have a group of friends that would love to get together for a simple “Q&A” with a parent coach? Whether it be a short class or an informal question and answer setting, small group lectures are a great way to learn new information at an affordable price. Venues are variable and include, but are not limited to: mommy&me classes, private homes, local establishments.

Are you like the Super Nanny?

Not at all. Television programs like Super Nanny invade the home and highlight the things parents are doing wrong. As your parent coach, collaboratively we will uncover the areas that are working well for you and your family and develop a plan to incorporate those strengths to address other challenging areas. My approach is highly respectful, affirmative, and will help draw out your creativity, helping you discover unique solutions and provide long-term positive changes.

What are common issues you have addressed?
  • Parenting without bribes or rewards

  • Getting kids to cooperate with being ready for school, meals, or bedtime

  • Having kids do their homework or household chores without struggles

  • How to handle school issues/ behaviors

  • Getting kids to turn off the tv/computer games

  • How to approach and implement discipline

  • Sibling issues: fairness/fighting/ jealousy

  • Managing mealtime behaviors

  • Potty & behavioral challenges (children over 3.5 years old)

  • Resolving parenting differences and creating a united parental unit

  • How to create a satisfying balance between family, marriage, work, and social life

  • …and pretty much anything toddler to teen and in between.

What is the difference between coaching and therapy?
Coaching is a collaborative process by which you, the client, choose the goals you want to work on or the situations you want to improve. I will then help to keep you on target and provide support, consultation, and suggestions to help you achieve your goals. The intention for coaching is for improvement, achievement, and greater fulfillment. Therapy’s goal is for greater improvement in functioning but it presumes that there is a lack of functioning or impairment as the starting point. If at any point the issues transcend our task, I will make a referral to the appropriate mental health provider.
When to seek parent coaching?
  • You want to better understand your child’s behavior

  • You want to understand how to discipline in a more effective way

  • You are too often frustrated, irritated, or simply unsure of the best way to respond

  • You feel disconnected from your child

  • Your child doesn’t listen, doesn’t cooperate, and/or has frequent meltdowns

  • Your child is clingy and/or doesn’t separate from you (past the expected age)

  • You want to parent differently than how you were raised

  • You and your partner want to get on the same page about parenting style or methods

Featured Collaborations

In the Media

Your Teen
Bright Horizons


Parenting at Home during the Coronavirus

Fox 29, Philadelphia

Tips and tricks for keeping your family on schedule

PM Pediatrics

Parenting with Calm and Connection

Success stories

What Maria's clients have to say


The parents of St. James Preschool were so lucky to learn from Maria’s thoughtful and candid presentation. It was filled with real world examples that provided tangible tools for more peaceful relationships with our young children.

Parent and School Board Member, St. James Preschool

As a member of our school’s leadership team in charge of community building, I am delighted to say that Maria’s presentation was well received by the school community. Maria Sanders gave me the insight to connect with my children on a deeper level and encouraged me to look beneath the surface at the root cause of some of the unique challenges we face as parents. Having two children with very different personalities, I feel refreshed and motivated to continue strengthening the bonds between the whole family and coming up with solutions that work for everyone. Her talks a must listen for parents of children of all ages. I also found some of the tools I learned to carry over to everyday life and connecting with one’s spouse.

Union Congregational Nursery School, Leadership team

Maria Sanders delivered an informative and insightful workshop to Guggenheim staff members with children between ages 2-14. Maria is a gifted facilitator who can create and deliver excellent content while also being sensitive to the emotions of her audience. The Q&A session was particularly well received as she addressed individual questions with concrete, specific tips that were beneficial for all. I highly recommend Maria and would love to have her return!

Laurie Davis
Talent Acquisitions, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation

Maria generously agreed to present to New York University’s Administrative Management Council on Parenting Essentials: Strategies to Support Us During COVID. During a time when employees are very stressed trying to work full time and teach and parent full time, Maria brought a sense of grounding and practical advice. What particularly resonated with me was her slide called “A Child’s Behavior is an Iceberg.” This made me think about my behavior toward my child and how I needed to be more patient and also to take care of myself. I highly recommend Maria!

Kristi Schwindt Ramos
New York University, Graduate School of Arts & Science

As a busy pediatrician I am so thankful to have Maria’s help with the myriad parenting issues that arise for our families and their children. Her conscious parenting techniques have helped parents of toddlers to teens in my practice. I continue to recommend her kind, calm and brilliant care to patients and friends alike. I find her immediately able to connect with so many different types of parents – first time parents, parents of multiples, Spanish speaking parents, parents of children with delays and those of anxious over-achievers. She has a true gift. I am grateful to say that she has even helped me with my own kids along the way and has made me a better and more conscious parent.

M Thomas, MD, FAAP Pediatrician
NuHeights Pediatrics Medical Director, Armada Health

Thank you so much for giving us the right tools to help us be the parents that are able to help our children thrive, and aid us in raising our girls to be happy well-adjusted kids. From the first few minutes of our first phone call to the last, Maria stepped right in asking the right questions that addressed the issues head-on and guided me to think of the solutions and steps necessary to get the results I envisioned. Not only did Maria help with my concerns about parenting, but she helped to self reflect on my life to better every aspect of it. She was flexible with her schedule, always available for us, trustworthy, dependable and more importantly, she regularly encouraged us that we were doing the right thing for our daughter and for our family.

Mom of Two
Montral, Canada

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