So Why a Child Consultant?
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
So why a Child Consultant?
People have architects to help them design their house and professional designers to help decorate it and on it goes whether you're talking about work or your personal life. So why not have help when it comes to the most important job you'll ever do? Someone to gently guide you and help you with the questions that invariably pop up when you have children. It makes sense and helps make sure you experience the kind of family life you had in mind when you first started thinking about having a family.
What exactly do you do?
First I get to know you as my service as a personal Child Consultant is first of all, personal so it's all about you and your family. You need to feel totally comfortable with me. Because I offer such a personal service, I have to make sure that I only take on a few people. That is so I can offer my clients the best and many of my clients continue to use my services for years, though how long you need me is of course entirely up to you.
In terms of new clients, perhaps you have a small baby and want personal attention in navigating this new challenge called parenthood or maybe you already have a toddler and you have lots of questions. When questions arise you don't want to have to wait weeks for an appointment with another professional. You want answers quickly from someone you know and trust.
It may be that you have preschoolers and have just hired a new nanny or are in the process of doing that. You want to make sure your nanny is trained and knows how to care for your children. You'd like your nanny to know what you really want for your child's care, so I help you transmit those needs to your nanny and instruct them in the practical implementation of those goals.
Perhaps you have a child in school and you're dealing with a lot of back and forth communication and you'd like to be able to discuss next steps with someone who can not only act as a sounding board, but has the experience to guide you in making the right decision for your child.
Or you may want to make sure your children are schooled in etiquette, table manners and so forth. We all know what a difference manners can make and making sure your child has a broad knowledge of them will be of real benefit to them throughout their lifetime. Anna can share that knowledge with not only the child themselves, but if desired, also with parents or caregivers so the child can have ongoing practice and be successful over the long term.
As someone who was educated in the UK's private school system, travelled extensively and lived in various different countries, you can rest assured I am able to teach your children what they need to know to have an excellent grounding in the manners necessary for success.
Do you work by Skype, phone or just in person?
All three would be the answer to that question. Normally we start out with Skype where we get to know each other. Over time a trust develops and then I usually visit in person. After that, I
help you in whatever way works best depending on what you would like from me. Having said that, most of my clients feel comfortable with me very quickly which is nice. I've been told I'm a
a character and lots of fun which I appreciate very much. If you'd rather keep our association to
Skype or phone we can do that too. It's what makes you most comfortable.
How long do you stay typically?
How long I stay depends on what you'd like me to help you with, so it's very dependent on your personal circumstances. In general terms though, it's often anything from a couple of days to a week.
I've often been asked by many families I've worked with if I could actually live with them which although that's lovely is not possible, though I have to say some of them have given me quite tempting offers! Nevertheless, I will stay as long as I'm needed and I can pop in and out whenever there's something for which you'd like my attention. Sometimes I join families on holiday as frequently that's a time when they all manage to get away together.
Do you stay with us?
In the daytime, yes. At night, it's entirely up to you. If you're comfortable having me in your home and it works, I can certainly stay with you. If you'd rather I'd stay in a hotel, I'm happy to do that too. Whatever you're most comfortable with.
What is the cost?
The cost is based on your individual needs which we can discuss by email and Skype prior to my arrival. I have a daily rate rather than an hourly rate when I stay with you simply because I'm going to be spending a lot of time with your family and that is more cost-effective for you. Travel expenses are at the client's expense. For Skype or phone calls, my hourly rate applies.
What kind of training and background do you have?
If you look on my 'about me' page, you'll find I trained in the UK in the practical care and
behaviour of young children. Canada doesn't have the same program but it is equivalent to a three year semester study course here. However, my training is not what has made me the
person I am today. That comes through the 30 years of experience I've had to date, which has
made me extremely good at solving children's behaviour issues and generally helping people
with all aspects of their parenting experience.
Even though I've had a long term parenting spot on TV, often give advice to media, do workshops, give speeches to different groups and all of that, my first love is to make an impact at the family level, helping people get the most out of being a parent and creating happy, kind and resilient children, who positively impact the world around them as the grow.
If I don't know you, can I meet you first?
Yes, of course we meet on Skype and have several discussions about your family's needs. If you'd prefer you can fly me out for an initial consultation. It's whatever works best for you.
I know having someone in your home can be perceived as a leap of faith. In many ways it is, which is why we take time to get to know one another before I come to your home. My video clients are happy people and there are many more just like them whose testimonials you can read on my testimonial page. Take all the time you want to get to know me and feel comfortable with me. Your comfort is paramount.
As a Child Consultant, can you be specific about what child behaviours you can help with?
Yes, I can but it would be a long list because I've literally done it all. In 30 years that I've been helping parents and in the 12 years plus that I've been running this business, I've seen pretty much every child behaviour you can think of and probably some you can't. My most unusual question would have to be, what do I say to a child that sees ghosts? I've dealt with the usual and the unusual, helped families with twins, triplets, children with ADHD, children with disabilities and so much more. I've given long standing advice on TV, given countless workshops to different groups and talked to parents dealing with every kind of parenting challenge.
I've also raised three kids of my own to adulthood. My baby just left to start her life on her own, which brings to mind why we're all doing this and that's to create fundamentally competent, balanced and independent adults who are able to forge their place in the world and contribute to making the world a better place.
In my personal life and at work, I've also dealt with all kinds of different schools both public and private. I'm currently writing a book on how to develop resilient kids and how best to grow our children in to healthy, happy and productive adults.
Can you tell me more about your Nanny training service?
As you know nannies come from all sorts of backgrounds. Some have comprehensive training but many don't. While experience is helpful, many times a nanny's own background will have a shaping effect on how they deal with children. Many times that can be a positive influence but not always. It's often very difficult to know how the unconscious beliefs your nanny holds can translate in to how your nanny behaves toward your child. In other words, some aspects of their care may not be in line with your thinking, particularly if they have never been shown the way you actually would like your children looked after.
But first I seek to understand where your nanny is coming from and then to show them in practice how best to look after your children in a way that fits your exceptions, your children's personalities and best practice. This isn't a judgemental thing. I seek to understand first then to be understood. Occasionally nannies might feel a bit sensitive about having me at the beginning, but I soon put their mind at rest as I work alongside them with the children showing them strategies that make your children happier and healthier and their job more enjoyable.
Occasionally you might have concerns over certain behaviours your nanny exhibits towards the children? Or perhaps your child is engaging in a challenging behaviour that is causing both you and your nanny stress and they are not able to deal with it in the way you'd like. While you can't necessarily be there to teach your nanny, I can and I can help them make readjustments to the way they care for your children in a way that ensures a happy and successful outcome for all.
How long do you usually have an association with families?
That what I believe makes my service very special. It's based on you and your family's needs. With some clients I've had relationships that have lasted 10 years or more and still continue. I'm there when they need me and I respond when they want my input on anything that's worrying them or simply when they have a question. Being a parent is a hard job which has lots of rewards but it also frequently comes with a ton of questions and soul searching.
It's also frequently a job that we end up doing alone or at least often feeling alone. Other parents and schools can frequently be judgemental even if they're trying to help. Families who've worked with me and continue to be clients, value having that support and knowing that I'm available when they have questions.
Can I call you at any time of the day or night?
Just like any professional I have limits but yes I do commonly work outside the 9 - 5 time frame. I try wherever possible to answer calls or get back to parents quickly but I am not available 24/7.
Where can I find more information?
In addition to this page, for more positive parenting solutions that are related to your child's behaviour or your interactions with the school, please see my page, home parenting solutions. For more information related to training your nanny in your home, please see my nanny training page. Additionally please email me using the contact form and we can set up a time for a free introductory consultation.
Here's something interesting to keep in mind. One very good reason amongst many that you want to make sure your children are on the same page as you values wise. See here for more information.