PARENTS TOOLSHOP® ADVISOR TRAINING MANUAL

MODULE 1:  Objectives, Role and Overview of Advisor Skills

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OBJECTIVES OF THE PARENTS TOOLSHOP® ADVISOR TRAINING

By the end of this training, you will understand:

  • The special role an Advisor plays and how it differs from other roles, such as Group Facilitator or Counselor.
  • The ethical and practical boundaries of the Advisor role, particularly depending upon your education and professional credentials:
     
  • How to model the Universal Blueprint® and its tools in the process of being a Parents Toolshop® Advisor
     
  • The difference between four types of skills Advisors use 
    • Group coaching 
    • Problem-solving 
    • Coaching for introspective self-growth
    • Strategy sessions
  • Exactly how to use each methodology listed above skillfully, including:
     

    • The purpose of that strategy; what it does and what it’s used for
    • How it helps the client
    • Exactly how to do it, what the client might say, and how to guide them further, with that strategy or skill group
  • Build a thriving coaching practice, using both on-line and off-line strategies to find, attract, engage, and assess whether clients are a good fit for your services.

Review of Advisor Standards & Practices

TYPES OF TOOLSHOP® LEADERS & DIFFERENCES AMONG THEM

There are some important distinctions among the different Parents Toolshop® Leader Certifications. :

  • Certified Parents Toolshop® Advisors USE the Universal Blueprint® to help parents solve problems, from quick strategies to deeper longer-term change. It is client-led. Advisors do not teach the Universal Blueprint® or its tools to parents. That’s the Certified Parents Toolshop® Group Facilitator’s role.
     
  • Certified Parent’s Toolshop® Group Facilitators TEACH the Universal Blueprint® to parents in groups. They answer questions that clarify the main concepts and ask key questions that encourage group participants to grow/improve their parenting skills. Teaching is Group Facilitator-led in that you follow the Parents Toolshop® curriculum outline. If someone needs deeper support, you refer the person to 1:1 coaching.

So only Certified Parents Toolshop® Group Facilitators can teach the skills and they teach them in groups. (The only exception to teaching parents skills 1:1 is if the parent has an issue where group learning isn’t appropriate, such as illiteracy, etc.). There is more clarification about this difference, as it relates to Parents Toolshop® Certified Advisors, later in this module.

ADVISOR CLASSIFICATIONS

    • Level I Advisors: have no other training in coaching or working 1:1 with clients other than the Parents Toolshop® Advisor Certification Program. (All Parents Toolshop® Advisors will qualify for at least this Classification after completing this Advisor training.)
       
    • Level II Advisors: Certified Coaches who received training and certification from an organization other than Parents Toolshop® Consulting.
       
    • Level III Advisors: Licensed/Certified Family Professionals (social workers, CFLEs).
    • Level IV Advisors: Licensed Independent Practitioners (therapists, psychologists, etc.) 
        • Level III and IV Advisors:
          • Need to check with their professional licensing board. They may not be allowed to do any clinical services with people outside of the state of licensure, even if qualified to do so. Due to professional liability issues, when working one-on-one with clients as a Parents Toolshop® representative, they can only provide “coaching,” no clinical services. If you are also a Certified Parents Toolshop® Group Facilitator, you are only providing “educational” services. You must use these two terms to avoid licensing violations such as “practicing without a license” when serving parents outside the state of your license. This then enables you to serve parents worldwide.
          • Counselors, you can take the PTC Advisor Training and add the use of the Universal Blueprint® to you current practice.   (
            • Example: A couple has parenting issues. Advisors have the Universal Blueprint® available to say, “This is the formula I use” and guide the clients to use it. The Advisor can have them buy book with referral/affiliate link (they don’t have to require they buy it; just suggest).
          • You don’t have to have an on-line coaching business but may choose to use the internet. As a Certified Parents Toolshop® Advisor, you can provide coaching services to the clients PTC serves through its website (we refer clients to you). You may also choose to offer coaching services through your own coaching practice (clients come directly to you). For clarification on this see the flowchart “Service Entry Points” below.

EXPLAINING YOUR ASSOCIATION WITH PARENTS TOOLSHOP® AND THE UNIVERSAL BLUEPRINT®

It’s essential that you attribute the Universal Blueprint® system by name when using it in coaching, regardless of whether Parents Toolshop® referred the client to you or not.

It’s also important that you share with your clients that you have decided to partner with Parent’s Toolshop® because it’s research-based and highly effective. You will want to emphasize that both you and PTC operate with honor and integrity. This means that because you are using PTC’s content, you’ve agreed to use an affiliate link. This way it’s a win-win for you and for PTC. Because both you and PTC operate with integrity, your client honors you by using his/her affiliate link when accessing the resources.

If you are working with a client referred by PTC, make sure they receive a PTC document that clarifies that they are being supported by Universal Blueprint®/PTC. Specifically, it should explain:

  • How the coach is a Certified Parents Toolshop® Advisor.
     
  • How he/she will support you by applying our model
     
  • The coach’s reason behind working with PTC is that they only choose partners that share their values and philosophy, and who can help their clients get better results.

THE ROLE OF A PARENTS TOOLSHOP® ADVISOR

When you are in the role of Advisor, you may:

  • Offer one-time coaching consultations to help a parent who requests guidance in planning a helpful response to a challenge they are facing.
  • Provide support to parents in the 30-Days To Parenting Success course or Independent Home Study, by: 
    Answering questions about the Universal Blueprint® or clarifying what they are learning and applying it to their family.
  • Conducting Strategy Sessions, to see if the parent is a good fit for the On-line T.I.P.S. course.
  • Offer group coaching on the Gold or Graduate webinars/calls,
     
  • Coach clients on how to apply the UB® to their lives at a deeper level. Since coaching is client led, you are freer to address issues the client wants to explore. This means that it is appropriate to help clients look at issues beyond skill improvement (the GF’s focus); to the unique parenting issues they are facing (which GFs can’t get into in group settings). This helps them to more fully understand what their roadblocks are and helps them design action steps to help them reach their parenting goals.

In a 1:1 setting, Advisors can do individual problem-solving focusing on what the parent has already learned and help him/her apply it to his/her family. You may answer questions to clarify what he/she already knows about the UB®. If the parent needs to learn a skill or concept and it would involve going into a mini-session from the Group Facilitator outline in TPT curriculum, the advisor can best serve them by referring him/her to where he/she can get that training, such as:

  • A 30-Days To Parenting Success lesson
     
  • A Parents Toolshop® book chapter
     
  • A specific Parents Toolshop® program (if the Advisor is also a trained GF, it can be their own class)

As an Advisor, you receive Leader affiliate commissions on any resources parents buy as a result of your referral. Just be sure to use your affiliate link! (See the “Business-Building Logistics” section of the last module.)

Explanation of flowchart: Support parents at the level of knowledge they have:

  1. Refer everyone to Teleseminars & Articles
  2. If they have NO system, then recommend the free “30-Days To Parenting Success” course or low-cost program/resource. (They’ll automatically be offered a one-time lifetime Gold upgrade when registering.)
  3. If they have “30-Days To Parenting Success” course, but aren’t Gold members, recommend the Gold upgrade for group coaching and support.
  4. If they have free 30-Day course or Gold membership, refer to resources like:
    • The Lunch & Learn audios (teach tools),
    • TPT book. Once they have that you can refer to a particular page or chapter.
    • Teleseminars (solutions to challenges) or
    • Independent Home Study involves just getting the book and doing the practice exercises on their own.
    • Offer a T.I.P.S. Strategy Session for more training.
  5. If they are a live workshop grad = recommend they get the “Grad with upgrade,” to get access to all the resources. They also get the Hintbook and any new resources that are created.
  6. On-Line T.I.P.S. participants get group coaching. When they graduate, they get access to every current and future resource. They have access to multi-media resources, such as:
    • TPT Book for written information
    • L&L for audio review of toolset
    • T.I.P.S. sessions for video review of toolset
    • Weekly content webinars/calls for group coaching and review

Advisor vs. Group Facilitator

In this Section, we want you to be clear on exactly what your role is, as well as what it is not. This will help you avoid confusion so you can successfully serve clients.

Your role as an Advisor is to use and model the Universal Blueprint® when you meet with parents 1:1, to help them apply the steps and tools to their families’ needs without crossing over the boundary of teaching it from scratch. If you find yourself doing this, you need to refer the parent to a Toolshop® class or resource.

Think of it this way: you can offer tips and suggestions, but not teach entire concepts and skills the way a Group Facilitator does.

When working 1:1 in a coaching session, the client’s issues drive the focus of the session. Sometimes, the client may need to learn the tools and the skills, and you may feel compelled to meet this need. This means that, as an Advisor, you could potentially be tempted to teach the info/skills out of order.

This is a great disservice to clients because they aren’t prepared with the foundational tools and concepts. The curriculum is best taught in groups, according to the standardized curriculum outline GFs receive.

It’s important to emphasize that within your 1:1 role as an Advisor, asking your clients clarifying questions instead of teaching skills will better help them with their parenting challenges.

For example, a client asks, “So what is the value of recognizing it’s a child problem?” An appropriate Advisor response uses questions to help the parent find their own solutions.

For example, you can ask, “If you didn’t recognize the difference, who would be solving the problem? The parent or the child? (the parent). And what would your child learn about solving his/her own problems?’”

Ask them questions to get them to consider the concept taught in the 30-Days To Parenting Success course. If they start asking for something way beyond what they’ve learned, like how to do sibling mediation, which isn’t covered in the 30-Days To Parenting Success course, you are within your role to refer them to the “Solving Sibling Strife” teleseminar recording.

Another example of questions a parent might ask include, “How do I know if a behavior is PO or PU?” “When it says to ‘redirect’ my child, what does that mean?” “If my child hits another child, is it a “parent problem” or a “child problem?”

An appropriate Advisor response would clarify the concept by saying something such as, “If a child’s behavior is PU it means that your child has not consistently mastered the skills of what you are asking him to do, or it could be due to an accident or a medical condition. It could also be related to temperament/personality. If it’s PO it means your child has mastered the skills and the behavior is on purpose. You would then figure out what that purpose is. “

Then the Advisor could also ask the parent a clarifying question such as, “Knowing what you do about the UB®, why do you think it’s important to know the difference between PU and PO behavior?” or “Let’s go back to what you do know about problem identification. In your case, whose problem is it?”

You won’t go into detail, outlining the steps in the book, or start role playing at an advanced level. The client doesn’t yet have enough of a foundation and may get overwhelmed. They also may try it and not get the best results because they lacked the other skills, concepts, mindsets, etc. that are part of the entire UB® system.

Coaching Grads

Even after taking the T.I.P.S. class, getting on-going support makes a huge difference.

For instance, Robin and Alisha were both graduates and had a solid background in the Universal Blueprint®. Alisha had a problem with back talk and didn’t know what to do. However, Robin did. What was the critical difference between them? Robin took the T.I.P.S. class twice. Clients need to know that it’s normal that only some information sticks the first time around. While they learn a lot and start to see positive changes immediately, learning and applying the new information can be overwhelming. When clients take the class again, the second time around they can experience even more profound changes and experience the deeper layers to the skills.

So it’s totally appropriate to refer grads back to T.I.P.S. If they took a live class, encourage them to get the Graduate upgrade for access to all the resources and on-line T.I.P.S. video training.
 

Why Not Teach the UB® During Coaching?

The reason Parents Toolshop® Graduates are able to prevent so many problems and get the results they do is because they learned the UB® system. If your coaching clients seem to be dependent on you for answers or solutions or want/need to learn a particular Toolshop® tool, it best serves them to point out the value of having a reliable problem-solving system like the Universal Blueprint®.

It is ideal if parents learn the UB® in a group first, because it maximizes their time, as well as yours. (Be aware on-line T.I.P.S. has a group component with the weekly processing calls) You can then do 1:1 coaching to clarify and support the parent in applying the skills they learned. However, you do not have to do it only this way. You may start coaching someone 1:1 and then refer him/her to a Toolshop® class, if needed (See flowchart “Service Entry Points” below for more clarity).

The only time a parent can be taught the Universal Blueprint® or its tools 1:1, not in a group, would be due to a cognitive limitation (Developmental Disabilities, learning disorder, mental health) or multiple parenting issues beyond parenting skills (such as baby care, household management and organization). In these cases, the instructor must be a GF and qualified to address the parent’s special needs and still teach the skills from The Parent’s Toolshop® curriculum in order.

If you are an Advisor and a Group Facilitator, and you recognize that you are heading into teaching, tell the parent that they need to learn that tool within the context of the entire UB® system or the tools will likely not get consistently positive results. This means that you may refer the parent to whatever Toolshop® class you are offering (locally) or groups you facilitate for the Parent’s Toolshop® website.

What you can NOT do within the Advisor role is to say, “Let’s start at the beginning of the UB®. The Prevention Toolbox includes the Foundation-Building, Self-Esteem, Cooperation, and Independence Toolsets. The reason these toolsets are so important is that they can prevent many problems from occurring in the first place. Now, the next part of the UB® is…” In this case you would be teaching it from scratch. You also may not give mini-presentations as this would involve teaching.

Here’s a concrete example of how an Advisor would handle a specific situation compared to a Group Facilitator:

  • A parent asks what to do about their child’s tantrum: As an Advisor you can say that there are 4 types of tantrums, and then mention an article or teleseminar. You then ask questions to help the parent figure out why that child is having a tantrum and apply the steps to their situation. Then refer to tantrum article and teleseminar for rest.
  • A parent asks the same question about their child’s tantrum. A Group Facilitator teaching a class could say, “There are 4 types of tantrums; here’s what they are, how to identify them, and what to do in each one.” They would share this information in a general way that all parents can understand.

Flowchart explanation: If encountering the client at this point, here’s the type of session you might do:

  • People come for coaching –> move into groups to learn the UB® system, so they don’t have to rely on you (the Advisor) as the only one who knows the UB® system and tools. When the client knows the UB® and its tools, it makes problem solving a breeze!
  • People attend Toolshop® class –> then move into coaching to get ongoing support.

Clarification on “Using the UB® versus Teaching the UB®”

Am I Advising or Teaching?

A helpful way to remember this key distinction is by asking yourself whether you are clarifying and problem-solving (Advisor role) or teaching (Group Facilitator role).

What you are doing as an Advisor is clarifying information about the Universal Blueprint®, as well as asking questions to help them apply it to their situation. In so doing, you use and model how to use the UB®, which reveals to the client just how effective it really is. If you find yourself teaching the UB® from scratch, you’ll know you’re no longer in the Advisor role. It’s critical that, in your Advisor role, you understand the following distinctions between and examples of teaching and clarifying. You are clarifying concepts by giving short answers.

For example, you might clarify the difference between praise and encouragement. You might also help them understand what the D.I.P. is and help them understand when they might use that in their parenting. You would not, however, launch into the same presentation and in-depth content sharing you would do as a GF in a parenting class. You’d only clarify what the parent needed to apply the skill to the situation they are discussing with you.

Teaching is different than applying. You can ask questions in both roles, but here’s the difference:

  • Clarifying takes what the client has already learned and makes it clearer
  • Teaching builds on what the client already knows and gives new/additional information at a higher level than where they are at.
     

What If Parents Need Deeper Answers?

You will, no doubt, come across parents who want or need more information than you can provide in a coaching session. If parents ask questions that require deeper answers and you know TPT book or T.I.P.S. class has it, the Standards and Practices Committee encourages you to say any of the following:

  • If you are only an Advisor at this point: “I’m an Advisor, not a Group Facilitator, so am not certified to teach it. However, you can get the information, and here’s where you can get it.”
     
  • If you are both an Advisor and GF: “Right now, we are in a coaching session, for the purpose of helping you apply what you already have learned about Parents Toolshop® to your family. If you need to learn more tools or concepts, the appropriate place to do that is either through a Parents Toolshop® class or resource. The one that would fit best for what you are asking/facing is {the recommended resource.}
     
  • If you are clarifying information they’ve learned or they have a question about it that has an answer that would lead you into teaching, say: “If I went further, I’d be teaching you information that’s already elsewhere. If you want to get the best results from this tool/concept, I encourage you to learn more about it by {recommend a Toolshop® resource or course}. If you want to know how best to work through this problem, that’s how I can best support you.”
     
  • You can also focus on the time/value aspect: “It takes about an hour to teach that concept in a way that meets the quality standards Toolshop® Leaders adhere to. Plus, it’s part of the whole UB® system, so to learn it in isolation is a disservice to you; you won’t get as good of results from the tool.
     
  • You can focus on the cost/value aspect: “It would be a disservice to you to charge you hourly coaching fees to learn something you can learn elsewhere for $___. That’s not a good use of your money and our time together. I recommend you get/do {recommended resource} this week.
     

How To Use and Model The Universal Blueprint® As A Parents Toolshop® Advisor

Each Parents Toolshop® Leader’s role uses the Universal Blueprint® in different ways. As an Advisor, here is an overview of how you will use and model the UB®:
 

FOUNDATION-BUILDING TOOLSET – PARENTING STYLES

Advisors want to stay in the Balanced zone by being mutually respectful and supportive. They may address issues the parent might not want to face, and do it in a way that gives empathy and understanding for their challenge and encouragement to move beyond it.

Under-controlling (permissive) advisors are afraid to address issues about which the client might feel defensive. Over-controlling advisors are too confrontational, judgmental, or not mutually respectful.

Here are some examples of imbalanced advisors:

  • A coach once said to me, “Well isn’t that a sneaky way to think about it!” when seeing a faulty belief I had. What style is that?
  • Another coach asked me to listen to a tape while sleeping. When I mentioned I only had a big bulky head set to use that was a bit uncomfortable, the coach insisted that I was intentionally resistant to getting ear buds so I could avoid doing the task. In fact, I was doing the task, despite the fact that my particular equipment didn’t accommodate traditional ear bud connectors. I was simply asking her if my go-around would be acceptable until I could save up to buy the special bud connector. She insisted I had to buy ear buds or a different player immediately or I was being resistant. What was her style?

     Needless to say, I didn’t continue with either coach, due to their style.

THE UNIVERSAL BLUEPRINT®

When in a coaching session you will always have a little program running in the back of your mind, paying attention to what problem zone you are in at that moment, and using the PASRR Formula to choose the most appropriate tools or response at each step.

Here are descriptions of the different problem types from the client/coach perspective and the general response, based on the PASRR Formula. (You’ll get more specific suggestions for exactly what to say or do at each step of the PASRR Formula in the other sections that describe how to use the different coaching strategies.)

No problems: Most of the time, you’ll be in this zone and can use the Prevention tools to inspire, motivate and empower your client. Specifically, you’ll use:

  • The Self-Esteem Toolset, to acknowledge the client’s strengths, effort, improvement, positive qualities, using D.I.P.
  • The Cooperation Toolset, to avoid getting into power struggles with the client over being willing or able to change. They might be operating from an imbalanced style and resistant to stepping out of their comfort zone or think they have to “give up” control to become more balanced. You will simply establish some bottom line limits of effective relationships and help the client identify what choices they have within those limits. You will also want to tell clients what they can do, instead of saying “Don’t,” “No,” “Stop,” or “Quit.”
  • The Independence Toolset, to encourage your clients to take responsibility for their lives, be willing to learn new skills and to apply and practice them until they become new habits. You usually won’t be directly teaching them the content/skills, per guidelines the S&P standards we discussed in the “Using vs. Teaching” section, but are nevertheless building their internal skills and mastery of the skills they have learned elsewhere.

“Child problems” are Client problems. In the coaching relationship, you’ll use F-A-X to do problem-solving when they are facing a challenge. (Module 3 for details on how to do this.)

“Parent problems” are Professional problems. In the coaching relationship, these arise when the client is doing something that is a problem for the Advisor. In one quick sentence, you’ll acknowledge the client’s feelings and express your concern in a non-judgmental, non-blameful way, using the Communication Toolset.

PU problems are when the client exhibits Problem behavior that is Unintentional, because they haven’t mastered a skill. It could be that they don’t know better; so refer them to resources that can teach them the information or skill, then help them apply it to their situation. They also might not have the skill due to their personality traits or other causes of PU behavior. You might do coaching around internal belief systems or help them seek resources to address whichever cause is in play.

PO problems are when the client exhibits Problem behavior that is On purpose. This may happen if they feel angry, unheard (attention), powerless (power), hurt (revenge) or discouraged (giving up). Their behavior might be directed at you, but more often will be directed at the child. There are two primary reasons for PO parenting “misbehavior”:

  • You will see that their reason for parenting ineffectively is because they are discouraged trying to use what they think are effective skills and resort to their “fall-back” parenting style. If this is the case, offer them the suggestions for little tweaks and tips we teach in The Parents Toolshop® or do problem-solving. (See Module 3 for how.)
     
  • They may parent ineffectively because they have conditioned belief systems that this is the “right” way to parent. You will use the “coaching” strategy in these situations, to work on these internal issues.

Combination problems occur when a parent is overwhelmed with many issues or challenges. You’ll help the client break down these larger, complicated problems into their smaller parts and use the UB® to problem-solve for each.

 

Overview Of The Types Of Skills Advisors Use And How They Are Different

GROUP COACHING

Advisors use Group Coaching during Gold Webinar/Calls and Graduate Support Webinar/Calls. Use this skill to discuss a topic, issue, or tool in a general way, to clarify information or deepen skills related to issues the parents raise. (In a group class, the Group Facilitator has an agenda to follow and key points to make and skills to be sure the parents master.) In group coaching, the Advisor asks questions to help parents make connections with whatever resource/program they are in, at the point they are in it, to help them better understand and use what they have learned so far. Because you are in a group coaching setting, you won’t delve into deeper issues and will refer them to a 1:1 session for that purpose.
 

PROBLEM-SOLVING

Problem-solving guides parents to a helpful response for a particular challenge they are facing. Advisors use problem-solving in Gold and Graduate support calls, one piece of Strategy Sessions, when needed in a 1:1 session (which might utilize both the problem-solving and coaching skill sets).

STRATEGY SESSIONS

Strategy Sessions occur after the 30-Days To Parenting Success course, and as a marketing tool. Your goal is to see if they are a good match for PT and match them with the best program/resource for their needs.

The purpose of a Strategy Session is to help a parent plan a strategy to respond effectively to one problem. It’s also to show the parent how the entire system can help them prevent or respond effectively to all their parenting challenges. If the parent wants to learn the UB® system, there are various options for how they can do so.

In the Strategy Session, you will use the Universal Blueprint® to help them come up with a plan for the number one challenge they are facing. You’ll share with them how the UB® system helped you figure out the type of problem they are facing and an effective response — not teaching the system to them, but using, modeling and referencing the UB®. This demonstrating the power of the Universal Blueprint®.

After you help them resolve one concern, point out to them how you were able to rely on the UB® system. You’ll say, “You can try to do this on your own. However, if you do, you might have get stuck or not be sure that you are on the right track. That’s the advantage of taking the T.I.P.S. class to learn the UB® system yourself. What other parenting challenges can you imagine this system could solve? Let them feel the pain of not having a system that makes problem-solving so easy and offer the hope of preventing or relieving their pain by learning the entire UB® system.

COACHING FOR INTROSPECTIVE SELF-GROWTH

Coaching focuses on internal work that needs to happen so the parent can reach his/her goals.

You will use coaching when the client needs to do self-exploration, examination of beliefs, or internal self-growth). If you are problem-solving and realize the root cause is more within them, then use the coaching skills to resolve the core issue.

If the parent hasn’t learned the Universal Blueprint®, then a Strategy Session is recommended, to find the best way for them to learn the system. Otherwise, the Advisor will find it frustrating to try to do problem-solving or work on core parenting beliefs without moving into teaching mode.

If the parent has learned the UB® system, they can go to a higher/deeper level of application, because they have the basic skills. The coaching sessions help them apply what they are learning (or have learned), week to week, to their family or longer-term goals.

In coaching, you’ll only recommend resources if they are appropriate to what you are discussing, or because they need more information based on what they currently have access to.

Assignment

1. Notify the S&P Committee of what Classification of Advisor will you be when you complete this training?
           
2. In your own words, how would you describe the difference between being an Advisor and Group Facilitator? Using vs. teaching the UB® as an Advisor?

3. Share your experiences using the UB® to help clients solve problems:
           a. Have you ever had a 1:1 problem-solving session with a parent or class participant?
           b. If so, what was the challenge?
           c. Did you use the UB®? If so, how?
           d. What was the result:
                       i. For the session?
                      ii. For the parent when they applied the solution?
 

When you’ve submitted your assignments, you may go to Lesson 2 or go back to the list of all the Advisor Training lessons.