According to a piece on NPR’s Marketplace yesterday, parents are now hiring screen-free coaches for up to $200 an hour to “…guide parents in the implementation of “screen-free” activities.”
And AGMA heard a couple of young mothers talking a few days ago. One said that she had to call the ‘sleep coach’ because their 3 year old wet the bed because she didn’t want to go to sleep. The mom seriously had no idea how to handle it.
I ask again, WTF???
That’s right up there with the ‘postpartum doula’ concept. They tell you what to do when you get home with your new baby. Seriously?
At $100 to $200 per hour, AGMA wants to get in on this action.
Talk about easy money…
I can slap up a website and call it “AGMA’s ‘that’s what mothers and grandmother are for’ coaching”. But that name might just be a bit off putting for some….
And for their $100 to $200 per hour, I’ll cover all the bases from bringing the baby home to helping them get the baby/toddler to sleep through the night to thinking of stuff for the little critters to do besides look at a screen.
AGMA will be the one stop coaching shop for parents!
To tease all of your folks out there who are itching to pay me $100 an hour (to build up my clientele, I’ll use the lower end of the pay grade…), I’ll give you a small sample of the my coaching wisdom.
Question: What to do with the new baby when you get home?
Answer: Feed it, burp it, change it, put it down for a nap, hold it, snuggle it, kiss it, sing to it, love it. Pretty simple really…
(AGMA is going to get serious for a hot minute… Postpartum depression is real and nothing to joke about. If this is an issue, mom needs seek help right away.)
Question: I’m sleep deprived because my newborn needs to be fed every 2 to 3 hours. What can I do?
Answer: Welcome to the new parent club! Did you really think you would get to sleep with a newborn? Don’t worry about the household chores or ordering cute baby clothes on the Internet or getting on Facebook or Instagram or anything else having to do with technology. When the baby sleeps, you sleep. Period.
Question: How do I get my baby to sleep?
Answer: When your baby gets tired, it will sleep. Trust me on this. Unless it has colic and then, yikes….you need to call in the reserves!
Question: How can I keep my children busy/out of my hair without resorting to screen time?
Answer: What did your parents let you to do? You were raised pre-screens so let you kids do that same stuff. Duh.
That’ll be $50 dollars please….
AGMA is wondering how we’ve gotten so far away from tapping into the wisdom of the elders in our society. For millennia, young parents have been looking to their parents and grandparents for advice (free no less!) with great success.
You know, the village concept.
And although their parents and grandparents have successfully (most of the time…) raised children, some new parents refuse to tap into that rich source of knowledge. They’d rather pay somebody with who knows what kind of credentials to tell them what to do with their kids.
But obviously, at that price, this type of coaching is only for folks of a certain income bracket. Those outside of that income level are “stuck” with the wisdom of the village.
Maybe that’s not such a bad thing.
The Marketplace report did report on an interesting and disturbing result of the income gap regarding screen time. Children in lower income families who generally live in low income areas tend to have more screen time because of cuts in funding for their schools. In order to make up for the reduced budgets for teachers, they are forced to offer more material online. More time staring at screens.
We can ‘afford’ (not really…) to give the rich millions and millions in tax breaks, but we can’t seem to afford to educate our children in a healthy manner. How does that work again?
As for AGMA, my new business is still in the concept phase.
I like the tough love approach, but realize that to make the big bucks, I need to act like my potential clients are the only people in the world who ever had children. And that their children will certainly be the most brilliant, unique, talented and successful individuals who ever walked the earth.
AGMA needs to get her schmooze on big time.
But I’m not sure I can pull it off.
I’m much too practical, and believe that you’re not meant to be your child’s friend until they are adults and living on their own. While they are young, you are the parent and they are they child.
And yes, you ARE the boss of them.
If AGMA would get a call in the middle of the night from the parent who’s child peed in the bed, I can see me telling them to just ignore it and go back to sleep. A night spent avoiding a big wet spot on the sheets is a ‘teachable moment’ and very likely, won’t happen again.
Yeah – I can’t see that conversation going over very well.
But honestly, it costs next to nothing to put up a website, and I do have real life experience AND an MBA (that really has nothing to do with parenting, but it will look good next to my name…)
Maybe if AGMA offers a free 10 minute chair massage with each consulting session?