NLP book - Parent's Handbook

Parent's Handbook

NLP & Common Sense Guide for Family Well-Being

by Roger Ellerton PhD, CMC

Roger Ellerton, NLP Trainer


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Introduction to Chapter 7: Six Primary Parenting Roles

Your children need your presence more than your presents.
- Jesse Jackson

Parenting is the process of helping your children to 1) become aware of their potential, 2) expand their wings beyond their family and 3) perform and evolve at the peak of their abilities in a safe, supportive environment. It involves drawing out their strengths and helping them to bypass personal barriers and limits in order to achieve their personal best.

Each child is a unique individual, and each has their own schedule for growing up. At each stage of their growth, their needs and expectations from their parents will change. To meet these needs, parents take on different roles and communicate with each child according to that child's focus, style and age requirements. As a parent, you play six primary roles - sometimes two or three at the same time; at other times, one specific role may dominate. These roles correspond to the six logical levels, and they range from providing your child with the necessities of life (environment) to making them aware of their potential in a larger context than their current experience with their family or circle of friends (spirituality). Robert Dilts (From Coach to Awakener, Meta Publications, 2003) refers to these roles as: Caretaker/Guide (environment), Coach (behavior), Teacher (capabilities/strategies), Mentor (beliefs/values), Sponsor (identity) and Awakener (spirituality/purpose) - the terms in brackets being the logical levels.

Caretaker and guide

As a caretaker, you promote your children's development by providing safe and supportive environments free from unnecessary outside distractions. As a guide, you're familiar with the territory (at minimum, more familiar than your children) and provide guidance and direction on possible paths they can take to achieve their desired outcomes.


Traditional coaching, which is referred to here, is focused at a behavioral level. As a coach, you help your children perform to the best of their abilities by identifying and encouraging specific action steps they can take to reach a successful conclusion.


As a teacher, you help your children develop new strategies, skills and capabilities for thinking and taking action, rather than focusing on a particular accomplishment in a specific situation. With your assistance, they discover and refine many of their unconscious competencies, making these a way of life.


In the mentor role, you provide guidance and influence to generate and strengthen important beliefs and values for your children, and you function as an appropriate role model.


Being a sponsor, you recognize, acknowledge and promote an attribute or identity that is already within your children, but that is not yet fully apparent or that they are not yet aware of. You do not have to be a role model; you may not have the same skills as the attribute being sponsored.


As an awakener, you bring to your children’s attention something larger than themselves (family, community, spirituality) and the purpose/vision that is awaiting them.

Each of the above roles includes follow-up on your children's progress by providing respectful and timely feedback. This feedback includes praise and suggestions for improvement to help them learn and grow. For example, as a coach you provide feedback with regard to the actions your children have or have not taken, while a mentor will model and provide direction on specific beliefs or values that are important.

These competencies of caretaking/guiding, coaching, teaching, mentoring, sponsoring and awakening are essential skills for supporting your children. Each of the different levels of support requires a different interaction between you and your children, as well as a different tool set. Many situations will require a combination of these competencies.

As with the logical levels, these roles have a hierarchy. The skills related to a particular role must include and also transcend the skills of all of the previous levels. That is, a teacher must have and exhibit the skills and abilities of a coach, a caretaker/guide and more. On the other hand, a guide may not possess or need to exhibit the skills and abilities of a coach.

Trade Paperback / 6" x 9" / 203 pages
Published by Renewal Technologies Inc.
ISBN 978-0-9784452-6-3 paperback
ISBN 978-0-9784452-2-5 e-book