Helping Parents Help Kids: A Spotlight on Elaine Taylor-Klaus

February 2023

WEForum Community Conversation Coming This Spring 2023

By WEForum Group Newsletter Editors

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We are shining the spotlight on Elaine Taylor-Klaus, MCC, CPCC, the Chief Executive Officer of, and a highly credentialed certified professional coach. Elaine is also the author of Parenting ADHD Now! & The Essential Guide to Raising Complex Kids with ADHD, anxiety, and more. Elaine is a frequent contributor to the WEForum newsletter. We are pleased to announce she is scheduled to speak at our upcoming Spring Community Conversation Event (the details of which will be soon forthcoming).

Elaine spent some time with us earlier this month and allowed us to help you get to know how she began her journey helping parents to help their kids and why there’s never been a more important time for parents to learn best how to help their children thrive.

Elaine, tell us how you came to create your practice and your early experiences, feelings, and challenges as a professional mom raising a complex kid.

You can’t help your kid – or yourself – build a strong, healthy life with a shaky foundation. For the first ten years of parenting, I was a bit of a worried mess, honestly. I needed to strengthen my confidence and parent from a place of hope and optimism, not fear and anxiety. When I was exposed to coaching, and I began to realize that my kids could have a fulfilling life even if they didn’t fit into typical boxes that they were ‘supposed’ to fit into — when I realized they could thrive if I played to their strengths instead of only worrying about their deficits — I saw a way out of my panic.

Full of purpose, I dove into coach training and earned my first certification. Coaching permanently improved my life and the dynamic in my family! I wanted to provide that same compassion, understanding, and opportunity for all those other parents who were “off the radar” too. I often refer to is as my Scarlet O’Hara moment, when I raised my hands to the sky (yes, literally — a little drama keeps things interesting, right?) and declared, “As God is my witness, no parent shall ever have to go through what I went through those first ten years.” Parents would have a community; they would never have to feel as alone and desperate as I did. And their kids — my kids — would never feel as lazy, crazy, or stupid as I had as a young person.

How do you define a complex kid?

COMPLEX KIDS are children, teens, or young adults who struggle with some aspects of life, learning, behavior, or any combination of the three. They may not have a diagnosis at all; they may have a single diagnosis, such as dyslexia, autism, anxiety, or ADHD; or they may present with more than one coexisting condition, even three or more. And sometimes, when complex kids exhibit an increasingly complicated combination of symptoms, accurate diagnosis and treatment gets more nuanced and difficult—even for the most experienced providers. Those are the kids I consider very complex.

Your motto is “Helping Parents Help Kids.” Tell us more about this philosophy and how it came to be the focus of your practice.

When my kids were little, there was a lot of support available for kids but almost nothing was available to support me as a parent. When I met Diane and she had a similar experience, we felt strongly that parents needed someone to provide support in order to help change their families — and we realized that “someone” was us! Who better than two professional moms, whose lives and families had been transformed by coaching, to pave a new path for other parents?!

When we first started Impact, our first tagline was “Enjoy the Ride.” But we discovered that many parents struggled to relate to it because they didn’t even believe it was possible. Parents needed us to provide a parent-centered resource while still focusing on what kids needed most. So we shifted to “Helping Parents Help Kids.”

Over the years we grew to understand that ‘Parenting with Impact’ was essential for all parents — those with all kinds of complex kids and those with ‘typical’ kids facing complex circumstances or challenges. Eventually (when we had time to make it happen), in true Greek mythology form, ImpactADHD® gave birth to its parent company, ImpactParents, which then spawned ImpactAnxiety. In time, other essential supports for parents will also become available under the Impact banner.

In the years since we launched Impact, we’ve supported parents around the world from more than a hundred countries in profound and meaningful ways. In our community, parents come together to learn and grow without judgment or shame. Too many parents out there tend to put themselves last, but they vitally need support and solutions, coaching and connection, and training and guidance.

For all of these resources, the foundation is the same: a coach approach to parenting empowers parents, teachers, and professionals with the mindset and problem-solving tools they need to guide children, teens, and young adults to become independent and successful adults. At ImpactADHD® and ImpactParents, our programs are award-winning and backed by research. They are established and effective, affordable and accessible, and lauded by parents and professionals across the globe.

We are passionately committed to serving all parents who want support, and we love collaborating with other professionals supporting families of kids with complex needs.

If there is one thing all parents could begin to practice to help their kids the most, what would it be?

You want your kids to understand what makes them tick — without getting defensive. You want them to actually believe in themselves — and become independent! You want to help them truly feel capable of becoming successful adults. And to do that, you have to give yourself permission to focus on yourself and your role as a parent.

Most parents and providers don’t know that behavior training for parents (also known as parent management training or parent behavior training) is recommended treatment for children of ALL ages with complex challenges. At Impact, the philosophical foundation of our behavior therapy training is what we call the coach-approach.

What is the coach-approach to parenting?

Coaching is an evidence-based method for creating and managing change. It is all about helping people realize their full potential. The skills and concepts from the world of coaching are readily useful for parents who want to help their kids become the best that they can be. When parents learn to take a coach-approach with their children, it changes the playing field. They begin to foster resilience and motivate independence. Perhaps most surprisingly, they learn to provide honest and constructive feedback in a way that kids can receive it. With a coach approach, parents learn to shift their approach and communicate with less judgment and more acceptance. As a result, they’re able to give directions and offer advice without triggering defensive reactions. Their kids begin to see their parents as a member of their team and seek out guidance and support when they need help.

We are excited to have you come to speak with our community – who should attend and what is it you hope they take away from your talk?

On the one hand, this presentation is specifically designed for parents and professionals supporting complex kids — or frankly, any kids in these complex times. On the other hand, it’s about how to take a coach-approach in life, about fostering independence and living our lives from a place of inspiration and possibility. So it’s a good fit for anyone in your community who cares about better communication, taking a positive approach to life, and improving collaboration and helping members of the community work together in service of both the individuals and the greater good. Coaching offers a framework for collaborative problem-solving that is unparalleled in bringing communities together while cultivating individuals’ health and wellness in the process.


Elaine has provided us with the following resources to share with you our WEForum community:

  1. Free Guide: Top 12 Tips to Help Your Complex Kids: Change Starts with You!
  2. Parent Quiz
  3. Programs Page