Overwrought Moms Turn to Parenting Coaches

"As a coach, I don't provide answers. That's more of a consultant,"Alvarado said. "As a coach, what I do is I'm expert at asking the kind of questions that [let] the client see something maybe they hadn't seen before."

It may sound like the type of advice that you can go to your mom or a girlfriend for, but Alvarado insists that it is more than that.

"Best friends or moms sometimes can't help but bring their own opinion into the conversation — like they kind of know what's best for you or they kind of want the best for you," she said. "So it becomes like — their agenda becomes part of the conversation."

Offering support and boosting confidence is one thing, but are coaches capable of detecting serious problems?

"I think that anything that is done over the phone misses certain cues," Goldberg said. "I would be concerned that somebody who does not have a depth of training would be able to know when they are in over their head."

Neal says that her parenting coach has put her life in balance.

"I think what I got out of Peggy — Peggy's coaching is that if my life is in balance," she said. "I'm happier, and therefore I'm a better mother."

Goldberg says that parents should be careful.

"There's nothing that is harmless," she said. "Anything that deals with your head, with your behavior, with your children is important, and it is important to get the best for you."

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