Every parent faces challenges, and no matter how much a parent loves their child, circumstances can get overwhelming.
Dr. Tara E. Egan says she believes parents shouldn't feel guilty about asking for help.
"There's a belief that only 'bad' parents need help," said Egan.
"It's the 'good' parents who seek help ... who are strongly advocating for their family's health and well-being and are in tune with the fact that they're struggling."
Perceptions of what it means to be a parent can be misleading, causing parents to feel inadequate and incapable of what's presumably expected of them, she says.
"Often people are under the impression that effective parenting comes naturally or effortlessly," says Egan, 34. "That once our baby is laid in our lap, we're going to know what to do instinctively."
Beyond parenthood and a post-graduate education, Egan has worked nationwide as a school psychologist for 10 years - including at Union County - and taught psychology as an adjunct professor at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, N.Y.
Egan earned her masters in school psychology from George Mason University in 2001 and doctorate of education in school psychology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2008.
"It's very important that parents find a parent coach who is the right fit for their family," says Egan, who lives in Indian Trail.
This is the reason Egan opened Charlotte Parent Coaching in April 2011. She wants to meet parents in their homes and on their schedules.
As a school psychologist, she has assisted children with autism, ADHD, emotional disabilities, sensory issues and mild to moderate cognitive delays.
Egan's area of expertise is in behavioral issues such as, tantrums, power struggles, aggression, separation anxiety and helping parents establish authority with compassion and love; but she also has experience advising parents on effective co-parenting strategies and advocating for children within schools.
Egan spends most of her time working directly with parents, because, she says, she wants parents to take the leading role in their child's success, thus adding to their confidence.
"We as parents are often too critical of our parenting decisions, as we tend to focus on what we perceive ourselves to be doing wrong, rather than celebrating our successes," she said.
With a little guidance and perseverance, every parent can be the best parent for their child, according to Egan.
Egan said she believes as long as children are treated with respect and love, and that parents remember to take care of themselves, too - they're off to a great start.