Finding The Calm With Parenting with Danielle Tooley

Season #3

How is your relationship with your kids? Is it a tumultuous ride that you don’t enjoy, or is it ease, joy and glory no matter what comes your way?

On this show, your host, Leandra Costa, talks with Relationships Done Different Facilitator, Danielle Tooley, about the relationship you have with your kids. She discusses tools and techniques to create a different space from which you can parent your children.

What can we create with Relationships Done Different with our kids?


Keys points from this episode’s conversation

  • How Do You Parent?
  • Dealing With Emotions
  • Being The Space Required For Your Children To Communicate With You
  • Stop Judging Yourself


How Do You Parent?

Danielle says that a lot of her parenting comes from reflecting on the way she was parented. Some of the things she does the same, but she also looks at where things didn't work. She likes to be really present with her parenting, and if something isn't working, she will ask questions like, "Where can I choose greater? Where can I be better? What can I do different in this situation?"

When Danielle was growing up, she had a lot of freedom. They played on the street with their friends and would go home when the street lights came on. Whereas, kids these days don't get as much freedom as what she did. They are indoors more and on iPads.

So, Danielle allowed her kids to have freedom from a very young age. At around 8 or 9 years of age, she let them walk to school together on their own. Although, she did say that the first time, she actually followed them in the car. Her main concern was because they had to cross main busy roads and she wanted to know if they'd use the lights and get across okay. And, she realised they were doing well.

As a mum, it's about really using your knowing, using your awareness, and allowing them to have freedoms and really tapping into, "If I allow them to do this, is everything going to be okay?"

Also, letting your kids know that they need to use their own awareness and intuition and knowing as well.  This isn't normally taught with kids. Usually it's about what you know as a parent and the kids don't know anything. There has to be a little bit of "You need to listen to me," because there needs to be boundaries, and also allowing them to know what they know too.

Giving your kids space gives you more space for you, and it allows them to grow their confidence and feel empowered. They also get to see that their friends' parents don’t do that, so perhaps they'll think, "Maybe my mum's not so bad afterall."

Leandra also has a 10 year old. He goes to a totally different school where he chooses whatever he does with his time there. It's about teaching him to ask questions and letting him know he is being heard and seen.


Dealing With Emotions

Danielle grew up with a very emotionally reactive mum, so she learnt a lot of that emotional reactivity. It's something she's had to undo to be more present as a parent. Biomimetically mimicking is when you mimic someone else's behaviour, and Danielle really mimicked her mum. Rather than react, it's really about being calm and being space and also about being whatever energy is required in the moment. 

Another tool that assisted Danielle was learning that there are things called distractor implants, such as anger, rage, fury and hate, that distract you from being you. It’s more about what is underneath the emotion.

Danielle's son is on the spectrum and can go from 0 to 100 very quickly with anger. It's a matter of keeping her walls and barriers down to keep the wind out of his sails. When he is calmer, she can throw in a bit of logic, but she finds that logic with a kid that is fired up and triggered gets you nowhere. You may both need some space. There have been times when Danielle has said to her son, "I'm not feeling safe right now, so I am going to leave for a moment. You do your anger in your pillow, or whatever you need to do, but I am going to take myself out of the situation, and we can talk about it later."  When he's calmed down, she talks to him about what is underneath the anger. Anger is a distractor implant, so it's about what is underneath that creating that trigger. 

If a child is throwing fury at you, it may assist you to know a lot of their emotions are also affected by development. Their brains don't stop developing til they are 25. The amygdala is developing the most during the teen years which is responsible for a lot of that emotional stuff, So, you will get a lot of that as a parent. As a parent, this will require you to be even more calm and space and being in the question, in that moment, because you will be met with those triggers and those triggers can trigger you, depending on how you were brought up, etc.

As a mum, we have all been in situations where we have met that energy of anger from our child with the same energy, having been triggered by it. But, that doesn't create anything greater. It’s not about judging yourself, it’s about acknowledging that it didn’t work and not choosing it next time. 10 second increments of choice means that you can always choose something different.

When you go to reaction and judgement, just stop. And, ask a question; "What's next? What can I be next?" 

When Danielle's kids were very young and being all crazy, she would ask them, "Who are you being right now?" Or if she was doing crazy she would ask herself, "Who am I being right now?" It gets you back to the present moment, because you might be doing something like acting out your own mum's behaviour. We are all telepathic, picking up everyone's thoughts, feelings and emotions. You might be so calm all day, in the best happy mood, and someone can come in and you can get flipped into their emotional state so easily if you are not willing to be present in that moment.


Being The Space Required For Your Children To Communicate With You

Danielle had an incident recently with her daughter. She was sitting on her bed filing her nails and her daughter came in and sat next to her and started engaging in a conversation about some people and what was happening. Instead of asking her daughter if she wanted some feedback or if she just wanted her to listen, she went into problem solving. Her daughter didn't like that. She said Danielle was lecturing her, and she got up and stormed out and slammed the door.  So, Danielle got up and went in her room and said, "I'm really sorry for interrupting you. I'm listening now, do you want to try again?" She took responsibility for her own part in the interaction that didn't go down so well - that she wasn't there for her the way her daughter wanted her to be.

Her daughter didn't come back to the conversation straight away. She needed some time to process what just happened. When she did come back, Danielle said they did some other things and had some fun rather than go back to the conversation. It's about having that open communication so they trust you enough to vent without you butting in, but always knowing you are there to support them if they want some advice and tools.  

They are not always going to want advice. As a teenager, their job is to separate from you for survival. In fact, their bodies are ready to procreate, however, in our society, they are not emotionally ready. If they were in the 'wild' they would procreating. So, their job is to separate from you and create their own tribe. In this society, that's their peers. You are wrong in their eyes; you don't know what you are talking about, you're stupid, etc. They don't want to listen to you. But, they will want to listen to you after 25, once that brain has finished developing. In the mean time, it’s important to keep that open communication. You have to be total space. And if you really want to say something, zip it.

Leandra's son also has some special abilities. One of the things he loves to do is to bake, so Leandra will invite him to bake with her to create a safe space. How can you be with your kids? What will make them really feel that they can talk and be themselves? Often, we as parents are busy and thinking of the cooking or our jobs, etc.  What can we be to be in more connection with them?

For Danielle, the best conversations with her kids occur in the car. She won't allow them to be on their phones in the car. If she is going to drive them, she wants them present with her. Just recently, Danielle was at a parent and son night at her school, and one of the parents said they take their son possum hunting and that's when they talk. It’s about finding that groove with your child, whatever that is for you. Find that space where they will open up and listen to what comes out. 

Often, too, they just require you being there. Leandra would go to guilt working from home, but her son would say he was okay because she was there. 


Stop Judging Yourself

Remind yourself to not get pulled into the distractor implants of anger, rage, fury, hate, blame, shame, regret and guilt, and also living in 10 second increments with your kids. If you show up as a parent in a way that you didn't like or didnt' work, you've got 10 seconds to choose something different.  Try not to go into judgment of yourself. Don't do judgment. It doesn't create anything greater. Go, "Okay, that didn't work very well. What could I choose different next time?" And,reminding yourself, "who am I being here?", if you go into emotional reactivity. If your child is acting crazy, ask "Who are you being?" They may not get it straight away. They may shoot a bit more venom at you. But practise also, if there is anger in a situation, pulling energy from them.  That will allow their walls and barriers to come down, so you can come in from a different space, and allow things to simmer down before you have a conversation. If you are in a distractor implant, wait!

Say to yourself, "all the distractor implants creating this situation, I destroy and uncreate them all" Let the earth suck them up, or whatever is required. Create some space to allow you to come back in with a different energy. 

You can also ask "What energy is required in this situation?" Sometimes, being really aggressively present in a situation, without anger, is what's called for. For example, "If you do that again I will punish you in ways you can't imagine," and delivering that with intensity, could be the thing that shifts the energy of the situation. The required energy could also be kindness, or caring or gratitude. Ask “What energy can I be in this situation that is going to create the greatest for me and my child?” It might not be what you think. You might think you need to punish them, but that is a conclusion. Always ask a question. There have been times when Danielle has chosen not to punish her daughter because she can see it won't create anything greater. 

Relationships Done Different




Book: Relationship, Are You Sure You Want One?



Danielle Tooley, Certified Facilitator of Access Consciousness, Relationship Done Different Facilitator

Danielle Tooley’s website

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