123 episodes

Become a Calm Mama is a parenting podcast where you learn practical parenting tools and strategies so you can stop yelling, feel more calm, and show up as the mom you want to be.

Darlynn is the top parenting coach for moms who want to know exactly how to handle misbehavior and create a peaceful home. Darlynn is known for her practical strategies and a down to earth understanding of what it’s really like to be a mom raising kids in the 21st century.

Over the past 14 years, Darlynn has dedicated her life to becoming the mom she wanted to be for my kids. In that process, she created a parenting model called “The Calm Mama Process” that helped her navigate every tricky parenting moment that’s been thrown her way. From hitting to bullying, from toddler meltdowns to teenage shenanigans, from missing assignments to college admissions, from getting kids to bed to getting kids out of bed, from kids not wanting to get out of the bath to middle schoolers that don’t want to take a shower, from kids fighting in the car to kids who drive their own car, she’s seen it all.

Darlynn has taught her model to hundreds of moms since 2015 and when they apply the Calm Mama Process to their tricky parenting moments they have calm and peace in their homes. Their kids' behavior improves, their relationship with their children gets so much better, and they enjoy motherhood (most of the time!).

Darlynn teaches her process inside her coaching program, The Emotionally Healthy Kids course, where you learn how to master your reactivity, teach kids how to manage their big feelings, and set limits that work. Each week she brings practical and simple strategies to the podcast so you can stop yelling and create a peaceful home.

Become A Calm Mama Darlynn Childress

    • Kids & Family
    • 5.0 • 24 Ratings

Become a Calm Mama is a parenting podcast where you learn practical parenting tools and strategies so you can stop yelling, feel more calm, and show up as the mom you want to be.

Darlynn is the top parenting coach for moms who want to know exactly how to handle misbehavior and create a peaceful home. Darlynn is known for her practical strategies and a down to earth understanding of what it’s really like to be a mom raising kids in the 21st century.

Over the past 14 years, Darlynn has dedicated her life to becoming the mom she wanted to be for my kids. In that process, she created a parenting model called “The Calm Mama Process” that helped her navigate every tricky parenting moment that’s been thrown her way. From hitting to bullying, from toddler meltdowns to teenage shenanigans, from missing assignments to college admissions, from getting kids to bed to getting kids out of bed, from kids not wanting to get out of the bath to middle schoolers that don’t want to take a shower, from kids fighting in the car to kids who drive their own car, she’s seen it all.

Darlynn has taught her model to hundreds of moms since 2015 and when they apply the Calm Mama Process to their tricky parenting moments they have calm and peace in their homes. Their kids' behavior improves, their relationship with their children gets so much better, and they enjoy motherhood (most of the time!).

Darlynn teaches her process inside her coaching program, The Emotionally Healthy Kids course, where you learn how to master your reactivity, teach kids how to manage their big feelings, and set limits that work. Each week she brings practical and simple strategies to the podcast so you can stop yelling and create a peaceful home.

    What's Your Parenting Style?

    What's Your Parenting Style?

    There are 4 primary parenting styles out there, but they aren’t all completely separate from each other. Like so many other things, they exist on a spectrum. You might fall into different parenting styles in different stages or situations. 
    You’ll Learn:
    The 4 main parenting styles, and how to recognize when you are using each oneThe benefits of authoritarian parentingHow to shift away from being overly strict, permissive or detached and get to a more connected and healthy space with your child
    In this episode, I hope you’ll become more aware of your own parenting style, be a little more understanding of where other parents are coming from and learn to shift your approach closer to where you want it to be.
    ---------------------------------------
    It can be easy for us to judge parents with a different style from our own, but you’ll notice as we go through them that, while we may have tendencies that match most with one style, none of us fits into just one of these categories. 
    In this episode, I hope you’ll become more aware of your own parenting style, be a little more understanding of where other parents are coming from and learn to shift your approach closer to where you want it to be.
     
    What Is Your Parenting Style?3 of these parenting styles were identified by developmental psychologist Diana Baumrind in the 1960s. The neglectful parenting style was added later on. 
    There will be moments in your parenting where you fall more into one of these styles than others. There will be moments when you will act controlling, permissive or unengaged. It happens to us all.
    These periods of time do not make you a bad parent. Our goal is to be aware of how you’re showing up so that you can bring yourself back to where you want to be (the authoritative style). 
     
    Authoritarian parenting is like being a dictator or a drill sergeant. This is what I think of as “traditional” parenting. This parent wants a high level of control over their children. There are rules that you must obey, and if you don’t, there are consequences. It’s very direct and doesn’t really take the child’s feelings and emotions into account. There isn’t space for conversations about what is underneath the behavior. 
    In this style of parenting, we often see yelling, screaming and spanking, which triggers a fear response in the child. This can change behavior but damage the relationship. Kids raised with this style also tend to have a lot of repressed emotion because they don’t know how to process their feelings. It can show up as hostility, aggression or poor self esteem. 
    I don’t believe that any of us really want to act this way. We do it because it’s what we saw when we were growing up. And often, there is some kind of worry or fear beneath it. We worry that a behavior will continue or get worse, that our kid won’t change or grow, that they will somehow not be okay.
     
    Indulgent parenting is also known as permissive parenting. It’s really common for parents who don’t want to be in the dictator role to go a little too far in the other direction. In this style, you might have rules, but you don’t really enforce them. Being liked by your kid takes higher priority than being their parent. The truth is, when you follow through on a limit or consequence, your kid is probably going to get upset. That makes it really hard for these parents to enforce consequences. 
    In this style, your child might be really connected to you, but they aren’t getting the rules and experiences they need in order to grow. Being too permissive can even impact their health and safety when it comes to things like getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, brushing their teeth or wearing shoes so they don’t hurt their...

    • 37 min
    Stop Blaming the Mothers

    Stop Blaming the Mothers

    I’m a little fired up on this one, so get ready! Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve read a few different headlines that have gotten me really mad, because these articles want to blame parents for pretty much every societal problem. 
    I want to let you know that you don't have to pay attention to these kinds of headlines and articles that want to blame parents. There are much larger issues at play here. 
    In this episode, you’ll learn:
    Why so many of the issues being blamed on parents are really not your faultThe difference between individual and societal issues when it comes to raising our kidsHow to filter which information is helpful or true and when someone is just looking for a scapegoatWhy I believe we’re all going to be just fine
    As someone who works with moms (and parents in general), I see how much time and energy you are investing, how hard you are working at parenting your kids. You don’t have to be a scapegoat.
    -------------------------------------
    As a mom, you’re making a lot of decisions about your child’s health and education, making appointments, looking at different schools and figuring out enrichment activities. 
    You probably internalize that it is your job to have “good” kids, and it’s easy to view your child and their behavior as a result of the work you are putting in. 
    I want to let you know that you don't have to pay attention to these kinds of headlines and articles that want to blame parents. You can just ignore them and move on. 
    There are much larger issues at play here than individual parents and families. 
     
    The ArticlesOne of the articles I read on ScaryMommy.com titled A Teacher Says The Problem With Kids Today Is A Parenting Problem shares a statistic that 23% of teachers left their school in 2023. 
    In the article, a teacher of 24 years is interviewed and says, “We have raised children to think that they are absolutely the most important person in any room. They are so special that whatever they want to do, or whatever they think, or whatever they say is the most important thing in that moment.”
    Throughout the interview, she seems to be holding parents responsible for classroom behavior, but she also goes on to say, “Let’s reevaluate our family cultures, our community cultures, and our larger society cultures.”
    Another article from the LA Times, Millennials gave birth to ‘Generation Alpha.’ Are these kids already doomed?, says that this next generation (born between roughly 2010-2024) are already widely being called “feral”, “illiterate”, and “doomed”. The article goes on to blame bad parenting by millennials, tech companies or both.
    These kinds of headlines are so discouraging to parents who are doing the best they can, often under really challenging circumstances.
    There are so many things outside of our control. For example, tech companies and the decisions that they make or curriculum and use of technology in schools.  
    We also had no control over the pandemic. Of course there is going to be an effect and a delay in social and academic skills when much of society was shut down for 18 months during the early years of these kids’ lives. 
    Sometimes, no one is truly at fault. It’s just a crappy situation that we’re trying to work through and figure out. And it’s not fair to put that blame on the parents.
     
    Screens in Our SocietyThe LA Times article also references, “the iPad kid is a child who cannot sit through a...

    • 27 min
    Your Best Mother's Day Plan

    Your Best Mother's Day Plan

    Mother’s Day is coming. And if you've had a few Mother's Days that end with you getting into bed feeling totally wiped out and resentful, this podcast episode is for you. I’m talking all about how to create your best Mother’s Day plan for a day you actually enjoy!
    You’ll Learn:
    Why Mother’s Day can be so hardSteps for creating your best Mother’s Day planHow to process the “Mother’s Day Hangover” of disappointment, resentment or sadness on Monday morning
    This Mother’s Day, I send my love to all the mothers. For the first mothers, the forever mothers, the motherless mothers, the childless mothers, and the not-yet mothers. I love you. I see you.
    ----------------------
    Mother's Day has a way of ending up the OPPOSITE of ideal for most moms.
    A lot of times, moms spend Mother's Day cleaning up the kitchen after a messy breakfast in bed, followed by a lunch that's focused on their mother or mother-in-law, and then capped off by a rushed take-out dinner with all the regular bedtime routine shenanigans.
     
    Taking Back Mother’s DayI’m just going to say it - Mother’s Day is FOR moms!
    Usually, two things keep moms from creating their ideal day: guilt and not asking for what they want.
    I want you to know that it is okay to not want to spend every minute of Mother's Day with your kids. Getting breaks from your kids is actually super important, so if you want a few kid-free hours on Mother's Day, it’s okay.
    You might also feel guilty about balancing how to honor your mom, mother-in-law, etc. with getting what you want from the day, too. It can be a lot of people to please, especially if you live in the same town. People-pleasing is not what Mother’s Day is about, and you might not be able to satisfy everybody. Think about what you want from the day and take it from there.
    I want Mother’s Day to be amazing for you, so I’m going to help you work through these common obstacles and make a plan and design a Mother’s Day that actually feels good to you. One where you get what you truly want from the day.
     
    Make Your Best Mother’s Day PlanIt is your job to figure out what you want and then ask for it. Here’s how…
     
    Step 1: Decide what you want
    What does your ideal Mother’s Day look like? Take a few minutes to really think about this or journal on it. What do you really want? How do you want to spend your Mother’s Day?
    Is it a break from kids? Time with your friends? Alone time? A visit with your own mom? A special family activity?
    Do you want to sleep in? Shop? Go out to lunch? Spend time outdoors?
     
    Step 2: Communicate your plan
    If it's going to be a day where we honor and celebrate our experience as mothers and let the people around us honor and appreciate us, then we need to figure out a way to communicate what we want.
    Talk to your partner (if you have one) about your vision for the day. Ask them if they think that plan will work. Are they willing to try something new if that’s what you want? 
    If there are other mothers involved, reach out to them and see what they have in mind for the day. If you’re hoping for a more relaxed day, ask if you can have a shorter visit or if they’re open to celebrating together on Saturday or a different weekend. If they aren’t willing to change their plans or expectations, can you take your ideal day a week later? 
    Having these conversations in advance is really, really helpful because it helps you get on the same page and make a real plan.
     
    The Mother’s Day HangoverIf Mother’s Day can be hard, the day after can be even harder. Even if you manage to have a wonderful Mother’s Day, you’ll probably still have what I call the Mother’s Day Hangover. 
    On Monday morning, when...

    • 26 min
    Being On the Same Page (Part 2)

    Being On the Same Page (Part 2)

    Today, we’re focusing on being on the same page as your coparent with limits and consequences. 
    You’ll Learn:
    Why learning to regulate your emotions is like learning to read and write3 coparenting scenarios and how to navigate themWhat to do when you’re not on board with your coparent’s limits & consequencesThe good news about your relationship with your kid
    Our goal with a feelings-first parenting model is to hold our kids accountable in a calm, mutually respectful way. We want to help them to regulate their emotions and take responsibility for their actions without lashing out, hurting or shaming our kids.
    But what can you do when you and your coparent don’t handle limits and consequences the same way?
    ---------------------
    In last week’s episode, we talked about what it means to be on the same page as your coparent, particularly when it comes to self-regulation and connection with your kids. Today, we’re focusing on being on the same page with limits and consequences. 
    Our goal with a feelings-first parenting model is to hold our kids accountable in a calm, mutually respectful way. We want to help them to regulate their emotions and take responsibility for their actions without lashing out, hurting or shaming our kids.
    But what can you do when you and your coparent don’t handle limits and consequences the same way?
     
    3 Types of CoparentingYou and your coparent will fall into one of three scenarios. Based on your situation, there are different conversations, approaches and tools you can use to guide your parenting. 
     
    Scenario #1: Two people who live together and have a mutual commitment to calm and conscious parentingOnce you’ve determined that you’re on the same page with your parenting values, goals and approach, you also have to figure out how you’ll stay on the same page. 
     
    Getting on the same page. The first step here is talking about your values as parents, which you can learn more about in last week’s episode. Next, talk about what happens if you notice that your kids are off track, especially if you find yourself arguing about the behavior.
    When you notice off track behavior, have a connection conversation about the pattern that you’ve seen. It’s really important that neither of you are judging or getting defensive in this conversation. Lean into curiosity - What do you think is going on? Why do you think they’re acting this way? What’s happening underneath? What do they need?
    You might realize that this is more of an emotional issue. Maybe your child needs some more skills around managing their feelings or there is an emotional need that isn’t being met. A lot of times if you meet the emotional need of a behavior, you can kind of the behavior lessens. You might also find that you need to set a limit around the behavior. 
     
    Staying on the same page. What will you do when your coparent gets off track? I recommend that, as long as the coparent isn't being explosive or hurtful, you let it play out. Be a compassionate witness, notice what’s going on with your coparent and with your kid and get curious about why. 
    Then, later on when everyone is calm, talk to your coparent about what happened. Again, you aren’t bringing it up to criticize or blame. The goal is to evaluate, problem solve and troubleshoot. Go through the steps of the Calm Mama Process (Calm, Connect, Limit Set, Correct) and pinpoint where the issue was and how you can solve for it. 
    These conversations are what help you do the fine-tuning to move you closer to your parenting...

    • 36 min
    Being On the Same Page

    Being On the Same Page

    I’m often asked, “How do you handle it when your husband or your coparent isn't on board?” or, “How do you handle it when you're divorced and you don't know what's going on with the other parent?”
    In this first episode of a two-part series, I’ll start answering these questions and share some essential conversations to have with your coparent.
    You’ll Learn:
    Why I know your kid is going to be okay.How to determine if you and your coparent are on the same page (and where to start if you’re not). Essential conversations for before, during and after explosive incidents - with scripts!Using the “hard no” with other adults.
    The parenting you're doing is not in vain if your co parent isn't on board. Your child's other parent isn't unraveling all of your hard work. What you are doing is not pointless. You can give your child everything they need to grow into an emotionally healthy adult.
    --------------------------------
    The Real QuestionThe real question at the root of these concerns is, “Is my kid going to be okay if my coparent doesn’t practice compassionate parenting?”
    There is fear of what will happen in the future if your coparent is harsh, too permissive or just on a different page when it comes to parenting your kid. 
    But what does it really mean to be okay? The way I think about this in my programs is that we are setting our kids up for success by teaching emotional literacy - knowing what they’re feeling, how to talk about it and what to do with it. 
    This is the key to raising kids that are confident, self-aware and love themselves. 
    No matter what happens in your child's life, there's going to be pain and struggle. Things won’t always go their way. 
    In the long-term, when they know how to process that pain, they can handle anything. You’re giving your kid the resilience that they need for the future. 
     
    Being On the Same PageFor our purposes, being on the same page means two things:  
    You and your coparent agree on the same parenting philosophy. In this case, that means agreeing that compassion and helping your child process negative emotion are important to you. You share the same approach to the philosophy. You’re using the same strategies and tools. 
    For example, compassionate parenting is a philosophy. The Calm Mama Process of calm, connect, limit set, correct is the approach. 
    A beautiful place to start is by asking your coparent (whether you live with them or not) what they value when it comes to parenting. 
    You can start the conversation by saying something like, “I'm learning a lot, and I want to make sure that you're on the same page with me. I believe that feelings matter and that it's important for our kids to have a safe place to express those feelings and learn how to deal with them. Do agree?”
     
    When You Aren’t On the Same PageI know that you want to have a good relationship with your child, and you want them to have a good relationship with themselves and with the world. You get to decide how you show up. You can put in the work to make sure your relationship is connected and loving. 
    Your coparent also has a relationship with your kid, and it’s their job to decide how they want that relationship to play out and take action to create the relationship they want. 
    It is not your responsibility to preserve your child’s relationship with their other parent. Ultimately, your responsibility is only to the emotional health of your child. 
    If you’re struggling with your coparent, look at where the disagreement is. Is it about the philosophy or the approach?
    Maybe you agree on the philosophy,...

    • 39 min
    Coparenting With an Abusive Ex

    Coparenting With an Abusive Ex

    We all know that parenting is enough of a challenge on its own, but what about when you’re coparenting with an abusive ex, someone who may be acting more for themselves than the best interest of your kid?
    My guest, Lisa Johnson, is a certified domestic violence advocate and the cofounder of a divorce coaching program called Been There Got Out. We’re talking all about:
    The goodness and peace that are on the other side of the pain and struggle.What to look out for when it comes to coercive control, loyalty conflict and reacting to your ex.Ways to support your kid and help them navigate difficult situations.How to get the support you need to care for yourself and your child.
    If coparenting with an ex has been a struggle for you, or if you are making a decision to leave a relationship, this real-talk conversation will give you the information you need to make the best choices for you and your child and support them through it all. 
    -------------------------------
    My guest, Lisa Johnson, is a certified domestic violence advocate and the cofounder of a divorce coaching program called Been There Got Out. She works alongside her co-founder and romantic partner, Chris, to help people who are dealing with high-conflict separation and divorce, custody battles, and coparenting hell so that they can have the best outcome in family court and beyond.
     
    Lisa’s StoryOf course, there is much more to Lisa’s story than what we could cover in this conversation, but there are some elements she experienced that she has seen to be pretty common with her clients, as well. 
    When Lisa was making the decision to leave her previous marriage of 18 years, her now-ex-husband made her feel like if she left, then she would be responsible for breaking up their family, which included two kids. She would be to blame for destroying their kids’ lives. 
    So she did everything she could to stay and keep the family together. Ultimately, she realized that one person can’t make both people better. They wanted two different things, and it just wasn’t working. 
    Like so many others, Lisa knew she had to leave her marriage for herself. She didn’t know what would happen with the kids. She would figure that out later. But for her to survive, she had to go. 
    She describes the feeling of carrying a ball of pain inside of her trying to keep it all together. And when she admitted that it wasn’t working, and her ex left, there was such a sense of relief. A weight had been lifted. 
    She didn’t know what would happen next, but she knew she couldn’t try to control it, and letting go was so freeing. Now, she’s on the other side, has found the love of her life and created her business to help others through those same kinds of struggles. 
     
    Coparenting With an Abusive ExLisa’s clients are often dealing with ex-spouses who are not handling things with maturity and who are trying to take back control. There are a lot of hurt feelings and, often, a history of abuse. 
    In many of these cases, Lisa sees instances of coercive control, which means that some freedom has been taken away from one person in the relationship. It might look like financial abuse, where one person doesn’t have any control over the family’s money. It can also show up as social isolation or other types of verbal, psychological or sexual abuse. 
    Although they’re now in different living spaces, the parenting relationship is not over. Lisa says that the three main areas where conflict and abuse come up after a divorce are money, kids and court. 
    Legal abuse related to money and court conflicts go hand-in-hand. It’s all about winning and losing. The abusive partner wants to take everything - kids, money, time and control. Conflict...

    • 46 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
24 Ratings

24 Ratings

DvGuts ,

I love Darlynn!!

She is so very supportive and wise.

nik nour ,

Best coach

She’s been the most helpful person in my life. Darlynn has been amazing. The best coach.

sborrud ,

Love this!! Darlynn knows her stuff!

She has helped us over the years!!
She can speak from experience and at the same time continues to evolve through experience and research!

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