After many years of self-discovery, Riki Deale came across the ancient wisdom of understanding people according to their different temperament types and studied how it applies to our children and parenting. She came to realise that even in this modern world, the original theory of the four temperaments still holds true. Since then, she has helped numerous families create harmony and peace in their homes, just by understanding the different temperaments and how each one operates. At Tame Your Zoo, she helps parents to raise their children based on their temperaments and guides them on effective communication, helping kids grow into mature and confident adults. Here she talks about the inspiration behind Tame Your Zoo, the challenges she has faced along the way, and her hopes and dreams for the future.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
I always had a strong personality. I always had strong opinions. Mind you, I still do – I just manage my tongue better these days. I always loved organising people. And if there is not a strong enough leader (in my opinion), I will naturally take over and get things done!
As a child, I was often in trouble for not being respectful enough, quiet enough, small enough. And yes, sometimes I still didn’t go down without a fight. I knew I was a fighter and I struggled with self-acceptance.
And then, one day in 2000, I discovered a small, inconspicuous book on temperaments in my local library. And for the first time in my life, I could ‘label’ my ‘condition’. I was normal. Well, as normal as 25% of our society. I just had a specific temperament.
This was my first step of a 20-year self-discovery that has led me to like myself, and even love myself on some days. That was the start of a deeper understanding of who I was, and why I act the way I do. Yes, I had to work really hard to polish my rough edges and smooth over my strong and opinionated personality.
Being the bold project manager that I am, I started sharing this information with friends and family, always learning, observing, asking questions, contemplating, explaining. And reading, reading, reading.
When my own girls were born, I was fascinated how they already showed their own temperaments right from birth. They became my favourite project to manage. And now, with my girls not so little anymore, my Inner Lion was looking for a new project.
And Tame Your Zoo was born: A parenting collective of my experience and research over 13 years as a parent, but 20 years on the journey. A deeper understanding that we can’t change who we are, but we can fine-tune and polish our temperaments to be content, respectful, responsible, reliable, mature, loving and caring people, making the world a better place for ourselves and those around us.
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
I had the dream to reach more parents to understand their children’s way of processing information and how they react to the world around them. This prevents soooo many fights and miscommunications, and it leads to more harmonious and happy families.
I made the decision to make this a full-fledged business over Christmas in 2019 and jumped in feet first into this new project in February 2020, as soon as the school holiday was over.
And then Covid hit…
So, I had to learn how to start and run a business, while coping with a world-wide pandemic. It gave me the opportunity to explore, learn, change my business strategy from in-person workshops (my favourite, as I love real contact with real people) to the virtual world of online sessions.
On the one hand, it slowed things down, but on the other hand, it provided the opportunity to serve people from all over the country and even anywhere in the world!
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
My absolute favourite thing in my business is to see parents make minor tweaks to have major changes in the dynamics in their homes. I love feedback sessions where parents tell me excitedly that they tried my strategies or used the tools and IT WORKED!
I have even seen couples getting to know each other better and get on the same page when it comes to parenting, building a stronger relationship and as a result, also a stronger family.
This makes my Inner Monkey jump up and down with excitement and joy!