As parents, we are keenly aware of the peaks and valleys of our kids’ emotions. Anger, sadness, excitement, and all the other feelings can make us feel like our child is on a roller coaster we’re just trying to slow down. 

It’s true that we all feel highs and lows throughout our day, but we rarely talk about what it feel like when we’re “in the zone” and feeling calm and ready to go. My guest today is sharing about the window of tolerance and how to regulate ourselves and our kids to help stay in that window. 

If I am dysregulated, I cannot regulate my child. So if I’m in fight or flight and I’m yelling. There’s no amount of yelling that brings my child back into the window. And sometimes parents think the yelling is working, but what you’re doing isn’t getting your child in the window. They’re going into collapse and into a place of fear.

Charissa Fry is a Licensed Professional Counselor and believer. Her passion is to come alongside those who are hurting and struggling to help them find truth, hope, healing, connection, and growth. She shares some eye-opening information and statistics to get us on the path to helping our kids build resilience and stay in that window of tolerance. 

Charissa shares from a faith-perspective that we as believers are not alone. She reminds us that we can lean on God to regulate our emotions as we love on our kids and go through the hardships of life. 

God himself through Jesus is the ultimate attachment figure. He is always reaching for us. He never fails to respond to our needs. He always loves us. He’s never judging us and never shaming us. So to know that when we need to be co-regulated, that when I am feeling like I’m going to leave the window, I can remember the truth of who God is and I can reach out to him in prayer.

What we chat about:

  • The window of tolerance is when our brains function well and effectively process input to make rational decisions calmly without feeling either overwhelmed or withdrawn
  • When we’re out of the window of tolerance, our thinking brain is not in control and we don’t register consequences 
  • Many of us don’t live in the window of tolerance, but we’re too busy and stressed to stop and assess how we’re feeling at any given moment
  • Hyper-arousal, otherwise known as the fight/flight response, is often characterized by hypervigilance, feelings of anxiety and/or panic, and racing thoughts.
  • Hypo-arousal, or a freeze response, may cause feelings of emotional numbness, emptiness, or paralysis.
  • Learning how to stay in your window of tolerance builds resilience, both for us and our kids
  • When our kids live outside the window, they become “masters of survival” and often turn to negative coping strategies
  • What our children’s emotions look like when we are co-regulating
  • Philippians 2:13 “For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” 
  • We can lean on God to bring us to that window of tolerance and into the fruits of the spirit

Connect with Charissa:

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Finally, a phone that’s smart for kids!

If you’re like many of our moms, you’ve spent a lot of time agonizing over when to get your son or daughter their first phone. And though the average age for first phones seems to be getting younger and younger, perhaps you’ve held off because you’re just not ready to put that kind of power and responsibility into your kids’ young hands.

With all of the safety risks that come with cell phones—like screen addiction, pornography, anxiety from social media—I completely understand. In fact, a study published in Psychiatric Quarterly in March 2019 shows that the more time kids spend on devices, the more likely they are to suffer from depression and unhappiness—even suicidal thoughts and behaviors.

So I was excited to learn recently of a new company that has finally developed a phone that’s smart for kids. It’s called Gabb Wireless, and it’s the world’s first mobile network made for children. Its mission is to keep kids safe, connect families, and encourage life outside the screen.

The Gabb Phone has everything a kid needs: unlimited talk and text. But there’s no Internet and no app store, so no social media, no games, and no inappropriate content. In other words, no problems!

The Gabb Phone looks like a smartphone, so kids will be excited to use it, but it’s completely safe so parents can enjoy absolute peace of mind when giving it to them. And no need to worry about hard-to-use parental controls—there’s nothing to control!

If you’ve been wanting to get your son or daughter a phone but have been too worried about the unintended consequences, Gabb could be the solution you’ve been waiting for. Learn about all Gabb at Listen to the ad in the middle of the show for a code to use for a special exclusive listener’s offer.