The Window of Tolerance :: Charissa Fry [Ep 260]

October 7, 2019 | 0 comments

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function well and effectively process input to make rational decisions calmly without feeling either overwhelmed or withdrawn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:

Links Mentioned:  

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