Scott Schimmel 0:20
Hey everybody, welcome to another episode of The YouSchool podcast. I'm your one and only host, Scott Schimmel. Today, what we're talking about as we go through the summer are these different life skills. I would call them critical life skills. And today we're going to talk about how to help your kid understand themselves, and understand particularly their capacity. Because if you've got kids like me, you have kids who have big reactions to things. And right now we're in the middle of the summer, and every single day, our house is filled with big reactions. And that's not just the summer, it just seems like they're around more often. But actually, when my kids are away for camp right now, so I'm going to kind of zero in as an example, as an illustration that you might relate to about the 24 hours before my kids leave for overnight camps, those last 24 hours filled with packing, checking lists, running to Target or CVS to get things like bug spray, making sure they have what they need inside their backpacks of this list that they have to bring to camp, you can imagine. I'm sure you can imagine, because you've been there, whatever this scenario is, where your kids, it's beyond their capacity to handle. And specifically, it's beyond your capacity to handle. What we're going to talk about is this phrase that I got from a book, I just, if you're watching, I have it in another room, it's called Try Softer. And I'll have the the link to the book in the show notes are a fantastic book about how to help your kids, how to parent your kids well. And this is one of the key themes of that book. So I'm borrowing from the author there, she has this phrase called "the window of tolerance". And on either side of the window, not a window that kind of closes, opens. But this window, the space in between where inside this window of tolerance your kid or you have the ability to think clearly, have the ability to make rational decisions. Even you might have emotions, you might express emotions, but they're not to these extremes. And a one side of the extremes would be this kind of, you might call it an overreaction. That's that's probably what we say, "wow, you're overreacting". And it's some version of either fight or flight. It's some version of I don't want to do this, I'm leaving, slam the door, or the other version of it is screaming, I have what everything I need, I don't need your help. I don't want to go to stupid camp anyways. And what you're seeing is your kid getting outside of their window of tolerance. But on the other side of the window would be a total kind of like shutdown. This would be you know, I think we traditionally we call the freeze. And typically there's a pattern. When your kid is outside their window of tolerance. They don't, they didn't get enough sleep, or this is just a really complex, overwhelming situation. They're feeling a lot of fear, they're feeling under threat, they're probably going to go first to this big fight or flight reaction. I don't want to do it. I don't want to go. Flight. I don't need your help. I got everything I needed. Fight. You're so controlling. Fight. Then after a little bit of time, they typically go over to the freeze response, which then you're like going into the bedroom and you're like how come you haven't packed yet. It's been three hours, you're leaving tomorrow. And you see this kid, I don't want to get too specific. Now that my two older kids are teenagers, they can watch this stuff, listen to this stuff. But one of my kids, let's just say, one of my kids couldn't pack for the better part of six or seven hours and just kept going back to Netflix or watching a show or organizing a closet. And we kept coming in to say "What are you doing?" And what we want to do is help our kids get back to their window of tolerance. I'm going to show its real fancy chart if you're watching this on YouTube. It's called the Polyvagal chart. And I'm just going to mention it for you fellow nerds like me who like to get into this stuff. Steven Porges, Polyvagal Theory is where all of this content comes from. So reference you can follow the rabbit trail. I will also include that in the show notes. But what we want to do is help our kids stay within their window and actually expand their window of tolerance. And how do we do that? First we do that by opening up and sharing our own experiences, becoming more self aware ourselves to be able to debrief a little bit later. Hey, I got outside my window of tolerance, or I'm feeling like it's shrinking. I'm feeling like I'm getting to the edges, and I just need to take a break. Or you do blow it, you overreact to something. And you come back and say, hey, the reason I overreacted was I had a lot going on in that moment. And I got to this place where it's outside my window of tolerance. So we share our own experiences, and that models for them and gives them the language and the permission to become more self aware themselves. Secondly, we debrief with them, we talk about, later on, when they're in the back to their inside their window, back to their normal state, we debrief, Hey, what happened there? And we start to say things, the third part would be to interpret it seems like you got outside of your window of tolerance. It seemed like you and I, what I watched you do is specifically this, this, and that, is that how you felt like what was going on for you on the inside. So we, we share around experiences, we debrief with them what happened, and then we help interpret for them. And all of this, what this is all doing is helping them become more self aware. Everybody ultimately needs to be responsible for themselves and become a... Becoming self aware about your window of tolerance is one critical life skill that everybody can grow in, everybody can learn. And imagine the impact of that when they become adults, when they become colleagues, co-workers, leaders in organizations, when they have families themselves, to become aware of where their window is, and to learn some of the kind of grounding skills, grounding techniques to help them, number one, expand their window of tolerance so they can handle more capacity, handle more intensity. But also to be reckoned to recognize what they need to do in the moment, when it's getting too, too close to the edge, too close to the window closing phenomenal skills that we could teach them. And that's what we're trying to do through The YouSchool- equip you to model and demonstrate the kind of life that you're you want your kids to have and lead, and then giving you the skills and the framework to guide them to do the same. So that's it. We'll be back next week with another episode of The YouSchool podcast. Hey, thanks for joining in on The YouSchool podcast. We'd love to share with you the resources available on our website at theyouschool.com not just articles, ebooks, worksheets and other podcast episodes, but specifically, you should know about a free course we have available called The Real Me course. It's digital, it's interactive, and it'll guide you to get clear about who you are in the great story you can tell with your life. So go register for free account and get started on The Real Me course today at theyouschool.com. That's the you school dot com.
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