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Window of Tolerance = Ability to Self Regulate

Stopwatch-Parenting-Solutions

Stopwatch-Parenting-SolutionsFor some children (and probably some adults you know as well), the window of tolerance is very small. Bringing the light of awareness to that unconscious place is where healing and integration can take place. Everyone has a window of tolerance. and yes, size in this case does matter. Not as in good or bad, but as in "we can relax, it will be ok" or "oh oh, we better pay attention or this will get out of control". This is not something to shame, blame or punish in order to change. When the window of tolerance closes, dysregulation begins. It is a brain thing. And yes, you can, with some work, expand your window of tolerance, and so can your child.

We have called the brain lazy, but that is just a metaphor. Really, the brain is very economical. Our neurons, like water, take the path of least resistance. "It" doesn't know any better. If "it" did, I assure you it would take the higher or better path. "We" need to step in, to do things differently, to "change" so that our brain's neuronal synapses and processes change. How? Love really can change things. Love triggers processes in the brain that in effect let everyone involved know that everything will be ok. We can all relax.

This applies equally to children as to adults, except that children need someone to help them with this. Keep in mind that the brain doesn't fully develop in most people until around age 25. So yes, relax. Everything will be ok. As a wise woman once said, "everything works out in the end, and if it hasn't, it's not the end".

Choose Love -- David Durovy

Want to Make Big Changes? Start Small and Get Big Results

It’s Easier and More Effective

switch-bookThis remarkable book Switch: How to change things when change is hard, can be about you, a job, friends, or even family. Or in families like many of ours – a child.

“Why is it so hard to make lasting changes in our companies, in our communities, and in our own lives?The primary obstacle is a conflict that’s built into our brains, say Chip and Dan Heath, authors of the critically acclaimed bestseller Made to Stick. Psychologists have discovered that our minds are ruled by two different systems—the rational mind and the emotional mind—that compete for control. The rational mind wants a great beach body; the emotional mind wants that Oreo cookie. The rational mind wants to change something at work; the emotional mind loves the comfort of the existing routine. This tension can doom a change effort—but if it is overcome, change can come quickly.

In a compelling, story-driven narrative, the Heaths bring together decades of counter-intuitive research in psychology, sociology, and other fields to shed new light on how we can effect transformative change. Switch shows that successful changes follow a pattern, a pattern you can use to make the changes that matter to you, whether your interest is in changing the world or changing your waistline.” — Amazon

Here is one lesson, of many presented in the book, that you may find to be instrumental and inspiring in seeing how everyday opportunities can lead to big changes with exponential effects. — David Durovy


Change May Be Easier Than We Think

This is really the crux of what we as parents are dealing with, both in ourselves and in our children. Although this appears as a simple task, the complexity is often so overwhelming we either quit, or take on a method that “seems” time tested and viable (such as punishing our children in order to help them learn). In the end though, some experts see change not as “a” thing, but a series of things, often very small things by what they call “shrinking the change”.

Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard by Chip Heath and Dan Heath is a well researched book that shows us how to engineer change into our personal, business and family life. One example shows how one simple unplanned act can actually change things not only in one mom’s and dad’s life but also the lives of so many others in a loosely choreographed series of actions and reactions that at the end of the day, the children were better behaved.

Take a few moments to read through this scenario and consider the implications of small random acts of kindness that we have the opportunity numerous times everyday to take advantage of or pass by in our lives.

They write, “small targets led to small victories, and small victories can often trigger a positive spiral of behavior. Marriage therapist Michele Weiner-Davis wrote about her clients Paula and George, who’d been married for eight years but had been fighting consistently for the previous two.” She had been counseling them for awhile but made little progress. “Then came the breakthrough— a kiss.

One morning, George kissed Paula. The kiss surprised her, caught her off guard a little and made her happy. Being happy prompted her to do a little thing she hadn’t done in a while; She brewed a pot of coffee. They used to drink coffee together often, but lately the tradition has fallen by the wayside.

George smelled the coffee and came down for a cup. He and Paula had a pleasant conversation. Both of them said the morning made them feel more “relaxed and lighthearted”. (Who wouldn’t want more of this?) Paula reported that her coworkers noticed the difference in her attitude that day. Even George and Paula’s kids seemed affected by the halo of good feelings (my note: The Oxytocin Response)—they were more relaxed that evening, less argumentative. George’s kiss launched a positive spiral.”

What is a take home lesson here? The authors say it like this: “Don’t ask a couple to stop fighting; ask the husband to give his wife a simple good-morning kiss.”

How would we interpret this? First, never underestimate the power of simple actions of loving kindness expressed in actions and thoughtful words. The oxytocin response can be a healing balm for ourselves that can affect our children’s regulatory responses. This is brain science, but not difficult brain science. Anyone can do it anywhere, anytime. And, we don’t need a degree to use it.

Secondly, the way to influence or change the behaviors of our children is by, well, by changing our behaviors first. Why us? Because that is the only thing we can control. And that is not always a given but certainly a good place to start.

David_JournalAnother interesting take-home lesson is, we can never know just how far reaching our words and actions, helpful or hurting, may be. One word or action may generate many reactions down the line. We might want to think about that before we act or speak.

Where can you start today, right now— a simple, small, manageable and specific behavior change for you?

— David Durovy

What Is Oxytocin Parenting?

4 Elements of Oxytocin Parenting What’s in your parenting behavior plan? I know we all have goals for our children’s behaviors — what we’d like to see from them — but how about YOUR behaviors? Do you have a plan, with specifics that are motivating and fulfilling to you? Think about these things as you […]

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The Coffee Shop Mindful Meditation: How to Get Here Now

We recently posted this article by Hugh Bryne, author of The Here and Now Habit. Read it over a few times till you get the hang of it. It is simple and can be done anywhere, anytime, anyhow. And, when done while parenting, especially when the stress hits the fan, you may find your ability […]

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20 Steps to Cultivating Mindfulness by Jon Kabat-Zinn

We now have it in schools, in coloring books, in business circles, in healthcare and in the news headlines everyday. Bryan has been talking about it in parenting long before it became fashionable. But the real issue is, is it in you? Is it just another great parenting idea or a regular practice for you? […]

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What is the Age Our Parenting Approach is geared To?

Parents sometime ask us about age for a love based parenting approach. Although your approach will differ based on the age of your child (emotional age is most important here), the love part is always that same. But even at that, love is not always easy to define or practice and requires some deeper thinking. […]

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Question: How Do Guilt, Blame and Shame Figure into Our Parenting Approach?

The answer is, no surprise, they don’t. Not for children. Not for Parents. But let me explain. We honor those feelings when they appear. We don’t recommend trying to make anyone, parent or child “feel” guilty shame or blame. Just because you feel guilty, or in some case are “made” to feel guilty by someone […]

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The Single Most Important Tool for Interrupting Stress – Bryan Post

The Power of Breathing Spend 3 minutes with Bryan as he shares why breathing is so important and how it impacts your and your children’s regulatory state. Learn to use this undervalued (yes, if you don’t use it life will be uncomfortable if not short) and incredibly powerful tool every parent – person – other […]

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Listening Practices: Tips and Traps by Sherri Boles-Rogers

Are You Listening? One of the greatest tools in a parent’s toolbox is… ears. Yup. Didn’t hear that one coming did you? (Did you ever notice that the word hear has the word ear in it?) It is amazing to me how little we listen and how much we talk to our children. Listening could […]

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The Post Institute’s Indeigogo Campaign Hit 50% on Day 1

16 Week A-Z Parenting Pilot Online Training program for parents and professionals with adopted, foster, diagnosed and challenging children Palmyra, VA – May 4, 2016 – The Post Institute, provider of educational materials for foster and adoptive parents, crowdfunds the next generation of their curriculum on popular site The Post Institute’s new e-learning platform launched […]

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