07 Mar

Ep. #22 – Cultivating Resilient and Capable Brains

Today’s episode is based on the research of Dr. Dan Siegel and Dr. Tina Payne Bryson. Having an emotional outburst, whether you are a toddler, a teenager or an adult, can take us by surprise and feel scary. Our brains become dysregulated and trying to teach a lesson about behavior in a moment of emotional chaos does not work. Dr. Siegel says that we all have a “window of tolerance” – that sweet spot where we are flexible, adaptable and able to handle setbacks. Outbursts, or the other extreme of shutting down, happen when we are outside of our “window of tolerance.” Today we explore strategies for being soothing and compassionate during times of emotional chaos in order to bring your child back into her “window of tolerance.” Once her brain is settled, behaviors can be addressed. You can then teach skills for allowing and moving through feelings WITH appropriate behavior.  As parents, we have the opportunity to help our child widen their “window of tolerance” as they move towards the ability to become their own expert self-regulator. It all starts with us, as parents, understanding how the brain works and keeping our cool.

Vashti Summervill
Vashti is a certified teacher in the state of Idaho, a PCI Certified Parent Coach ® and a Therapeutic Educational Consultant. She also has a Master of Music degree and is a musician. She is passionate about doing upstream work to reduce self-harm, anxiety, and depression in our youth. She produces the podcast “Teen Connectivity” - a show dedicated to helping parents navigate the wilderness of adolescence. She currently serves on the St. Luke's Pediatric Family Advisory Council representing families with children hospitalized due to a mental health crisis, is the secretary of the Idaho Suicide Prevention Coalition Board, trained in Youth Mental Health First Aid, ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training), and is a QPR Instructor (Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Training). She is an associate member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association.

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