We’ve been covering Connection 101 and the foundation for healthy emotional development in your family. Now, let’s dive into the practical aspect of making a Regathering and Reconnection plan with tools to help prevent and transform flipped lid moments, and to help everyone in your family return to a place of Connection after a flipped lid.
When looking at developing a Regathering plan, spend some reflective time with the behaviors below to identify everyone’s stress response tendencies in your family.
  • Do you and your other family members tend to express high emotions under stress with Fight, Flight or Freeze response?
  • What different situations and interactions trigger what type of stress response tendencies?
  • Be sure to be neutral – without judgement of good or bad – and be Compassionate for yourself and everyone involved. Stress response tendencies are simply your current coping mechanisms that are your body and brain’s attempt to keep you safe with the threat of stress or perceived danger.
Step #1: Identify stress response tendencies in your family.
Please note: These are general categories of experiences for reflection. Each individual is unique.
For yourself, do you identify with Fight, Flight or Freeze OR what combination of stress response tendencies?
Step #2: In working with high emotions, the first step is usually to Regather. For Regather, think “Move it Through” with either emotional expression or integration.
There are three lists below to explore and select the Regathering Tools based on the stress response tendencies.
When working with high emotions and flipped lids, you are teaching yourself and your children how to “move the emotion through:” to ride the wave of high emotions and express or integrate high emotions in safe, positive and healthy ways.

Regathering Tools by Stress Response Tendency:

Step #3: is Reconnection: picturing that your highest self is super glued to your every day self, so you’re in your place of Connection to then support your child. As a parent, Reconnection tools are done to ensure that you do NOT begin interacting with your children too early and when you might still be triggered by your children’s behavior and flip your lid. How many times have you thought you were calm, and then you go to support your child and your like, “nope, I’m still triggered.” Reconnection is you checking in with yourself: am I in a place of Connection? Can I Be With myself so I can Be With my children? Reconnection for children gives them the time to reconnect with you as the bridge to interacting with daily life again to prevent, during or after flipped lid moments.

Positive Parenting Practice:
Focus on developing a Regathering and Reconnection Plan for yourself first to model for your children. When you feel secure in supporting your emotions and stress, you will more naturally be able to support your children’s high emotions and stress response tendencies.
Step #1: Gently Observe stress response tendencies in your family.
Step #2: Begin to explore what Regathering and Reconnection tools might be the best fit for your family.
Step #3: Practice your Regathering and Reconnection tools daily in Calm and Connected Moments to develop a positive pattern and neural pathway in your brain. This creates felt safety, and allows you to learn new ways to respond to stress when your prefrontal cortex is engaged, and OUTSIDE of stressful moments. It is not recommended to introduce your plan in moments of flipped lid – as that is a safety issue.

  • Flipped lid stress hormones take at least 20 minutes to leave the body. So please try to wait at least 20 minutes after going through your Regathering and Reconnection tools before you problem solve or discipline /teach – or even do a lot of talking.
  • And in real life, you may have:
    • 30 seconds to do your Regathering and Reconnection plan.
    • crying children at your feet.
    • Regathering and Reconnection may be more fluid and not separate.
  • Be gentle with yourself and your kids with this work around Regathering and Reconnection. And remember that we do not have positive regathering and reconnection tools and modeled for us in our society. It takes time to change old patterns. The number one way to create the positive patterns of Regathering and Reconnection in your life, is to see clearly the reality of the challenges that you’re facing and to have compassion for yourself, your children and the situation.