Each day your child uses energy in 4 major areas. When people use too much energy, they get into reserves, which has consequences.
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Hey, what’s up? It’s Seth with SethPerler.com. I hope you’re having a great day and I want to talk a little bit today about where your energy goes. So parents and teachers, your students, your children, their energy goes to four places. I’m going to explain this in just a minute and how this kind of works. So my Marlo Payne Thurman, she is somebody who speaks a lot about 2e issues. She’s fantastic. I know her from Colorado and she talks about this paradigm a little bit, and basically what she talks about is she says that there’s a circle and there are four places where your energy goes. You basically have, and then I’m going to give you sort of my take on this and how I apply this to students.
Basically what you have, is you have four different areas. You have (1) mental or cognitive or the mind, that uses up energy. You have the (2) physical body, the human body. You have (3) emotional energy that gets spent every day and you have (4) social energy that gets better every day. So what’s really cool about this paradigm and the way that I look at it is imagine that you have a day, a 24-hour day, and imagine that you’re generally up and you’re wake for about 16 hours. And think about your child obviously as well or your students, and they’re up for about that, about 16 hours a day, and they have let’s say a hundred points of energy to use. Those energies get used in those four areas. Once you’ve reached 100 points of energy, once you’ve used up your 100 points energy, you quote, ‘should go to sleep.’ You should rest. You should rejuvenate and regenerate. If you don’t, if you keep going beyond 100 points, then you get into reserves, and when you get into reserves you get into adrenal fatigue. You get into fight-flight or freeze you get into emotional dysregulation and we are often running our kids ragged. So let’s imagine that they have these hundred points. And the points can be distributed in different ways. You can have more of the points going to the body, more of the points going to the emotional, the social.
It’s not that you get 25 points for each. Obviously, it’s all over the place. And then there’s also the complicated issue of sometimes using those points gives you more points and sometimes using these points are more draining. Let me give you an example of that. Let’s say that you’re in a social situation with somebody who is exhausting for you to be around. Somebody who you don’t like to be around, and you’re with them for an hour. That can be very very very draining to you socially. Obviously emotionally that’s affecting you too. So that’s spending a lot of those points. So on the other hand if you’re with people that invigorate you and make you feel alive, and you feel really good around and you feel emotionally safe around, you laugh a lot with them. That can be not spending as many points going towards your reserves and it can be also investing and helping you have more resilience and more of the things that you want in your life. Similarly, if you go workout at the gym and you get a good workout in, that’s using your physical body, but it’s not using it in a bad way like that’s actually going to help you. And if you over workout or you don’t workout at all and you’re very sedentary, then those can be more depleting. Anyways, there’s different ways to look at those hundred points. There’s just a couple of examples on that. So let’s look at it. Let’s look at this.
Let’s imagine that you’re running a marathon. Let’s imagine that 50 of the points the day you ran a marathon went to your physical body. It probably would be more, like so much of the energy before you go to sleep is going to go to the physical body. I mean if you’re running a marathon, it’s just absolutely exhausting on the body. Obviously, you’re going to be fairly trained for it, but still, the vast majority of your energy is going to go there. You’re just not going to have a lot of energy for the other three areas. Let’s say that about a quarter of your energy is going to emotional things because running a marathon is very emotional. Let’s say that the mind is very engaged while you’re running that marathon. You have to really think yourself through it. So let’s say its 50 and 22 and 22, and let’s say that with social maybe the day when you’re running a marathon you’re not really communicating with other people. You’re very in yourself and it’s not a real social thing. So you may be used very little energy. I’m just giving an example of how it goes to different places.
Now, obviously the day if you literally ran a marathon you would be exceeding, you’d be exceeding the hundred points. You would go into reserves but you’d be doing it consciously right? You would say I know this is going to be an exhausting damn going to get really tired your fault you crash at night. You’d really you be recovering the next couple days. It’s definitely your going into reserves, but you’re doing it consciously, right? You’d say, “I know this will be an exhausting day. I’m going to get really tired.” You’d crash at night, you’d be recovering the next couple of days. It’s definitely going into the reserves but you’re conscious of it.
Well, think about this though. What about what we put our kids through. Let’s say a typical school day. Let’s say that they are there in sports and their physical body they use up 30 points there. Okay and let’s say that immensely they’re working very hard at school throughout the day. So let’s say that they use 30 points mentally. Let’s say that they have a lot of social interactions, positive and negative, but that lot of social stuff is going on in school, and let’s say that they use 30 points for that. And let’s say emotionally they use up 25 points. Well, that’s a hundred and fifteen points of energy that they’re using. They’re run ragged, they’re exhausted. When they go to bed, and some of them may be staying up, playing video games, staying up past the reasonable bedtime, really not getting the sleep that they need. So they’re into reserves, they’re at 115 points. They’re 15 points beyond where they should be before they should really be going to sleep.
Now imagine that they do this day after day after day. Doing homework and sports and social activities. And day after day all of these things are going on. They are just running on reserves over and over and over. Their adrenals are exhausted. They’re going to be having symptoms of stress. They’re going to be having anxiety. They’re going to be having depression. They’re going to be having possibly food problems and this and that. So I love this paradigm because it really helps us think, ‘where is their energy going and how can we change it so that they can have more bounce?’ Because if you can balance those four areas, if you can help them figure and learn and if you can model it as a parent or teacher, how do you balance life? How do you honor your body, your mind, your emotional life, your social life. How do you honor all those areas of life to get your needs met but still go to bed at night at a reasonable hour so that you can regenerate and rejuvenate and be healthy and have a healthy life for the long-term? Not just for the school year, not just for a week, or something like that. But how do you really build a lifestyle around this? And in our culture, we are overwhelming them so much. We are demanding so much from our kids and the culture tells us to do it. So it’s very hard I think for parents and teachers to say, “Look, you know this homework should not take you 3 hours. We’re going to advocate for you to make sure that this is reasonable. This emotional thing that’s going on, we’re going to get you a great therapist and help you work through that.” The parents are going to get a great therapist and work through their stuff so that they can model stuff that the teachers going to do that. We’re going to really take our nutrition seriously, etc etc etc.
So I just wanted to point out that just this great model drives a lot of what I do when I’m working with my clients, when I’m working with my students, I ask a lot of questions about these areas because as a coach, I need to find out what’s depleting them, what’s energizing them, and how we can really get them practical ideas. I’m not just helping them with time management and organization and grades. There’s a lot more to it. Excuse me that’s my phone coming in. But anyhow, I hope that helps you. I’m Seth. I have tons of solutions for parents and teachers and dealing with complex kids and helping them. Take care.