Our nervous systems are designed to receive their distress. Fight or flight in them raises fight or flight in us - to get our bodies ready to fight for them or flee with them.
When they’re in actual danger, it’s a brilliant response, but ‘danger’ is about what the brain perceives.
Big feelings and behaviour are a sign of a brain that has registered ‘threat’. A felt sense of relational threat and emotional threat all count as ‘threat’.
This can happen any time there is any chance at all of humiliation, judgement, missing out on something important, felt disconnection, not feeling seen, heard, validated, not having the resources for the immediate demands (stress).
Think of this in terms of interruption, transition times, sibling arguments, coming home after a big day at school.
When the threat isn’t a true physical danger, there is nothing to fight with or flee from (except maybe siblings and instructions).
This is when the fight or flight that’s been raised in us can move us to fight with them (we might get irritated, frustrated, angry, annoyed, raise our voices) or flee from them.
These are really valid feelings and signs of things working as they should, but it’s what we do in response that matters.
Think of it this way. Brains don’t care for the difference between actual danger and things that are safe, but annoying or upsetting. They all count as ‘danger’.
Pause for a moment, and see that this is a young person with a brain that doesn’t feel ‘safe’ right now. Whether it’s emotionally safe, relationally safe, physically safe - they all matter.
First, they need to be brought back to safety. We’ll do this most powerfully through relationship - co-regulation, validation, touch.
In practice this looks like breathe (to calm your nervous system so you can recalibrate theirs), be with (validate with or without words - let them feel you believing them and not needing anything from them in that moment), and wait.
If you need to hold a boundary, add that in (‘I won’t let you …’) but don’t take relationship away.
Then, when they are calm, have the chat - ‘What happened?’ ‘What can we do to put things right?’ ‘What might next time look like?’♥️
Mary H (verified owner) –
My 14yr old granddaughter was absolutely delighted with mini Archer, as she can have him with her at school and not feel that she will be judged for having a toy.
Rachael L (verified owner) –
This is a beautiful reminder and comforter for all who experience anxiety. I give these out to my clients who need it most and they are so excited to meet their amygdala face to face! It marks the beginning of a compassionate relationship with their fear response.
Belinda (verified owner) –
“Oh he’s adorable” was what my daughter said on opening her special gift. We are avid readers of ‘Hey Warrior’ and ‘You’re Awesome’ so it was immediately like giving her amygdala a cuddle.
Michelle K (verified owner) –
We have both the Warrior stuffie and the keychain, which are beautifully made. They comfort and help my daughter when she needs to remember that she can be brave. Having a physical “Warrior” to hold, cuddle and talk to, reinforces the idea that the Warrior is not bad or trying to hurt her — he’s only trying to keep her safe (a positive and strong message). It also helps her to understand that her job is to develop strategies that guide and help her partner, the Warrior, so that he can interpret situations more accurately. A very powerful support tool – thank you.
Casey (verified owner) –
LOVE these. What a great conversation starter to get people everywhere talking about our nervous systems and protectors.
cathie s (verified owner) –
I keep buying multiples of the keyring – they are just the job when finishing up a group and I can put affirmation and strategy cards on it for them to keep in their calm boxes or in their desks.
Amy R (verified owner) –
These little Warriors are so stinking cute!! I purchased them for my young clients to have as a therapy tool and they love it!!! They try really hard to not let their amygdala hit the panic button as a way of taking care of their Warrior. It makes treating anxiety a lot easier!
Cheryl (verified owner) –
Beautiful brave warriors 👌🙏just perfectly special , was over the moon with the quality , gifted to my beautiful daughter who is a teacher .
Erin (verified owner) –
These are beautiful little reminders for my children at school drop offs, when anxiety is high, that they a brave and courageous warriors. The key ring is a great visual tool to remind them of the things we have read in the books. Thankyou
Amanda E (verified owner) –
Purchased the Ultimate Resource Set and two The Hey Warrior Keyring. The packaging was the ultimate and the keyring is an absolute conversation starter anywhere. Thank you
Ben M (verified owner) –
I absolutely love this key ring. Special shout-out to the packing and shipping person. It was so neatly wrapped with lots and lots of sparkles. It made opening it the best part. They are doing a great job.
Georgina (verified owner) –
I’m a therapist working with children online and face to face and use the Warrior stories to help anxious children, these little keyrings will make great reminders of how brave they are once the therapy is done.
Ally (verified owner) –
Very cute a great remember of amymgdala and communication great with purchase
Erin M (verified owner) –
So cute! Though my 8 yr old son doesn’t actually want to attach it to his backpack as he is concerned that it is so adorable that others might want it!
Jan S (verified owner) –
These keyrings are perfect! We gift them to students when they leave to symbolise that they are now warriors.
The kids love them