Empowered To Connect

Posts by Dr. Karyn Purvis

Why Won’t My Child Act His Age?

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

In response to meltdowns, emotional outbursts, extreme neediness, and many other behavioral challenges, adoptive and foster parents are often left asking: “why won’t my child act his or her age?”

Watch as Dr. Karyn Purvis and Michael Monroe address this important question, offering insight about the needs of adoptive and foster children and how parents can effectively meet those needs to build trust and develop a stronger connection.

How Do I Handle Manipulation and Control?

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Parents often find that their child from a hard place is prone to use manipulative and controlling behaviors. Watch as Dr. Karyn Purvis and Michael Monroe offer insights to help adoptive and foster parents better understand these behaviors and respond effectively.

Responding to Aggressive and Violent Behavior

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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Watch as Dr. Karyn Purvis provides wisdom and insight for adoptive and foster parents that need help responding to aggressive and violent behaviors from a child.

Teaching Your Values By Living Them First

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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Part of the role of good Christian parents is undoubtedly teaching their children the values they cherish. We want our children to understand the importance of these values and, more importantly, to live a life that reflects them. Respect for others (and yourself), kindness, gentleness, self-control and other similar character qualities provide our children with a solid foundation and prepare them for the future. The question for parents, however, is how best to teach these values in ways our children can understand and make their own. Specifically, we need to ask how we can best do this for our children who come from hard places and have not had these things consistently taught, modeled or esteemed.

Learning to Trust and Let Go of Fear

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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Fear — it is a crippling and sometimes debilitating feeling, but it is so much more than a feeling. For many children from hard places, fear is a constant, though unwelcome, companion. It is a way of life. From research we know that fear left unaddressed can have pervasive and long-lasting effects on a child, including negative impacts on cognitive ability, sensory processing, brain chemistry, brain development, ability to focus and ability to trust. As a result, it distorts and dictates much of what our children are dealing with.

Keeping Connection as the Goal

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Monday, June 18, 2012

Connection is at the heart of how God relates to us and how He has called parents to relate to their children. Watch as Dr. Karyn Purvis explains why it is important for adoptive and foster parents to always keep connection as their goal, regardless of the behaviors or challenges they are facing.

Seeing Beyond the Obvious

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

It is often difficult, sometimes seemingly impossible, to see beyond our children’s behaviors. And yet, that is exactly what children—particularly those from hard places—need for us to do. Our children desperately need parents who can see beyond their behaviors to the real child that is locked inside a fortress of fear, confusion and shame.

At the same time, it is important to keep in mind that “seeing beyond” our children’s behaviors is not the same as overlooking behaviors that are unhealthy, unacceptable and hold them back. Some parents at this point may be tempted to respond, “How can we just let our children get away with bad behavior? Isn’t it our responsibility to teach them right and wrong and to discipline them accordingly?” The answer is certainly yes, but as we seek to do this it is important that we remain focused on the primary goal.

Starting at the Beginning for Your Child

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Researchers have documented the profound and lasting effects that early care or the lack thereof have on the development of trust (“I am safe”), self-worth (“I am precious”) and self-efficacy (“I am heard”). In addition, developmental researchers widely acknowledge that the formative early days dramatically influence attachment relationships and also have dramatic and lasting effects on brain development and brain chemistry. Tragically, many of the children that we love and serve came into an unwelcoming world and started life amidst very difficult circumstances. These heartbreaking early harms and losses often hold our children back from developing in healthy or optimal ways and too often prevent them from developing trust and understanding just how precious they truly are.

Real Hope in the Balance

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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The challenges, problems and pain that our children face are real, and as a result, they affect us as parents as well. These challenges impact the whole child; and therefore, we must be willing to engage and embrace our children (and ourselves!) holistically. At the same time, we must always remember there are no quick fixes—merely changing behaviors will not accomplish what is needed. Our goal must be nothing less than healing for the whole child. Much like our own journey of spiritual healing and maturity, the healing we desire for our children will be a process, and it must be anchored by hope—real hope.

Helping a Child with Sexualized Behaviors

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

It is important for parents to understand healthy touch and to communicate respect for personal boundaries as they help their child learn to seek and give affection in healthy and appropriate ways. Watch as Dr. Karyn Purvis provides insights for parents to help them respond effectively to a child who exhibits sexualized behaviors.