Empowered to Connect

Archive for “Attachment”

Precious in His Sight

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

In this brief 20 minute talk, Dr. Purvis shares some fascinating insights about the way in which we were created by God to connect. As revealed in Scripture and confirmed by science, all humans are designed as relational beings. Yet ‘children from hard places’ have missed out on so much of the nurture and development that is ideal and serves to build a strong foundation of trust early in life. As a result, adoptive and foster parents must be committed and uniquely equipped to lead these children toward healing.

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Using Time-In Instead of Time-Out

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Monday, January 30, 2012

Watch as Dr. Karyn Purvis talks about the use of ‘time-in’ instead of ‘time-out’ to effectively correct and train our children. As she explains, this important strategy promotes healthy development and secure connection, while at the same time dealing effectively with misbehavior.

What Every Adoptive Parent Should Know

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

In order to truly understand children from hard places — what they have experienced, the impact of those experiences and how we can help them heal and grow — it is important that we understand some of the basics. That’s why we have put this collection of eight Empowered To Connect videos together — to introduce (or re-introduce) you to some of the most important basics that we believe every adoptive parent can benefit from.

Click here to watch all eigth videos.

When Sad Looks Mad

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Children from hard places often experience pervasive and overwhelming feelings of sadness, and these feelings are often rooted, at least in part, in their personal history. The challenge for parents is that many times children express these feelings of sadness through anger and disrespect. In other words, their sad can often look mad — sometimes very mad.

Watch as Michael Monroe talks about some of his experiences with this, and encourages parents to look beyond the “mad” in order to help their children begin to identify, express and deal with their true feelings of sadness.

Seeing Beyond Mad to the Sad

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

I don’t know about you, but I’m not fond of those moments when my child stomps away in a huff, or crosses her arms as she looks at me. She is mad, and my initial response is to be irritated. As she setttles deeper into “mad,” I can feel myself pull away from her. I get short with her and find I don’t want to look in her eyes.

I need to stop.

This is the crucial moment when I need to stop the “mad cycle” and see it for what it really is.

She is sad.

Fostering Healthy Independence

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Friday, July 8, 2011

Parents often encourage or even push their child to be independent. However, for children from hard places becoming independent can be a real challenge, primarily because these children have not developed trust and may not have had their dependency needs met consistently by an insightful, attuned and available caregiver.

Watch as Dr. Karyn Purvis talks about authentic and healthy independence and how parents can best foster this with their child.

The Impact of Fear

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Monday, May 16, 2011

Fear is very real in the lives of children from hard places. In fact, fear often ‘bullies’ our children into much of their misbehavior. As a result, it is critical that parents of children from hard places approach fear and fear-driven behaviors with compassion, insight and wisdom. Watch as Dr. Purvis explains the impact of fear and how parents can begin to help their children learn to trust and let go of fear.

Handouts from Denver ETC Conference

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Monday, April 18, 2011

As promised, here are the handouts (containing the text of Dr. Purvis’ slides) from the recent Empowered To Connect Conference in Denver, Colorado:

● Handout for The Attachment Dance

● Handout for Empoweing Our Kids to Succeed: Understanding Sensory Processing and the Neurochemistry of Fear

● Handout for Foundations for Behavioral Change

Becoming a Band-Aid Dad

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Recently I came across an Adoptive Families Magazine article entitled Band-Aid Mom. In the article, Wendy Flemons, an adoptive mom, asks this important question – “Can a Band-Aid do more than heal a physical wound?” As simple as it may seem, this is a profoundly important question and one that adoptive dads should be equally interested in answering.

Flemons explains in the article her initial aversion to Band-Aids given the tendency of many kids to over-rely on the simple first aid supply that lacks any real inherent healing characteristics. I can relate. However, as I continue to learn more about the important and complex subject of attachment, I have discovered that Band-Aids are actually a highly relevant tool – literally and metaphorically – for adoptive and foster parents as they seek to help their children heal from the effects of their past. Writing about the experience with her 10 year old daughter who they adopted less than a year ago from Ethiopia, Flemons noted that she had learned two important things: “Children have pain beyond what we can see, and Band-Aids are not just physical objects.”

Explore Your Expectations

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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Watch as Dr. Karyn Purvis talks about the importance of parents exploring their expectations and motivations, as well as the impact that their own history can have when parenting children from hard places. This video is part of the Insights and Gifts video series, which includes a small group discussion guide that you can download here.

For more resources to help as parents explore their motivations, expectations and histories, click here.