Empowered to Connect

Archive for “Being Fully Present”

Learning to Tame BIG Feelings

By:

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The other day, I heard the words many of us dread: “You’re a bad mommy.” I was also informed by my son that I was teaching the kids how to be mean, not kind.

Honestly, I had to agree with him. The moments leading up to his accusation had not been filled with exemplary parenting. I had yelled and been unkind, throwing around phrases like, “I’m sick and tired of you always ________!” Not my best moment.

So, as he said those words, I knew I had a crucial decision to make. I could dig in my heels, insisting that he deserved what he got and had no right to question me, or I could acknowledge that I had made mistakes and there was truth to what he had said.

This is Mercy…

By:

Friday, April 25, 2014

A while ago my husband was travelling and called home to say goodnight to the kids. One of our sons finished his conversation with his dad and handed the phone to his brother Zeke, who was finishing up in the bathroom before going to bed.

Noticing Zeke’s dilemma of needing both hands while working with water, I stepped in and held the phone for him so that he could continue getting ready for bed. My action, which was meant to help, was interpreted as me not trusting him with the phone. In a split second, his anger flashed and he stormed to his bedroom with two slammed doors shuddering in his wake.

Taking a New Look at Your Expectations

By:

Friday, March 28, 2014

As adoptive and foster parents encounter challenges and struggles, many of them discover that much of their frustration and disappointment is rooted in their own unrealistic expectations. Watch as Michael Monroe provides insight into the importance of realistic expectations and how by holding their expectations loosely, parents can actually begin to make progress toward greater healing and connection.

Being With

By:

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The ability to see, think, and feel things from another’s perspective – to empathize – can be difficult for anyone, especially parents. I often find myself more focused on what my kids should be doing rather than considering why they’re doing what they’re doing.

What we know is that empathy is learned. If I want my children to learn to respond with empathy, then it is up to me to model it for them. This requires that I acknowledge their emotional reality even if I can’t give them what they want in that moment. This means that I need to slow down, at least long enough to look in their eyes and let them know that I’m with them. That if they’re hurting, I’m hurting. That I am on their side; that I am for them. That their feelings and their hearts and our connection are more important than my schedule.

Motivations Can Speak Louder Than Words

By:

Sunday, September 29, 2013

It is important for adoptive and foster parents to examine their motivations, not only when they begin the adoption or foster care journey but also along the way. Watch as Michael Monroe encourages parents to consider why they are doing what they are doing so they can more effectively meet their child’s needs.

When Your Child Pushes You Away

By:

Monday, August 12, 2013

When most children get hurt or become afraid, they go to a parent. After all, parents are the ones who protect children and keep them safe from danger. They are the ones who comfort children when they are afraid. For these children it’s a simple equation: mom and dad are safe and I can trust them to help me so I will go to them.

But things aren’t always that simple for children with histories of early harm such as trauma, abuse, neglect, or relinquishment. Their life experiences impact them in any number of important ways, often making them prone to prolonged states of fear and a limited ability to trust. Instead of going to their parents for help or comfort, these children often run from them, push them away, or shut them out.

Practice Making Mistakes…And Repairing Them

By: ,

Sunday, April 7, 2013

When parents make mistakes it can actually be healthy for both them and their children, so long as parents are quick to repair the ruptured connection. This is certainly good news, given that all parents are prone to their fair share of mistakes.

So here’s a challenge for all parents — let’s practice making mistakes (not intentionally, of course) and repairing them so that we and our children can grow and learn, and our connection can be strengthened. Are you up for it?

Easier Said Than Done

By:

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

People who make things look easy really get on my nerves. You know who I’m talking about. Ever watched one of those cooking shows on TV? You see them making some recipe in 10 easy steps and it always comes out looking hot, beautiful, and delicious. So you try it at home and all you end up with is a giant mess of something ugly and inedible. Or maybe you’ve watched one of those home improvement shows where the host can build, repair, or decorate just about anything and it turns out great, all on a shoestring budget. So in a fit of inspiration you make a trip to Home Depot, spend twice as much as you wanted to, come home and four hours later all your spouse can say is “maybe we can call someone to come fix it tomorrow.” Why does it seem to be so easy for some people? Why are so many things in life easier said than done?

Expecting So Much More

By:

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

“Who are you?” I remember thinking this unthinkable thought as I looked into the face of my young son only a few years into our life together as an adoptive family. He did not share my DNA but he was every bit ‘mine.’ Yet while we were both made in the image of the same God, I was becoming aware that we were two very different reflections.

In that moment I began to be confronted by much of what I had brought into the journey of adoptive parenting – most significantly my expectations about my child and how this journey would unfold. In reality I hardly knew my son, still that did not stop me from creating expectations about the things he would like and how he would act and think. On top of that, I expected that the adoption path God had led us down would be relatively easy and straightforward once we were home. I convinced myself that adoption was little more than a historical fact of how we came to be, rather than an ongoing reality of the journey that lay ahead.

New DVD — Attachment: Why It Matters

By:

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Dr. Karyn Purvis and the Institute of Child Development have released their latest DVD entitled Attachment: Why It Matters.

This new DVD explores the critical role of attachment in a child’s development. In this 2-disk set, adoptive parents share their struggles and successes in pursuit of answers to the all-important questions about attachment. In addition, experts (such as Dr. Karyn Purvis, Dr. David Cross, and Dr. Dan Siegel) share fascinating and encouraging research, particularly in the field of neuroscience, that reveals how secure attachments can help counter the effects of early trauma.