Empowered to Connect

Archive for “Being Fully Present”

Keys to an Effective Time-In With Your Child

By:

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Time-in (as opposed to time-out) is an important strategy to help parents learn to “connect while correcting” with their children.

When using the time-in strategy it’s critical to remember that time-in is not intended to punish your child. Instead, time-in is designed to help your child calm and regulate so that he can express his needs (or wants) appropriately. Also, be sure not to jump the gun and resort to time-in when another, lower level strategy (such as playful engagement or choices) might address the behavior more effectively.

But there are times when a time-in is precisely the strategy that is called for. So here are eight keys to help you implement an effective time-in with your child.

Total Voice Control: Focusing on How You Say What You Say

By:

Friday, September 7, 2012

Possibly one of the most practical and useful tools Dr. Karyn Purvis teaches parents is what she calls “Total Voice Control.” This tool equips parents to focus on how they use their own voice when interacting with their child.

Watch as Michael Monroe talks about how parents can use this tool to focus on how they say what they say, and as a result more effectively promote connection and understanding between themselves and their child.

Teaching Your Values By Living Them First

By: , ,

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.

I Remember Summer

By:

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

When I became a mother, I wanted summer days to be relaxed and fun. With a larger family, there was more work to be done, so my children had significant chores, and yard work to do, but there was still plenty of time for play. Stacks of books to read, afternoons at the local pool, and sleeping out in the yard were foundations to our days.

This summer my desk is stacked with lists of activities, charts for chores, camp registration forms, and appointment reminders. As I’ve been working on plans for this summer, I recognize how differently I approach summer as the mother of children from “hard places.”

Seeing Beyond the Obvious

By: , ,

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.

Meditations on a Messy Life

By:

Thursday, April 19, 2012

You know those people who always seem to have it all together? They look great, their children are well behaved and dressed in darling outfits, their homes are decorated and lovely, and life seems to be going along swimmingly? I used to aspire to be like that, but that doesn’t seem to be God’s plan for me. It’s not that I’m admitting defeat or saying that I’m giving up on a tidy life, rather I am accepting that our path is messy.

When we love people, we invite their brokenness and mess into our lives. Mess is inconvenient; it takes our time, energy, and sometimes money to make it better. Despite our efforts, the mess cannot always be fully contained. It spills over and touches the people who dare to stand near.

Precious in His Sight

By:

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.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Compassion is the Answer. What’s the Question?

By:

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I’ve been talking with a lot of moms lately and many of them are struggling with their kids. I get it. There are days I struggle too. The issues we face vary from the small, frustrating and everyday, to the big, infuriating and out-of-control. But no matter what the issue or challenge, the one thing I constantly remind them of, and the one thing I have to constantly remind myself of, is the need to see my kids with eyes of compassion…and to approach each and every interaction with them compassionately.

Learning & Modeling How to Repair

By:

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Kids make plenty of mistakes as they grow and learn. But the truth is that parents do too! It’s important to try and “get it right” as parents, but it is equally important to “make it right” by repairing the mistakes we make along the way. Through our humble and genuine efforts to repair the disconnect that we as parents cause in our relationship with our kids, we have the opportunity to help them learn and grow — and to make our relationship with them stronger.

Watch as Amy Monroe talks about the importance of learning and modeling how to repair with your kids.

Why Christmas Stinks Sometimes

By:

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

It was the third day in a row, or maybe the fourth. I don’t exactly recall. I do, however, vividly remember coming home from work and being met by my normally patient and long-suffering wife declaring in an overly frustrated tone “Here, you deal with him. I’m done!”

The kids were home for Christmas break and one son in particular was being more than a handful. This was very uncharacteristic for him. The first day we thought it was simply childhood Christmas excitement. By the second day, we were beginning to lose our patience. When I arrived home this day my wife was almost at her wits’ end. Nagging, whining, crying, bugging siblings, arguing, you name it. But why? Didn’t he know Christmas was almost here? Had he forgotten that Santa was “making his list and checking it twice?” Wasn’t he aware of how much mom and dad had to do in order to get ready for Christmas? For so many reasons, now was not the time for him to be acting this way.

What I did next doesn’t come naturally to me.