Empowered To Connect

Archive for “Brain Chemistry”

When Good Things Aren’t Good

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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

This summer we made a difficult parenting decision. It was the decision (made together with one of our sons) that he would not play competitive summer baseball. Now before you roll your eyes and conclude that we must not have many “real” challenges, let me explain.

You can’t be around our family long before quickly concluding that we have our hands full. We are a “real” family with “real” issues, just like many others. And a few months ago baseball had begun to create its own challenges for our son and our family – challenges that we could no longer ignore.

What made our decision so very difficult was that it involved something entirely “good” – baseball.

The Importance of Repairing Your Mistakes

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

There is no such thing as a perfect parent — and that is actually good news, so long as parents are willing to focus on repair when they fail and make mistakes.

Watch as Dr. Karyn Purvis explains why it is important for parents to repair their mistakes, and how repair can actually encourage growth and strengthen the relationship between parent and child.

Focusing on Food & Nutrition

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

As Dr. Purvis points out in The Connected Child, nutrition is important for all children — and especially so for children from hard places. Dr. Purvis explains, however, that “it’s not always obvious that a child is missing out on complete nourishment.”

Recognizing that many adoptive and foster families face various food and nutrition-related issues, the Spoon Foundation and the Joint Council on International Children’s Services have launched a new online resource — www.adoptionnutrition.org — that focuses on nutrition for adoptive and foster families.

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.

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

Empowering, Connecting & Correcting Principles DVD

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Institute of Child Development at TCU has created a nearly two-hour presentation available on DVD in which Dr. Karyn Purvis explains her research-based approach with children who come from what she calls “hard places.” This DVD offers a very helpful overview of the three principles that serve as the foundation of Dr. Purvis’ approach to help parents better understand how to connect with their children in order to help them heal and reach their highest potential.

In this presentation, Dr. Purvis explains how harm during the critical stages of brain growth can cause significant disruptions in a child’s development and behaviors, and offers strategies to overcome these challenges. This insightful and educational presentation is designed for parents, ministry leaders and adoption and foster care professionals alike.

You can order the DVD online from the Institute of Child Development for a price of $30 (plus shipping). To view a preview of the DVD, click here.

Together on the Ledge

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Friday, December 17, 2010

ETC Team Note: Holidays and other special occasions often present unique and unexpected challenges for adoptive and foster families. In this story, Lisa provides some very helpful insight into how parents can anticipate these challenges and respond with compassion, understanding and in a way that brings about a deeper sense of connection with their child.

Christmas is one of my favorite holidays and has always been a treasured day for our family. We love a Christmas tree with sparkling lights, stockings stuffed to their brims, meaningful gifts, and lots of special food. But with the addition of our children from “hard places” we have found it necessary to learn new strategies to successfully celebrate holidays together as a family. Last Christmas was a day of extremes which contained so many lessons for me that I wrote them down that night hoping to make a better plan when Christmas rolled around this year. This is how I began.

How many times do I need to remind myself: Children with a history of trauma/neglect must eat every two hours.

Creative Ways to Help Your Child Learn New Behaviors

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Monday, November 15, 2010

In this brief video, Dr. Karyn Purvis explains why it is important for parents to find creative ways to help children from hard places learn life values. She also provides a helpful demonstration of one of these creative approaches involving the use of puppet play.

Understanding the Importance of Neurotransmitters

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Neurotransmitters are the chemical messengers that help our bodies think, feel and move. However, the levels of key neurotransitters in many children from hard places are often too high, too low and/or out of balance. In this brief video, Dr. Karyn Purvis explains the importance of neurotransmitters, both in terms of helping parents gain new insight and compassion for their children and also for understanding how they might begin to address this important issue.