Empowered To Connect

Archive for “Compassion”

Will Trust-Based Parenting Prepare My Child for the Real World?

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Watch as Dr. Karyn Purvis and Michael Monroe talk about the importance of meeting your child’s needs with an appropriate balance of nurture and structure in order to prepare them for success later in life.

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.

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.

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.

Compassion is the Answer. What’s the Question?

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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.

Why Christmas Stinks Sometimes

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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.

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.

Effective Ways to Deal with Sleep Issues

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Sleep related issues and challenges are all too common for children from hard places. Watch as Dr. Karyn Purvis offers insights and strategies to help parents effectively respond to their child’s fear associated with sleep issues and build connection in the process.

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.