Empowered to Connect

Archive for “Creative Ways to Connect”

Provide Familiarity and Continuity

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Monday, April 4, 2011

Watch as Dr. Karyn Purvis encourages adoptive and foster parents to provide familiarity and continuity for their new child, including familiar foods and smells, elements of their native language and culture, and, where appropriate, contact with familiar people. This video is part of the Insights and Gifts video series, which includes a small group discussion guide that you can download here.

Be Fully Present

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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Watch as Dr. Karyn Purvis talks about the importance of proximity, healty touch and gentle eye contact for 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.

Give Your Child Nurture

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Watch as Dr. Karyn Purvis talks about why children from hard places need high levels of nurture, and how parents can best provide it. This video is part of the Insights and Gifts video series, which includes a small group discussion guide that you can download here.

For some great stories about providing nurture to our children to help them connect, heal and grow, click here.

Give Your Child Playfulness

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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Watch as Dr. Karyn Purvis focuses parents on the need to use playful engagement to help disarm their child’s fear response and enable a stronger connection. This video is part of the Insights and Gifts video series, which includes a small group discussion guide that you can download here.

To learn more about the importance of playful engagement and how parents can use it to both connect and correct, check out the Playful Interaction DVD from the TCU Institute of Child Development.

Closing the Gap

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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Sue and Ron had three biological children who were healthy, happy and loved the Lord. Life was good and honestly it was fairly simple, at least until they went on a mission trip and visited a Russian orphanage. It was there that they knew in their hearts God was calling them to adopt—and not just adopt any child but a 10-year-old girl named Sasha. They were excited about what God was going to do in and through their family, but they were quite nervous as well.

Sue and Ron knew many families who had already adopted and some of what they knew about these families’ experiences was more than a little scary. Most of them adopted older children from Russian orphanages, some from Sasha’s orphanage, and most had encountered significant challenges not long after they returned home. As they reflected on the struggles that these families faced, Sue and Ron were determined to learn from these families’ experiences.

The Privilege of Saying Yes

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Friday, February 25, 2011

One of the things I’ve learned in my journey as a mom is the need for me to raise the level of nurture I bring to parenting in order to help my children build trust. My children need to trust that I will consistently meet their needs in ways that help them understand that they are precious and that their voice matters. Telling them I will meet their needs helps them to “know it;” showing them (over and over and over again) helps them experience it and learn to trust.

I’ve learned that one of the best ways to accomplish this is to give my children as many “yes’s” as I can. It is through my “yes’s” that I can best give my kids this gift of trust. In order to improve in this area, during a recent Saturday at home with my kids I committed to giving them as many “yes’s” as possible. Trust me, this wasn’t easy, but I need the practice and they need this gift. Throughout the course of that day I was intentional about catching myself before each and every “no” I was about to give. As I stopped to think every time I considered saying “no,” I asked myself a simple question: Can I give my child a joyful “yes” instead?

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.

Life Value Scripts

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Monday, November 15, 2010

Because of the impact of their histories, children from hard places often lack the experience in effectively communicating their needs and wants, complying with requests and instructions and knowing how to navigate basic aspects of relationships in a healthy way. At the same time, what these children need most to help them heal and learn is not punishment, but practice.

Dr. Karyn Purvis and her colleagues have developed some basic scripts to help parents (and other caregivers) teach children essential relationship skills and important life values. Rather than immediately resorting to lectures, consequences or punishments, this approach actually gives your child practice at “getting it right.” By using these scripts consistently to both teach and reinforce, you have the opportunity to correct while connecting and a result truly help your child begin to overcome the effects of his/her past and together move toward a more hopeful and joy-filled future.

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.

Connecting With Your Children as They Get Older

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Monday, November 1, 2010

For adoptive and foster parents, developing strong connections with children when they are young is often challenging. As children grow older, or when older children come into our families, these challenges often increase.

Dr. Karyn Purvis spoke at the 2010 Tapestry Adoption & Foster Care Conference in October 2010, where she shared her insight and practical advice about how parents can effectively connect with older children. You can listen to the audio from this session below:

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