Empowered To Connect

Archive for “Motivations and Expectations”

Expectations

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Monday, February 16, 2015

Let me start by saying that I believe most people mean well, but good intentions are just that, good intentions and nothing more. It always amazes me what complete strangers feel the liberty to say to people they don’t know. Some of the things I’ve heard as an adoptive dad have made me smile, grit [...]

Taking a New Look at Your Expectations

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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

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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.

The Wounds You Don’t See

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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

I recently read a study that highlighted the difference between our ability to recall images versus words. There were two control groups. The first was shown a picture of a circle. The word “circle” was written down for the second group. The groups were re-convened 72 hours later and asked what they were shown. The group that saw the picture recalled that it was a circle one and a half times better than the group that only saw the word.

Maybe this helps to explain why physical wounds often get so much more attention than emotional wounds when it comes to our children.

What we have learned over the years parenting children from hard places is that physical wounds leave physical scars; emotional wounds scar our children’s ability to trust.

Healing the Wounds of Relational Trauma

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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

I remember the first time I heard it said. It came out of nowhere during a conversation with an adult adoptee, and I recoiled as the words made their way to my heart. “There is no adoption without loss,” she declared, “but sometimes adoptive parents tend to forget that.”

Such a categorical statement. So black and white. Surely there had to be an exception. Certainly there was some gray. “All adoption is born of loss?” I remember thinking to myself. All?

Motivations Can Speak Louder Than Words

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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.

How Can I Be Fair?

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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Parents can often feel pressure to respond to each of their children with ‘sameness’ instead of true ‘fairness’ based on individual needs and development. Watch as Michael Monroe offers helpful insights about the important question of ‘fairness’ and encourages parents to focus on meeting the unique needs of each child in order to help their children heal and grow.

Easier Said Than Done

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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

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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.

Should I Parent My Adopted Child Differently Than Birth Children?

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Parents often struggle to blend the parenting approach they used before they adopted with the trust-based parenting approach they are now using to meet the unique needs of a child from a hard place.

Watch as Dr. Karyn Purvis explains how parents can effectively meet the needs of all of their children — biological, adopted, foster — by using a parenting approach that focuses on building trust. In addition, Dr. Purvis offers valuable insight to help parents explain changes in their parenting approach to their older biological child, and encourages parents to give these children a voice as the family welcomes new children through adoption and embraces their needs.