Empowered To Connect

Archive for “Older Children”

Giving Voice to Our Other Children

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Dr. Karyn Purvis speaks about the importance of giving children “voice,” and we have embraced this as we’ve loved and cared for our children from “hard places.” But what about the children that were already in our family? Did we neglect to give them voice? Did we fail to meet their needs as we desperately worked to help our most traumatized children?

I can tell you that we did, and it breaks my heart to acknowledge it. In March 2007, we brought three children home from Ethiopia. One of them brought severe challenges that turned our family upside down. Our home, which had once been a very happy place, was now in constant tumult. And the children already in our family suffered more than we could have imagined.

In many ways, we failed them. In our effort to bring healing to our children from “hard places” we created a “hard place” for our other children. In our effort to give our children from “hard places” voice, we neglected to give our other children “voice.” This is the hard truth.

Becoming an Advocate for Your Child in School

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Sunday, September 18, 2011

The school experience is an important aspect in the life of a child. And yet, school often presents unique and sometimes unexpected challenges for both children and parents in adoptive and foster families.

Tapestry recently hosted an event entitled Back to School: Strategies to Help Your Child Have a Positive School Experience. During the first half of this Tapestry event, Amy & Michael Monroe discussed keys to help parents advocate well for their child in school.

Listen to Amy & Michael’s presentation. You can also download the slides for their presentation and view a list of suggested resources focused on school-related issues.

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It Takes a Team

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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Adoption and foster care bring new children into our families and we open our arms to receive them. What we might not expect is the way our circle may enlarge beyond our immediate families. Since adopting our children, our world has expanded to include many others who have become very important in our journey and in our lives. We have learned that parenting children from “hard places” takes more than Russ and I can give on our own; for now, it takes a “team.”

Let me share some of the members of our team in the hope that it may encourage you to think about the
support your family needs.

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.

Fostering Healthy Independence

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Friday, July 8, 2011

Parents often encourage or even push their child to be independent. However, for children from hard places becoming independent can be a real challenge, primarily because these children have not developed trust and may not have had their dependency needs met consistently by an insightful, attuned and available caregiver.

Watch as Dr. Karyn Purvis talks about authentic and healthy independence and how parents can best foster this with their child.

Connecting While Correcting

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Friday, June 10, 2011

In March 2011, Tapestry hosted an event entitled Connecting While Correcting. This event focused on helping adoptive and foster parents understand the need for connecting with our children, even when correction is required.

Amy & Michael Monroe began the event by presenting some of the key concepts and strategies that can equip parents to connect while correcting. Click here to download their presentation. The second half of the event featured a panel of adoptive and foster parents who shared their experiences and what they are learning as they seek to connect while correcting.

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New DVD: Trust-Based Parenting

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Friday, May 27, 2011

TRUST-BASED PARENTING: Creating Lasting Changes in Your Child’s Behavior is the latest DVD release from TCU’s Institute of Child Development, and is currently available at a substantial discount for a limited time. The Trust-Based Parenting DVD offers in-depth training for parents of children with trauma-based behavioral issues, and is a must-have for adoptive and foster parents, church ministry leaders and professionals.

Simplify Your Life

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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Watch as Dr. Karyn Purvis talks about the need for adoptive and foster parents to simplify their lives in dramatic ways in order to help their children adjust, build trust and develop a strong connection. This video is part of the Insights and Gifts video series, which includes a small group discussion guide that you can download here.

I Used to be a Good Mom

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Monday, April 4, 2011

I was pouring a cup of coffee when my friend called. She asked if I had a minute to talk and when I answered, “Yes,” her resolve quickly faded and she began to cry. She told me about a conflict with her newly adopted son that had occurred the night before. Despite her best intentions, she was convinced that she had failed to handle it well. Then she said these words that made me catch my breath – they were all too familiar: “I used to be a good mom.”