Empowered To Connect

Archive for “Repairing Connection”

Learning to Tame BIG Feelings

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Thursday, July 10, 2014

The other day, I heard the words many of us dread: “You’re a bad mommy.” I was also informed by my son that I was teaching the kids how to be mean, not kind.

Honestly, I had to agree with him. The moments leading up to his accusation had not been filled with exemplary parenting. I had yelled and been unkind, throwing around phrases like, “I’m sick and tired of you always ________!” Not my best moment.

So, as he said those words, I knew I had a crucial decision to make. I could dig in my heels, insisting that he deserved what he got and had no right to question me, or I could acknowledge that I had made mistakes and there was truth to what he had said.

This is Mercy…

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Friday, April 25, 2014

A while ago my husband was travelling and called home to say goodnight to the kids. One of our sons finished his conversation with his dad and handed the phone to his brother Zeke, who was finishing up in the bathroom before going to bed.

Noticing Zeke’s dilemma of needing both hands while working with water, I stepped in and held the phone for him so that he could continue getting ready for bed. My action, which was meant to help, was interpreted as me not trusting him with the phone. In a split second, his anger flashed and he stormed to his bedroom with two slammed doors shuddering in his wake.

Practice Making Mistakes…And Repairing Them

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Sunday, April 7, 2013

When parents make mistakes it can actually be healthy for both them and their children, so long as parents are quick to repair the ruptured connection. This is certainly good news, given that all parents are prone to their fair share of mistakes.

So here’s a challenge for all parents — let’s practice making mistakes (not intentionally, of course) and repairing them so that we and our children can grow and learn, and our connection can be strengthened. Are you up for it?

The Whole-Brain Child

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Whole Brain Child, by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. and Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D., offers twelve revolutionary strategies to nurture your child’s developing mind. It is an excellent resource to help parents understand how a child’s brain develops and functions, and how they can help their child learn how to handle and respond to different experiences and challenges. The message of the book is that families — both children and parents alike — aren’t stuck in their current circumstances. Parents have the ability to change these circumstances by changing the way they respond and relate, and as they do this they can literally help to change their child’s brain (and their own) in the process.

Many adoptive and foster parents have found The Whole-Brain Child to be an incredibly helpful and relevant resource as they parent children from hard places. As important, they have found that the insight this book offers and the strategies it suggests are wholly consistent with the parenting approach and strategies taught by Dr. Karyn Purvis, and highlighted on Empowered To Connect.

New DVD — Attachment: Why It Matters

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Dr. Karyn Purvis and the Institute of Child Development have released their latest DVD entitled Attachment: Why It Matters.

This new DVD explores the critical role of attachment in a child’s development. In this 2-disk set, adoptive parents share their struggles and successes in pursuit of answers to the all-important questions about attachment. In addition, experts (such as Dr. Karyn Purvis, Dr. David Cross, and Dr. Dan Siegel) share fascinating and encouraging research, particularly in the field of neuroscience, that reveals how secure attachments can help counter the effects of early trauma.

Keys to an Effective Time-In With Your Child

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Time-in (as opposed to time-out) is an important strategy to help parents learn to “connect while correcting” with their children.

When using the time-in strategy it’s critical to remember that time-in is not intended to punish your child. Instead, time-in is designed to help your child calm and regulate so that he can express his needs (or wants) appropriately. Also, be sure not to jump the gun and resort to time-in when another, lower level strategy (such as playful engagement or choices) might address the behavior more effectively.

But there are times when a time-in is precisely the strategy that is called for. So here are eight keys to help you implement an effective time-in with your child.

Learning & Modeling How to Repair

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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Kids make plenty of mistakes as they grow and learn. But the truth is that parents do too! It’s important to try and “get it right” as parents, but it is equally important to “make it right” by repairing the mistakes we make along the way. Through our humble and genuine efforts to repair the disconnect that we as parents cause in our relationship with our kids, we have the opportunity to help them learn and grow — and to make our relationship with them stronger.

Watch as Amy Monroe talks about the importance of learning and modeling how to repair with your kids.

Confessions of a Sorry Father

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I want to be a good father. I even like to think I work pretty hard at it – certainly much harder than I ever imagined I would. But despite my best intentions and in spite of all of my efforts, I am still a pretty sorry father at times. Sorry as in bad, rotten and no good. I can think of some other ways to say it, but I think you get the picture.

Take this morning for example. Mornings before school can be dicey in general, but for the most part we have our routine down and we’ve learned – parents and kids alike – how to make things run smoothly. Every once in a while, however, someone decides to mix things up. Maybe it’s because the kids went to bed late or one of them isn’t feeling well. Or maybe it’s for no reason at all, as was the case today. Whatever the reason, my kids need a father that can handle whatever they throw his way. I want to be that kind of father. Not some of the time; all of the time. But today I wasn’t. Today, I was the problem.

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.