Empowered To Connect

Archive for “Talking with Childen”

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.

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?

10 Questions Adoptive Parents Ask

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Friday, March 8, 2013

This video collection contains ten short video interview sessions with Dr. Karyn Purvis and Michael Monroe, offering helpful insights and practical advice in response to many of the the questions that are commonly asked by adoptive and foster parents.

Watch the first video in this series – How Do I Handle Manipulation & Control – or click here to watch all ten videos.

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.

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.

Total Voice Control: Focusing on How You Say What You Say

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Friday, September 7, 2012

Possibly one of the most practical and useful tools Dr. Karyn Purvis teaches parents is what she calls “Total Voice Control.” This tool equips parents to focus on how they use their own voice when interacting with their child.

Watch as Michael Monroe talks about how parents can use this tool to focus on how they say what they say, and as a result more effectively promote connection and understanding between themselves and their child.

A Challenge for Adoptive Dads

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Monday, May 14, 2012

Watch as Michael Monroe talks about the need for adoptive dads to partner with their wives to work together as they lead their children toward hope and healing.

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.

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.

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.