Empowered to Connect

Archive for “Talking with Childen”

Confessions of a Sorry Father


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


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.

What If I’ve Done it All Wrong?


Thursday, June 2, 2011

I would venture to guess that nearly every parent of a child from a “hard place” believes they have done it all wrong. As the recent Empowered to Connect Conference came to a close, a dear friend shared that she and her husband were both hopeful and disheartened by what they had learned. They held back tears of sorrow and regret as they wished they could go back and parent their children differently. Russ and I have also wrestled with these thoughts and are saddened by the knowledge that some of our efforts likely increased our children’s trauma rather than brought healing.

More Than Just Words

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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

When it comes to the issue of “talking” with your children about adoption or foster care, most parents immediately think in terms of what they should (and should not) say. However, effectively communicating with your child on these important matters involves much more than just the words you use.

In this one hour presentation from the 2010 Tapestry Adoption & Foster Care Conference, Michael & Amy Monroe (leaders of Tapestry) focus on how to communicate effectively and holistically with children about their story and your journey as a family. Specifically, they focus on the importance of nonverbal communication, learning to listen to your child and helping them to find perspective and meaning in your shared journey.

You can also download the slides from this presentation here.

Give Your Child Voice


Friday, March 25, 2011

Watch as Dr. Karyn Purvis explains the importance of giving voice to children from hard places and how parents can do that. This video is part of the Insights and Gifts video series, which includes a small group discussion guide that you can download here.

For more resources about the importance of giving voice to children from hard places as well as practical strategies that parents can use, click here.

Give Your Child Permission to Process Feelings


Monday, March 21, 2011

Watch as Dr. Karyn Purvis encourages parents not to be afraid of their child’s feelings and instead allow their child to openly discuss and process their feelings. This video is part of the Insights and Gifts video series, which includes a small group discussion guide that you can download here.

For more Empowered To Connect resources aimed at helping parents discuss and embrace their child’s feelings, click here.

Finding a Place to Start


Friday, August 27, 2010

Often parents who are struggling to connect with their child find it difficult to find any real measure of hope. In this brief video, Dr. Karyn Purvis talks about the importance for parents to find even a single point of connection as way to start building a bridge so that they can begin to reach their child.

Embracing the Grief of Adoption


Thursday, April 22, 2010

I was reminded last night of something I already knew, though I often try to forget it. It is one of the more sobering realities of adoption – the fact that there is no adoption without loss and pain . . . and grief.

As an adoptive dad, like all adoptive parents, my tendency is to focus on the miracle, blessing and joy of adoption – and rightfully so. These are the undeniably beautiful realities of the adoption journey. But they do not negate the equally unavoidable reality that there is no adoption without loss and pain. Adoption is at the same time born from and a response to hurt, loss and sorrow.

Becoming More Real to Our Kids


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The February 2010 issue of Adoption Today features an article entitled Becoming More Real to My Kids. The article focuses on the need for us as parents to more fully embrace our children holistically, including those parts of their past and present which can be difficult and painful.

Talking With Children About the Difficult Realities

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Along with the joys and blessings of adoption and foster care come some difficult and often painful realities – issues such as grief, loss, abandonment, past trauma and the need for forgiveness, just to name a few. It is important for adoptive and foster parents to be prepared to help their children navigate these emotional and complex issues, and to make sense of their own personal story as well.

This talk, entitled Not Your Everday Conversation: Talking with Your Children About the Difficult Realities of Adoption and Foster Care, was presented by Michael and Amy Monroe at the 2009 Tapestry Adoption & Foster Care Conference. The talk focuses on these and other issues in an open and honest way, and provides specific tools to help parents effectively communicate with their children about the difficult realities of their past in order to help prepare them for their future.

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You can also download the handouts for this presentation.