“Children from Hard Places” — this is the phrase used by Dr. Purvis and others to describe children that have experienced some type of abuse, neglect or trauma during their lives (including prenatal exposure to substances or high levels stress, difficult labor or birth before or medical trauma). Obviously, this phrase applies to most children who were adopted or spent time in foster care.
Our focus for these children must always be clear: to help them heal and become whole in body, mind and spirit. This is done not by focusing on achieving “good behavior,” but by helping our children create strong connections built on trust. Out of this can grow not only “good behavior,” but so many other things that our children need and that we desire for them. By balancing structure with nurture and always remaining mindful of the inherent preciousness of each and every child, we have the opportunity to help our children realize dramatic strides and in the process discover (and re-discover) the joy in parenting.
In this presentation (from April 2009 at Summit V, hosted by the Christian Alliance for Orphans), Dr. Karyn Purvis talks about what everyone needs to know about children from hard places – and how we can go about creating and fostering strong and lasting connections to help them heal and grow.