Focusing on Food & Nutrition

As Dr. Purvis points out in The Connected Child, nutrition is important for all children — and especially so for children from hard places. Dr. Purvis explains, however, that “it’s not always obvious that a child is missing out on complete nourishment.”

Recognizing that many adoptive and foster families face various food and nutrition-related issues, the Spoon Foundation and the Joint Council on International Children’s Services have launched a new online resource — — that focuses on nutrition for adoptive and foster families.

What Every Adoptive Parent Should Know

In order to truly understand children from hard places — what they have experienced, the impact of those experiences and how we can help them heal and grow — it is important that we understand some of the basics. That’s why we have put this collection of eight Empowered To Connect videos together — to introduce (or re-introduce) you to some of the most important basics that we believe every adoptive parent can benefit from.

Click here to watch all eigth videos.

Empowering, Connecting & Correcting Principles DVD

The Institute of Child Development at TCU has created a nearly two-hour presentation available on DVD in which Dr. Karyn Purvis explains her research-based approach with children who come from what she calls “hard places.” This DVD offers a very helpful overview of the three principles that serve as the foundation of Dr. Purvis’ approach to help parents better understand how to connect with their children in order to help them heal and reach their highest potential.

In this presentation, Dr. Purvis explains how harm during the critical stages of brain growth can cause significant disruptions in a child’s development and behaviors, and offers strategies to overcome these challenges. This insightful and educational presentation is designed for parents, ministry leaders and adoption and foster care professionals alike.

You can order the DVD online from the Institute of Child Development for a price of $30 (plus shipping). To view a preview of the DVD, click here.

Creating Safe Places for Our Children

Following the war in Viet Nam, American soldiers came home with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and for the first time, we began to recognize the deep impact of chronic and acute stress. Such stress reaches deep and wide, affecting body mind and spirit of the man, woman, or child suffering from the trauma.

Caught Between the Amygdala and a Hard Place

Tufts of red hair emerged over the kitchen counter followed by dancing blue eyes and a small freckled nose. “Mommy!” asked the pleading voice of a young five-year-old Suzie, “Can I have a power bar?” Busily working in the kitchen mother replied, “No sweetie, I’ve cooked a big dinner with some of your favorite foods and it will be ready in just ten minutes.” Without warning little Suzie erupted into a volcanic flurry of rage. “You’re so mean to me! You’re always mean to me! You never let me have anything I want! I hate you! I hate you! I HATE YOU!” As she ran to her bedroom her mother listened with dread to the slamming of the door followed by the all too familiar sound of toys being thrown against the wall, smashing new toys that replaced toys from her last rage. Mom sighed at the reverberation of another familiar sound – a crash, as Suzie pulled over her bookshelf – followed by the tearing and ripping sounds of Suzie’s books as they were disemboweled and thrown across the bedroom floor.