I took the kids camping all by myself this summer. Actually, a friend was there with her kids, and we were at a campsite in a town, but still… Anytime I tackle something like that without Brian, I’m going to consider it a major accomplishment! Anyway, the first night was Read more…
Giving and receiving love may seem like an easy thing, but for many adopted and foster kids it is hard. They have given love to people only to have those people disappear from their lives or not return their love. They have received love only to be moved to a new home, or the “love” they received was not love at all.
These kids are confused about what it means to give and receive love.
When people hear our kids ask, “May I have a compromise?” they tend to look at us a bit funny. They seem completely confused when we respond to our kids as if their request for a compromise is normal. But at our house it is normal. In fact, it’s a request we hear no less than a dozen times each day.
We began teaching our kids to ask for compromises when our now five-year old daughter was only two. We figured that she was old enough to have a conversation with us, so she was old enough to begin learning how to compromise.
One thing we’ve noticed over the years among kids who are adopted or in foster care is that they tend to have control issues — sometimes really BIG control issues. Many kids (and parents) struggle with control issues, but this especially true for adopted and foster kids that come from homes or situations where most, if not all, of their world was out of control.
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.
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.
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.
Trust-based parenting was developed by Dr. Karyn Purvis and focuses on the parent-child relationship. However, the principles and strategies that it teaches are no less effective when applied to other relationships — most importantly the marriage relationship.
Watch as Michael Monroe explains how trust-based parenting can positively impact your marriage to bring about greater connection througout your family.
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 ‘children from hard places’ the gift of voice allows them to replace fear with trust. Giving them voice enables them to learn how to ask for their needs appropriately. Giving them voice helps them to begin to express what they are feeling. But these children will not find their voice on their own — they need insightful and equipped parents that are willing to give them voice.
Watch as Michael Monroe explains what it means for parents to give their children the gift of voice.
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.