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Fostering Healthy Independence

Parents often encourage or even push their child to be independent. However, for children from hard places becoming independent can be a real challenge, primarily because these children have not developed trust and may not have had their dependency needs met consistently by an insightful, attuned and available caregiver.

Watch as Dr. Karyn Purvis talks about authentic and healthy independence and how parents can best foster this with their child.

Becoming a Band-Aid Dad

Recently I came across an Adoptive Families Magazine article entitled Band-Aid Mom. In the article, Wendy Flemons, an adoptive mom, asks this important question – “Can a Band-Aid do more than heal a physical wound?” As simple as it may seem, this is a profoundly important question and one that adoptive dads should be equally interested in answering.

Flemons explains in the article her initial aversion to Band-Aids given the tendency of many kids to over-rely on the simple first aid supply that lacks any real inherent healing characteristics. I can relate. However, as I continue to learn more about the important and complex subject of attachment, I have discovered that Band-Aids are actually a highly relevant tool – literally and metaphorically – for adoptive and foster parents as they seek to help their children heal from the effects of their past. Writing about the experience with her 10 year old daughter who they adopted less than a year ago from Ethiopia, Flemons noted that she had learned two important things: “Children have pain beyond what we can see, and Band-Aids are not just physical objects.”

What’s Your Play Personality?

I have a confession to make. I don’t like parents who are good at playing with their kids. I could have stated my feelings about these ‘playful parents’ in stronger terms, but I don’t want you to think I’ve gone mad.

When I see fun-loving moms and dads who are seemingly naturally gifted at playing with their kids, it gets under my skin a bit. I see them and their kids both having tons of fun, and I get a little green with envy. They are good at play and being playful with their kids, and I am not. Play and fun seems easy for them, and for me it is anything but. And I am not the only one. Turns out there are many parents like me. But there is good news for all of us.

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

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.

Keys to an Effective Time-In With Your Child

Time-in (as opposed to time-out) is an important strategy to help parents learn to “connect while correcting” with their children.

When using the time-in strategy it’s critical to remember that time-in is not intended to punish your child. Instead, time-in is designed to help your child calm and regulate so that he can express his needs (or wants) appropriately. Also, be sure not to jump the gun and resort to time-in when another, lower level strategy (such as playful engagement or choices) might address the behavior more effectively.

But there are times when a time-in is precisely the strategy that is called for. So here are eight keys to help you implement an effective time-in with your child.