Fear is very real in the lives of children from hard places. In fact, fear often ‘bullies’ our children into much of their misbehavior. As a result, it is critical that parents of children from hard places approach fear and fear-driven behaviors with compassion, insight and wisdom. Watch as Dr. Purvis explains the impact of fear and how parents can begin to help their children learn to trust and let go of fear.
When most children get hurt or become afraid, they go to a parent. After all, parents are the ones who protect children and keep them safe from danger. They are the ones who comfort children when they are afraid. For these children it’s a simple equation: mom and dad are safe and I can trust them to help me so I will go to them.
But things aren’t always that simple for children with histories of early harm such as trauma, abuse, neglect, or relinquishment. Their life experiences impact them in any number of important ways, often making them prone to prolonged states of fear and a limited ability to trust. Instead of going to their parents for help or comfort, these children often run from them, push them away, or shut them out.
Children from hard places have unique histories and needs. As a result, parents of these children need to learn how to love and parent them well. This requires that parents not only learn strategies that will be effective in helping them heal, but they will also need to ‘un-learn’ previous ways of parenting — whether those be parenting strategies that were successful with their biological children, ways that they themselves were parented or parenting approaches that others in their church or circle of friends are using.
In this brief video, Dr. Purvis explains the need for parents to focus specifically on the child that God has called them to love and care for, and to parent that child in a way that can bring hope, healing and joy.
Neurotransmitters are the chemical messengers that help our bodies think, feel and move. However, the levels of key neurotransitters in many children from hard places are often too high, too low and/or out of balance. In this brief video, Dr. Karyn Purvis explains the importance of neurotransmitters, both in terms of helping parents gain new insight and compassion for their children and also for understanding how they might begin to address this important issue.