Friday, April 15, 2011


My first post about the EMPOWER TO CONNECT Convention tried to lay out for you how children from hard places WILL have a neuro-chemical imbalance in their brain ~ than CAN be retrained!  If you missed it, scroll to April 11 post.

The parenting approach that Dr. Karyn Purvis provides is a TRUST-BASED RELATIONSHIP intervention.  The goals of this approach ~ and parents who choose this strategy ~ is to EMPOWER, CONNECT and CORRECT our child.  The primary goal should NOT be to change our child's behavior!  Even though behavior change usually results, it is not our driving factor or goal.  Instead, our goal as parents is to earn our child's trust and build a bridge between us and our child.  

EMPOWER.  One of the best ways we can empower our child is to GIVE HIM A VOICE.  Many children who come from hard places "learn" at an early age that they do not matter.  No matter how hard they may cry or how loud they may ask for a need to be met, their plea goes unanswered.  Their need goes unmet.  They "learn" they have no voice ~ they learn not to cry, speak or voice an opinion.

Begin healing by GIVING THE CHILD HIS VOICE BACK!  Create an environment where all of your child's needs are met, thus, giving permission for the "real child" to emerge.  Show your child that his PARENTS ARE ON DUTY!  He no longer has to take care of himself.  HE IS SAFE to be a child again!

Provide opportunities for him to use his voice.  Respond to your infant's crying rather than letting him "cry it out."  Ask an older child if he wants a hug before giving one.  Respect the child and only place a hand on his shoulder if that is the only amount of touch he can handle.  Provide the child two choices in a situation (both of which you are able to follow through with).

CONNECT.  We, as parents can facilitate connection with our child by GENTLY guiding their behavior ~  NOT by overpowering them and making demands on them!

Gently encourage eye contact, "let me see those beautiful eyes" or "eating is so much more fun when we look at each other's eyes."  Proximity.  Spend a lot of time "wearing" your infant in a baby carrier.  Show an older child the need for proximity by holding hands when shopping.  Engagement is also key to connecting.  This means we, as parents, have to be more than just IN OUR CHILD's PRESENCE.  We have to be REALLY PRESENT.  ENGAGED with our child.  Being still (NOT multi-tasking) and genuinely listening to our child.

Research shows that attachment, connection, safety and trust have neurological connections to the language part of the brain.  Stimulate these areas of the brain and it will shut down the areas of fear.  Therefore, the "fear behavior" will diminish and the child will begin to use his voice again!  AMAZING STUFF, RIGHT!!?????!!!

Remember how we learned that a lot of children's "misbehavior" is based out of fear (ex, flight, fight, freeze)? Well, this parenting strategy changes the behavior by building trust and helping the child feel SAFE.  How do we help them feel safe?  WE MEET THEIR NEEDS.  How do we help to build their trust in us?  WE MEET THEIR NEEDS!    How do we empower the child to have a voice?  WE MEET THEIR NEEDS!  {beginning to see a theme, here?}  As we strive to meet their needs, we need to do so with a balance of structure and a nurturing environment.

Gift 1: Give Your Child Voice from Tapestry on Vimeo.

The neurochemical imbalances that often result from coming from a hard place, is oftentimes manifested  in various forms of a Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD).  Guess what!?!?!?   THERE IS AN ANSWER FOR THIS!!!!

Come back tomorrow for a bit more on SENSORY PROCESSING DISORDERS and what some of our answers can be!


Kellie Wirth said...

Deb, this is very interesting and I'm sure the point was made at your event that many of these points are key for all parents. I love that she preaches being fully engaged and also giving kids a finite # of choices. Kids seem to get stressed when they have way to many options. This really brings to light many of your upcoming challenges that most of us don't even consider. Your baby/ies are so lucky to have you (soon!). Keep writing

Doug and Danielle said...

I wish we would have known you were there. We also attended and found the tools so valuable. We have been using lots of these tools and have seen dramatic improvements in just a short week.
Hope you get your referral soon.

Rescued via Grace said...

Hi, Debb!
Thanks for this info! I also just read from Candace about their attachment plan. I thought of you and your Empowered to Connect Weekend. ( may follow her already.
Anyway, I am continually amazed by what a great resource this blogging community is! My husband and I are so excited to learn!
Hope you have a wonderful weekend!



Debb said...

Kellie ~ THANKS for the comment! You are SO RIGHT in that this parenting strategy works so well with ALL children! Can't wait to implement them! {wink!}

Danielle ~ Oh what a BUMMER that we missed each other at the convention! AWESOME that you are already seeing evidence of improvement with just using what you learned!

Candace ~ FUNNY! I had just read Jones' attachment plan only minutes before reading your comment! Great minds think alike, and yes! I LOVE how the blog world is such a GREAT source of inspiration, encouragement and information! One of the many blessings of adoption for sure! So glad to join you on your journey!

erica said...

Great tips - thanks for sharing!! :)

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