The Connected Child Book Summary By Karyn B. Purvis, David R. Cross and Wendy Lyons Sunshine

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The Connected Child is an invaluable resource for parents of adopted and foster children.

It provides insightful advice on how to best care for the unique needs of children coming from deprived or abused backgrounds.

This book is a comprehensive, multipronged approach to helping parents teach their children lasting emotional healing.

It tackles topics including healthy nutrition, exercise and behavior, as well as offering a variety of strategies and tips to nurture your child's emotional wellbeing.

This guide provides all parents with the knowledge and insight they need to help their adopted or foster children succeed in life.

If you're looking for an informative and helpful resource guide, The Connected Child should definitely be your go-to book!

The Connected Child Book

Book Name: The Connected Child (Bring Hope and Healing to Your Adoptive Family)

Author(s): Karyn B. Purvis, David R. Cross and Wendy Lyons Sunshine

Rating: 4.5/5

Reading Time: 27 Minutes

Categories: Parenting

Author Bio

The Connected Child is a revolutionary book written by the late Dr.

Karyn Purvis that explores the importance of connection and attachment between parents and children.


Purvis was a reputable figure in the field of early childhood development, having served as Director of the Rees-Jones Foundation, cofounder of the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, and much more.

With her extensive knowledge and experience in the field, she wrote The Connected Child to provide parents with practical advice on how to strengthen connections and develop effective parenting strategies.

Her work has helped countless families all over the world create strong relationships with their children.

Nurturing Parenting: How To Build A Loving Bond With Your Child

Loving Bond With Your Child

Parenting is always a challenge, but when it comes to parenting a child with a history of abuse or deprivation, it can be even more so.

Fortunately, there are strategies for nurturing your child and helping them thrive, no matter their past or age.

The Connected Child by Karyn Purvis and David Cross explains how investing time in teaching social skills, providing emotional support, and promoting good brain chemistry can all be used to transform your relationship with parenting.

When you use play instead of punishment and maintain a healthy diet that promotes good brain chemistry, you build trust between parent and child.

And the importance of touch for nurturing your child shouldn’t be overlooked – it’s key!

So if you’re looking for ways to move away from strict parental approaches and want to create a strong relationship with your child, The Connected Child is the perfect book for you.

With its multipronged approach to parenting children of all ages, backgrounds and abilities, it will help you get the most out of your unique connection.

Providing Support For Adopted And Fostered Children By Understanding Their Histories

At-risk children may look “normal” on the outside, but underneath their exterior lies a deep history and trauma that greatly impacts their behavior and development.

To give these children the support they need, we need to understand what specific deprivations and traumas they have faced in order to provide adequate support.

For instance, consider Louise, who was born into a stable home environment with loving parents who routinely met her needs before she was even born.

Compared to Donnie, an infant who experienced deprivation at an orphanage, Louise received enough physical touch, verbal interaction and had nutritious meals that provided her with serotonin which allowed her brain to grow.

All of these experiences have contributed immensely to Louise’s development as compared to Donnie’s.

Therefore, adoption or foster parenting means being aware of the child’s prior traumatic experiences so we can provide them with the right resources in order for them to heal.

By understanding the background of at-risk kids and giving them the necessary support needed in order for them to regain attachment and trust towards others, adoptive parents will be able to make a huge difference!

Felt Safety Is The Key To Helping Adopted Children Overcome Trauma

When a child has been adopted, it’s essential that they learn to feel safe in their new environment.

A child who has been through more than their fair share of trauma and hardships needs this reassurance the most, as it helps them let go of survival skills from the past.

That’s why when Janey had a tantrum because she wasn’t allowed a snack before dinner, her mother was surprised.

Although what was happening appeared to be an act of disobedience or entitlement, Janey was actually scared.

She was afraid of going hungry again, something that she had faced so many times in the past due to being neglected.

Rather than punishing her daughter, it would have been more beneficial for Janey’s mother to provide her with the felt safety she needed to move forward in her transition into her new home.

This can be done by ensuring that basic needs are met and allowing the child to interact with their surroundings so they can build trust and ultimately feel safe despite their traumatic histories.

By creating new associations with safety, however small or simple these moments may seem at first, children heal from traumatic experiences and eventually learn that they can trust their new caregivers as reliable sources of security and protection.

Adoptive Parents Need To Model Good Communication Skills For At-Risk Children

Adoptive Parents

Adoptive parents have an important role to play in teaching their children effective communication skills.

It’s vital that they model good communication themselves, so that their kids can learn to interact with others in a healthy and appropriate manner.

The bedrock of this is eye contact – it’s crucial for establishing trust and understanding in all social settings.

Adoptive parents should get down to their child’s level and invite them to look into their eyes.

When your gazes lock, it sends a powerful message that the interaction is intimate and meaningful.

Next, adoptive parents should demonstrate the right tones of voice and body language when talking to the child or others around them.

It’s also essential for them to listen carefully – this signals to the child that what he has to say is valued.

It’s not always easy for kids who are new to verbal expression to communicate their feelings – but adoptive parents should strive to simplify it by using yes-or-no questions or visual aids like “feelings charts.” Additionally, it’s important for them to suggest positive ways of dealing with conflict, such as using respectful language instead of shouting or throwing insults at one another.

Ultimately, communication skills lay the foundation for any relationships with other people.

By modeling good communication themselves, adoptive parents are giving their children what could be invaluable tools in navigating life.

For At-Risk Kids, Traditional Discipline Doesn’T Work – Here’S What Does

When disciplining children from deprived, troubled backgrounds, strict punishments could be more damaging than helpful.

Harsh discipline can trigger memories of past traumatic experiences, which may cause them to act out even more.

Corporal punishment is not effective for these vulnerable children, nor are shaming or lectures.

At-risk kids need clear boundaries set in order to learn proper behavior.

Rather than imposing strict punishments, parents should establish eye contact and explain why the behavior was unacceptable.

Then detail what kind of behavior is expected and outline potential consequences if it happens again.

Furthermore, it’s important to follow through on your promises when disciplining at-risk kids because they won’t take you seriously otherwise.

Giving these children a chance for a do-over and encouraging rather than punishing positive behaviors is an effective way to help them develop their problem solving and interpersonal skills.

When practicing good behavior, offer immediate acknowledgement and praise right away so they can build up “muscle memory” with the new skill.

Finally, don’t forget that adopted or fostered children often struggle with feelings of abandonment; during conflict keep them close by to demonstrate that you will stick by their side no matter what.

Give Kids A Predictable Environment To Help Minimize Conflict And Stress

The main message in The Connected Child Book is that parents need to plan ahead and provide structure to prepare their kids for stressful situations.

In order to do this effectively, it’s essential to clearly communicate what kind of behavior will be expected from your child as well as the consequences if they misbehave.

For example, if you’re taking your kid to the supermarket, it’s important to let them know where you are headed and explain that they need to stay close by.

Also, assign your kid some responsibility like picking out a few key items so they have some control while also knowing there are limits.

Equally important is setting up a good bedtime routine such as giving signals when it’s time for playtime to end and then doing calming activities like taking a bath or reading stories before sleep.

Taking the time to establish a predictable routine allows your child to feel competent and secure.

The Benefits Of Playing Games With Your Kids: A Chance To Bond And Tackle Underlying Issues

Playing Games With Your Kids

One of the most important parts of parenting is spending quality time with your child and building a deeper connection.

What better way to do that than by playing fun and engaging games together? Playing games with your children allows you to interact positively, strengthening your relationship and filling their “trust banks”.

This makes all interactions easier for both parents and kids alike.

Play also gives you an opportunity to practice mirroring -where parents mirror the gestures of their children and vice versa- which helps build deeper bonds between parent and child.

It’s even a great way to have meaningful conversations about more serious or underlying issues in a safe environment.

By introducing your child to sights, sensations, and sounds gradually, you can help make sensory input feel less overwhelming.

And physical games are a great way for them to exercise, improve coordination skills, blow off steam, get dopamine flowing – all while having fun!

Ultimately, play is not trivial when it comes to parenting; it is essential for developing relationships with your children.

So try turning off your phone for 15 minutes each day and just get down on the floor with some Legos!

Engage in some playful activities together and give yourself a chance to connect with your kids in meaningful ways.

Good Nutrition Is Necessary For Improving Children’S Brain Chemistry And Behavior

The Connected Child book makes it clear that the best way to help at-risk children overcome behavioral problems is through healthy brain chemistry.

This can be accomplished by adjusting their diets and providing the right nutrition.

The best foods are those that are high in vitamins, minerals, protein and unsaturated fats.

Such a diet has been shown to have an amazing effect on children’s brains.

For example, young adults with bipolar disorder had a 60% reduction in symptoms when they started taking daily vitamin supplements.

Other studies have found that providing children with vitamin and mineral supplements stabilizes moods and reduces outbursts of rage.

When going over what type of nutrition you should be providing for your child,avoid sugary drinks or pastries that provide a sudden energy boost but leave the child irritable afterwards due to the blood sugar crash.

Instead, opt for protein-rich snacks like almonds or string cheese which keep blood sugar levels stable throughout the day.

Also embrace complex carbohydrates and unsaturated fats (as opposed to saturated fats) like fish, avocados and raw almonds as these have been proven to improve focus in children with ADHD when taken regularly as fish oil or flaxseed supplements.

Last but not least don’t forget about multivitamins with Vitamin C – these can also be incredibly beneficial for children’s wellbeing.

At the end of the day it is clear that knowing more about how to nourish your child’s body is key when trying to solve any behavioral problems they might be having – so make sure to fuel their brains properly!

Nurturing Self-Confidence In At-Risk Kids Through Praise, Touch And Support

Nurturing self-confidence is key for adoptive and foster parents.

One of the most effective ways of showing your children love and encouragement is through praise.

Give honest and specific compliments that illustrate both their achievements and their personality traits.

Affirmations like, “you’re so thoughtful toward your little sister” or “I love your sense of humor” will help them develop self-esteem.

Touch can also be a very powerful way to nurture your kids while helping build their confidence.

Research indicates that children who are frequently touched are less aggressive and have more balanced brain chemistry.

But it’s important to approach touch delicately, as some kids may have had a traumatic experience with it in the past.

Observe them carefully and discover what kinds of touch make them feel comfortable so you don’t overwhelm them with an unexpected hug or massage.

Encourage independence by giving your children the freedom to make their own decisions in small doses.

Show understanding when they express fear but don’t be overly indulgent; this is part of developing their trust in you as their greatest ally on their journey through life.

With love, encouragement, and boundaries, you can help build your children’s confidence so they can thrive!

Slow Progress In Adopting Or Fostering A Child Is Normal – Don’t Give Up Hope

Slow Progress

When you adopt or foster a child, it can feel like trudging up a tall mountain, where the progress is slow and arduous.

You may feel discouraged if there are times when it feels like your child has regressed, but keep in mind that progress doesn’t always mean forward movement.

If you go two steps forward and one step back, even if it feels like nothing’s working, you’re going to reach the top.

The Connected Child book encourages readers to acknowledge all of the small wins; eyes now make contact with others, feelings are expressed in words instead of screams – these are big steps towards emotional intimacy.

It emphasizes that sometimes its necessary to go backward before you can go forward; mess-ups can be part of the learning process and regressions may be signs of psychological health when trust has been established between parent and child.

Parenting can be overwhelming at times, so remember to refill your own “bucket” with activities that bring energy back into your life so you can carry on for the long run.

Examining deeply rooted family dynamics with a trusted therapist could help open doors for better communication between you and your child too.

Progress may be slow sometimes but don’t give up hope!

Wrap Up

The Connected Child by Karyn Purvis outlines clear direction in how best to approach the adoption of children and foster an emotionally driven, secure home environment.

By providing structure, stability, and safety for your new child, they can begin to trust their adoptive parents as a source of support.

It is vital that adopted children are shown that they are loved through honest communication and emotional presence.

Moreover, The Connected Child emphasizes the importance of being mindful of your child’s diet.

Keeping a food diary for your child throughout the week can provide insight into how meals may be impacting their mood.

You may find that too much sugar or long gaps between meals result in hyper or grouchy behavior; knowing this information can help you to adjust the diet so your child is better able to heal emotionally and grow within the family environment.

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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