Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I really like the Connected Child by Purvis. I feel like it is one of the few books that gives handles on how to address behavior. I love that it leans towards the heart of a situation and not just the action. She walks you through re-do's and how important it is for the child to do over the situation just as it was, only with the right choice. Often we tell a child what was wrong and the consequence they have chosen. Sometimes we tell them what they could have done better. Rarely do we make the entire scene over again. But our kiddos need the chance to practice and to be affirmed in the right choice.

In our house it goes something like this:
Child walks into room first thing in the morning whining loudly and pulling at her clothes
Mom stops behavior.
"Oops. That was inappropriate. When daughters come into their mommies' rooms in the morning, they say,(in happy tone) 'Good Morning Mommy.' Okay, Mommy will pretend to sleep. You try again and with respect."

Child may repeat varying levels of interaction 1/2 dozen times before she gets it right. Sometimes a little jumping on the minitramp will help get the blood flowing and strengthen her body to be ready to talk to Mommy in an honoring way. If she has been especially regulated/strong, I may throw in a hug or kiss into the script. I will do everything I can to set the scene up exactly as it was before the wrong choice was made. (I know more than one stranger-kid has thought I was outside of my mind for doing this)

It is totally exhausting--especially when that is how you are starting your day. Every day. But eventually it does work because they don't want to repeat their actions.


Kathy C. said...

I need to read that book. I've read part of Attachment in Adoption but find it very technical and not much pratical help.

Bill and Christina said...

Thank you for posting this. I am not really sure what to expect when the girls get here. But it is good to know where to go to get help and great ideas.


kayder1996 said...

Yes, yes, yes. This reflects so much more than just dealing with a child's behavior. It's kind of about a shift in philosophy. It really gives new meaning to the idea that discipline is about learning not just consequences. All kids benefit from scripted redos. Too often we just assume the consequence is enough to change behavior. For some kids that's true but even then, consequences alone do not teach them how to appropriately behave or how to solve a specific problem. They need someone to point out the errors and help them find the correct words or actions.

rachel said...

Thanks for the reminder. I used to do this but guess I kind of forgot and have gotten away from it. I have that book and like very much.

Anonymous said...

For those of you who have both biological and adopted children, have you ever had your bio children need to do half a dozen re-dos? We only have that struggle (plus the defiance, anger, etc. etc.) with our child who has some attachment issues. All of them test us, to be sure, but the deep struggles are with just that particular child. Just wondering if it is safe to assume that is related to attachment (and in this specific case, a need to be in charge), or can temperament play into it as well? Complicated question, I know. Just hoping for a little insight. We love Connected Child too, by the way. :)

Simply Moms said...

Anonymous: We have 3 bio and 2 adopted...(1 w/attachment struggles.)

We have not had to do any sort of redo's w/the other kids.

The difference is.....the others adjust their attitudes/behaviors after correction...or at least express an authentic desire to do so...even if they stumble and get it "wrong" at first.

In my expereince, kids struggling w/attachment issues take much longer to readjust.

Attached children appear to have a desire to connect to & please(in a healthy way) their parents/family etc.

Kids struggling to attach appear to have no authentic desire to connect & please those who are closest to them.

They may actually have the desire to connect and please...but it does not always translate as desire to those on the receiving end.

It feels as if the struggling child is constantly pulling away by pushing away.

Then, their thoughts about how alone they they must care for the world is an untrustworthy & lonely place.....are able to be validated.

This is why....we who love them....must never give up.

Truth in love. Truth in love. Always truth. Always love.


Simply Moms said...

Anon-all of my children came home through adoption. Only the ones struggling to attach display these needs. The one(s) that aren't, will actually self-correct and say "oops! I want to try that again" That is only from our instruction of their sibling.

Anonymous said...

That is sad to hear, and yet what I suspected. We have much to look into, much to sort through. Praying for wisdom. Thank you for this blog. I definitely feel less alone knowing there are others out there who understand.