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Wednesday, 27 January 2021
Book Review: The Connected Child Print
Several years ago, I started hearing about the remarkable success that research psychologists Karyn Purvis and David Cross of Texas Christian University were having with adoptive children. After reading their book, The Connected Child (released April 2007), the reasons are apparent.

Purvis and Cross help adoptive parents to understand how a child’s early environment shapes the child’s response to the world. They explain how “an infant’s neurochemistry reflects his or her first home—the uterus” (p. 23.) Brain chemistry can then be further altered by stressors in the first months or years of life, resulting in behaviors that are puzzling to the average parent. The authors guide the reader in a quest to look beyond behaviors in an effort to understand what the child is really saying and what the child really needs. Purvis and Cross aptly demonstrate how a balance of nurture and structure are essential in healing the hearts of children.

The majority of the book is steeped in strategies designed to improve the child-parent relationship. The ideas, though practical and easy to implement, are not intuitive for most parents. In the early years of parenting my child, I quickly learned that “normal” forms of discipline didn’t work. At that point, the big question became, “Then what??” This book provides effective discipline techniques and so much more. For years, I’ve wished that I could carry around my child’s attachment therapist so she could offer a strategy for each little day-to-day issue that arises. This book does just that…and is a lot easier to carry!

Their research on the role of neurotransmitters, mentioned briefly, holds incredible promise for future study. At A4everFamily, we are hearing of increasing numbers of adoptive children who are benefiting from new research emphasizing the critical role of brain chemistry as it relates to behavior and relationships. Hopefully, the authors will consider a future book expounding on this topic.

The Connected Child is a must-read for parents, therapists, social workers, agency personnel, and anyone whose life is touched by an adoptive child. Don’t miss these incredible strategies that work to heal the minds and hearts of children.

Question: For what ages is the book appropriate?
The book would be helpful in parenting children from infancy to teen years. One of the book's strengths is that in comparison to other books, this one has more examples of young children...toddlers to elementary school aged children...that are so hard to find in adoption literature. Although most examples are with younger children, the same principles would apply through the teen years. Throughout the book there are many examples of children who were internationally adopted at young ages, although in many cases, children had been home for some time before parents began using these techniques. With the accessibility of this book, hopefully more families will be able to begin these parenting strategies when children first arrive home rather than waiting until problems develop.

Written by dynahhhh on 2008-02-21 18:32:44
I love your site. I am beginning to read it regularly as I struggle with my adopted daughter's adolescence.  
Your information is so valuable. I am noting the book's title and am heading out to look for it as soon as I end here.  
Thank you. 

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