Dr. Karyn Purvis’s 6 Crucial Things Every Adoptive Parent Must Do
I was fortunate enough to interview the late great Dr. Karyn Purvis on the Creating a Family Radio Show/Podcast several times and each time I learned something new. She had a knack for simplifying deep concepts and making them easy to apply. These are the six crucial things every adoptive parent must do, especially if they are adopting a child past infancy.
- Give your child the gift of you. Spend focused time with your child. If possible try to spend a minimum of 6 weeks at home with your newly adopted child. Don’t rush your child into school or daycare.
- Provide food every 2 hours for at least the first 6 months and make sure that your child is drinking lots of fluids. Research shows that kids who have experienced trauma are often chronically dehydrated.
- Provide a physical or sensory activity every 2 hours.
- Assume your child’s emotional development is 40% behind their chronological age, and expect them to behave according to their emotional age.
- Focus on saying yes more often than saying no. Your rule of thumb should be 7 “yeses” to every one “no”.
- Read up on sensory processing issues because in Dr. Purvis’s experience many children who have been abused or neglected or come from a foreign orphanage will have sensory issues. A great place to begin is this course we did with Carol Kranowitz, author of The Out-of-Sync Child: Recognizing and Coping with Sensory Processing Disorders. Also consider baby massage or the Wilbarger Brushing Protocol depending on your child and after consulting with a Physical Therapist or Occupational Therapist. There are lots of videos on YouTube about how to do this.
I can’t recommend highly enough this course we did with Dr. Purvis on Healing After Abuse & Neglect.
Image credit: Petras Gaglias; Mark Jastremski; Sean Davis
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