The Connected Parent: Real-Life Strategies for Building Trust and Attachment
by Karyn Purvis, PhD & Lisa Qualls
5 out of 5 cups of coffee!
I suppose no one is particularly surprised to see that I am reviewing a book about parenting. I’ve done a lot of it. But I have to confess that I believe I would have done a much better job of it all along the way if I had read this book much earlier in the journey.
“The Connected Parent” is not a book about curbing the strong will of a child or techniques to produce compliant or obedient kids. It’s about (spoiler alert) connection and the incredible power of relational connection to heal a brain that has been re-wired by traumatic experiences.
The reality is that most all of us have trauma somewhere in our story.
The research and development by Dr. Purvis and the incredible connection strategy known as TBRI (Trust Based Relational Intervention) has been life-changing for so many. Dr. Purvis first used the phrase “kids from hard places” to describe the the trauma-impacted children that are sadly the norm in foster care and adoption.
What you need to know about this book is that these two ladies have been through some stuff in trying to love and care for and raise kids from hard places. But their experience is built upon some incredible advances in brain science that underscore the tremendous impact of trauma on a child. But it also highlights the astounding power of human connection that can repair so much of the trauma impact upon us all.
As a follower of Jesus, I found myself during both of my journeys through this book recognizing that the life of a believer is a call to something much greater, much more significant than simple obedience. The gospel of grace is about relationship!
If that is true, and I am certainly convinced that it is, then the objective of parenting has to be a higher design than compliance. When you think about it, don’t you really want more than obedience from your kids? Don’t you want a strong, life-nourishing relationship?
This is surely why the New Testament builds upon the foundation of the Old by showing Christ as the fulfillment thereof as He lived the life we simply could not so that we might have the connection with God that we were created to enjoy.
I can’t help but feel like this is what Paul had in mind when he made this statement in Colossians 3:
Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.Colossians 3.21
Dr. Purvis and Mrs. Qualls have accumulated solid wisdom and counsel for us all. But further, they have offered us here some real practical help to not just correct problem behavior but rather understand and lead kids to a more whole and healthy future. I believe that is gospel work.