Hazel knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that she's gonna be taken care of at all times. She just knows and it has made her who she is now. Sarah knew, I knew, my mom knew as did every generation before her. They knew their parents would care for them. And every single one of us took this for granted, clueless as to what a blessing this was for a child.
The developing brain is also more vulnerable to chronic stress than most parents may realize. New and emerging research hints at how the constant barrage of stress hormones can change the way the brain develops, causing behavioral and psychological disorders and putting children at risk for mental illness later in life.
This is in regards to poverty, financial stress resulting in insecurity and instability, yet another way in which young children's brains fail to develop properly. But Thank God, there's new research results coming in each day.
An excellent article detailing brain stressors, it doesn't give me much hope, but it does explain things.
Morrison Child and Family Services in Portland focuses on identifying at least one advocate or ally in a child's life; research has shown that the consistent presence of a single nurturing adult can greatly improve a child's resilience to traumatic events. "If there is no one," said McWilliams, "those are the kids that are most at risk."
This one adult is shown to be of vital importance during the stress, I need to know if this holds true later, after the many stresses.
That I now know about how children's brains are not able to allow them to behave as I'd prefer them to behave, ya know, no assaulting behaviors and other maladaptive, anti-social actions, well at least now I have an understanding, yet am now hugely stressed myself, over hoping, praying or trying to help them make changes, as adulthood will require this in order to succeed on any level.
I think back to my now primitive MAPP classes decades ago where I was literally transfixed with the information, or even in all those shelves of social work books I'd read, yet brain development issues were not known, trauma was a fledgling field, even now it's not acknowledged as it should be done.
One of the best therapists I'd encountered in Pathways was Charley who detailed her own battles in her work to get other professionals to even acknowledge this issue of trauma in children.
We still have naive and hopeful, excited foster and adoptive parents who're gonna get their teeth kicked in. We have very damaged children and we don't know how to help them.
We will become right damaged ourselves in the process.
When I was a young, dumb single mom to Sarah we certainly had money problems in that in the 1970s teachers didn't make much money at all, yet there was enough for us, as our needs were so few. I stressed over money and Sarah clearly remembers me doing so, sitting at the table with a pen and paper, trying to budget, plan and pay the dang bills, as few as they were. She certainly does remember my stress.
Yet not once did she think I couldn't, or wouldn't, do it. She knew I'd find a way, she knew I'd be there for her always. She just knew. She was bonded, nurtured and secure. She was stable and happy.
A news report stated a mom had abandoned her kids somewhere in an empty apartment in Atlanta, "Sounds like my birth mom," Sabrina said wryly, as unfathomable as that sounds, yet it happens each day somewhere.
New kids have come into my home, remained unattached and raging, suspicious, violent, craving the odd comfort of all they'd ever know which was chaos, thus recreating it constantly.
They eventually grow up and take it with them, recreating their original birth family situations as if somehow that'd change the outcome?
Some move in and eventually decide that maybe this new mom is worth copying, emulating, or what have you.
Best case scenario in this world would be all birth parents wanting to parent, that the multiple breaks with caretakers would not occur and thus not have any chance to damage young brains, that there'd be no abuse nor neglect on this earth.
But since that's not likely to happen, we must find ways to help the children. The newer research in brain development can only help, right?