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Every Child Deserves Far Better Than What This World Too Readily Throws At Them


IF survived, early-life child abuse left unchecked typically causes the brain to improperly develop. It can readily be the starting point of a life in which the brain uncontrollably releases potentially damaging levels of inflammatory stress hormones and chemicals, even in otherwise non-stressful daily routines.

It can amount to non-physical-impact brain-damage abuse: It has been described as a continuous, discomforting anticipation of ‘the other shoe dropping’ and simultaneously being scared of how badly you will deal with the upsetting event, which usually never transpires.

The lasting emotional/psychological pain throughout one's life from such trauma is very formidable yet invisibly confined to inside one's head. It is solitarily suffered, unlike an openly visible physical disability or condition, which tends to elicit sympathy/empathy from others. It can make every day a mental ordeal, unless the turmoil is prescription and/or illicitly medicated.

Still, too many people will procreate regardless of not being sufficiently knowledgeable of child development science to parent in a psychologically functional/healthy manner. They seem to perceive thus treat human procreative ‘rights’ as though they (potential parents) will somehow, in blind anticipation, be innately inclined to sufficiently understand and appropriately nurture their children’s naturally developing minds and needs.

As liberal democracies we cannot or will not prevent anyone from bearing children, even those who selfishly recklessly procreate with disastrous outcomes. We can, however, educate young people for this most important job ever, even those who plan to remain childless, through mandatory high-school child-development science curriculum.

For example, contemporary research reveals that, since it cannot fight or flight, a baby stuck in a crib on its back hearing parental discord in the next room can only “move into a third neurological state, known as a ‘freeze’ state … This freeze state is a trauma state” (Childhood Disrupted, pg.123).

Also known is that it's the non-predictability of a stressor, and not the intensity, that does the most harm. When the stressor “is completely predictable, even if it is more traumatic — such as giving a [laboratory] rat a regularly scheduled foot shock accompanied by a sharp, loud sound — the stress does not create these exact same [negative] brain changes” (pg. 42).

If nothing else, such a child-development-science curriculum could offer students an idea/clue as to whether they’re emotionally suited for the immense responsibility and strains of parenthood. Given what is at stake, should they not at least be equipped with such valuable science-based knowledge?

After all, a mentally as well as physically sound future should be every child’s fundamental right — along with air, water, food and shelter — especially considering the very troubled world into which they never asked to enter; a world in which Child Abuse Prevention Month [every April] clearly needs to run 365 days of the year.

The wellbeing of all children needs to be of great importance to us all, regardless of whether we’re doing a great job with our own developing children.

But, largely owing to the Only If It’s In My Own Back Yard mindset, the prevailing collective attitude (implicit or subconscious) basically follows: ‘Why should I care — my kids are alright?’ or ‘What is in it for me, the taxpayer, if I support social programs for other people’s troubled families?’

While some people will justify it as a normal thus moral human evolutionary function, the self-serving OIIIMOBY can debilitate social progress, even when social progress is most needed. And it seems this distinct form of societal penny wisdom but pound foolishness is a very unfortunate human characteristic that’s likely with us to stay.

Still, we can resist that selfish OIIIMOBY. If I may quote the late American sociologist Stanley Milgram, of Obedience Experiments fame/infamy: “It may be that we are puppets — puppets controlled by the strings of society. But at least we are puppets with perception, with awareness. And perhaps our awareness is the first step to our liberation.”

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Insightful piece filled with truths. Preconception education is so needed for myriad reasons.

It would be a wise investment in upstream trauma prevention.  

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