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Not the Way Children Thrive
August 16, 2017
Now for the other life. The one without mistakes.
-Lou Lipsitz
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A Psychology Today article described a UNICEF study "in 21 rich countries that ranked the USA 20th in family and peer relationships and 21st in health and safety, by the growth of childhood problems,and by the burgeoning prison population. American culture may be deviating increasingly from traditional social practices that emerged in our ancestral 'environment of evolutionary adaptedness.'"

The article’s author, Darcia Narvaez, PhD, asserts that “we can now map the sub-optimal consequences that arise from sub-optimal care:

  • Lack of touch and social support have detrimental effects on children's growth and development.

  • Regular caregiver neglect through non-responsiveness to infant fusses and cries, perhaps due to overstressed parents or daycare workers, promotes the development of a stressed brain that is detrimental to physical, social and moral outcomes.

  • Free play, once a hallmark of childhood is now becoming scarce, despite recent findings that it is critical for maintaining mental health, developing intelligence and a fully social brain.

These are just the tip of the iceberg. It is becoming increasingly clear that the ways we are rearing our children today are not the ways humans are designed to thrive."

Source: "The Decline of Children and the Moral Sense," by Darcia Narvaez, PhD., Psychology Today, August 15, 2010





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