"Ordinarily, we think of trauma as stemming from a defined event—the emotional shock waves you might experience from a single act of violence, for example," writes Jackie Mader in her recent article in the Hechinger report. She goes on to explain that, "During the pandemic, many children have experienced singular traumas, such as the death of a parent or loved one. But decades of research on child development have also made clear that trauma is not caused by isolated events alone. Significant levels of ongoing stress—‘toxic stress,’ as it is known—can dramatically affect young people’s brains. What’s more, in very young children, nearly any major change or disruption can be traumatic…
Without supportive caregivers who can address their needs and help them regulate their emotions, their cortisol levels will remain elevated. This can result in difficulties with executive functioning and decision-making, academic challenges, and behavioral issues…
Already, evidence is piling up to suggest that the pandemic has undermined children’s emotional well-being: One recent survey from the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University found the percentage of young children reported to have a ‘high’ level of social and emotional difficulties…increased during the pandemic when compared to previous national data on child behavior norms.’
Rachel Supalla, a longtime early childhood educator who coaches directors of other centers in addition to running her own, told Jackie Mader that "If an adult isn’t healthy and in the right mindset, then they’re not going to be help for the children."
the Streets to Find You
Translating Trauma's Harsh Legacy into Healing
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V, Sanchez, thank you for taking the time to leave a thoughtful comment.
-Tiffany at Exchange
"If an adult isn't healthy and in the right mindset then they're not going to be help for the children."
That is so true. Right now I think we are walking a fine line in trying to support the "not right mindsets" of staff and providing quality services for our families and children.
Early Childhood, like many other professions is facing a shortage of qualified people. This current trend, at times makes for challenging staffing. There are times when accommodating a staff person, who comes and tells you they can't do something because "mentally they aren't there" can cause empathy to callous and annoyance to take it's place.
How do we balance the line between being supportive to staff and saying maybe you need to find a less stressful profession?