Tender Young Brains: What Kind of Childhood Stress Should Parents Actually Be Stressing About?

January 18, 2012

Publication: Slate

Link: http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2012/01/early_childhood_stress_a_parents_guide_.html

A January 18 article from Slate cites the 2012 AAP reports on toxic stress as an important counterbalance to parents’ unfounded worries that allowing babies and toddlers to “cry it out” when trying to fall asleep constitutes abuse or neglect. As the Pediatrics reports summarize, some stress in childhood is a part of normal development. Toxic stress, by contrast, results from prolonged or severe activation of a child’s stress response system in the absence of supportive adult relationships, disrupting developing brain architecture and leading to a greater risk of lifelong learning, heath, and behavior problems. The author, Anna Reisman, asserts, “Parents and policymakers alike must develop a clear understanding of what childhood stress really means.”

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