Learning how to cope with adversity is an important part of healthy development. While moderate, short-lived stress responses in the body can promote growth, toxic stress is the strong, unrelieved activation of the body’s stress management system in the absence of protective adult support.
One of the most essential experiences in shaping the architecture of the developing brain is “serve and return” interaction between children and significant adults in their lives.
The basic architecture of the brain is constructed through a process that begins early in life and continues into adulthood. Simpler circuits come first and more complex brain circuits build on them later.