Today, we know from neuroscientists that experiences, particularly during ages 0-3, have an impact on our biology and most importantly our brain development. Children have tremendous promise. And when they live in stable, consistent and predictable environments, it enhances their ability to develop, adapt to their surroundings and recover from future trauma. We would be remiss if we thought we could protect our children from experiencing any traumatic events. After all, car accidents happen, loved ones pass away, parents get divorced, etc. We know from national tragedies children who have safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments are able to recover and return to a more normal healthy childhood or adulthood. We also know when children have chaotic, unpredictable lives, it affects their stress response also known as fight or flight. When a child is living in a volatile environment that may also be unsafe, their fight or flight response is constantly on the gas pedal.
Collectively, we have a responsibility to ensure ALL children have stable, consistent, predictable environments. There are things you can do today to ensure a child has more consistency in their life. You can support programming at KCSL, which not only ensures children have more stable environments, but also works with parents who need to heal from trauma they have experienced. Tell people why you support the work at KCSL and the importance of working with families who have children under the age of three. Finally, instead of asking the question, ‘what’s wrong with you,’ begin with this one, ‘what happened to you.’ This one question can uncover so much truth because it doesn’t place blame or judgement. It allows for a window of opportunity to truly see someone and the events in their lives that shaped them both good and bad.
At KCSL, we are working with families now to impact our communities in the future.