Last week on A Life’s Happiness, we covered the brain, specifically the limbic system. If you missed it, no worries. A simple click on Little Limbic and a short two-minute read will get you all caught up.
We ended with the question, “Is an abused child destined to grow up poor and live a life of crime?” Statistically speaking, yes. But the truth is not cut and clear, and here’s why.
Let’s take an average child of three years old. If anyone has been around these critters, they will quickly find out how fast that toddler comprehends conversations. New words are in style. If that new word is an expletive, most of the room will giggle when they use it (correctly or not). What child doesn’t like to make grownups giggle, right?
Our little sponge-brain child is soaking up information at an expedited rate. Positive or negative, it all gets collected. Any data that is perceived as “bad” may start to cause chronic stress. It is common knowledge that a three-year-old child’s problems may not compare to a 40+ adult’s difficulties. But they do not know that. In fact, they can’t fathom the complexities of adulthood. This may be because our said child has only lived on this planet for 36 months. At this stage in life, learning is an every hour experience.
Let’s put some age on our child, perhaps ten years. Oh, they grow up so fast. The bad news is the stressful life hasn’t stopped. Every day they receive hurtful words, a fist, or maybe neglect. Whether they mean to be or not, children can be annoying in stressful times, and adults can lose control of their temper. I’m not condoning, just saying it happens. In a house that lives in poverty, basic needs become a priority. But this scenario isn’t limited to the poor. This child could be in a middle/upper-class family. But given that financial problems cause the most considerable amount of stress, it’s easy to understand why children in a low-income household have a higher chance to receive physical or mental abuse.
As covered in last week’s blog, stress can inhibit the development of the limbic system’s hippocampus region. Learning, memory, and emotions are affected. We have to live with what our parents give us. They mold us made us into who we are. Kind of…
We are responsible for our actions. I have heard others announce that so-and-so made them mad. Let’s be honest; no one made us angry. Our frustration is the direct result of our disapproval of other’s actions or words. Whether we want to admit it, we are not always in the right. There are times that a cross-word from a friend or peer is warranted. Perhaps we were the ones inciting dismay with others.
Getting back to our young-adult, where does that leave them? A quick web search of “percentage of children succeed after poverty” reveals that only sixteen percent of young adults become financially stable or prosperous after being raised in poverty. An environment can have a significant effect on our development.
As depressing as this may sound, hope resides within the simple truth that we are continuously growing. If we change the environment, we change the development. This happens over time. Suppose we put a muddy sponge in a freshwater spring. It doesn’t instantly become clean. Over time, the mud is carried away, and the sponge can be used once again.
How do we move on? Suppose we are the previously mentioned child who is now trying to strike it on their own. How do we repair the damage and move forward? With hope in sight, that will be the discussion for next week.
Until the next blog, live life, be happy and click the like button.