Below is a post I put up a couple of weeks ago referencing an article and a study demonstrating how the emotional state of mothers affects the brain development of their children. How parents' emotional lives affect the development of their offspring is obviously not a subject I've shied away from, and I've aroused the ire of many parents as a result.
Well, today comes another article and another study reporting that when parents are depressed or under stress, their suffering can leave a lasting mark on their children’s DNA — and not for the better. You can read the entire piece by Sharon Begley, entitled "How Stressed Parents Scar Their Kids," by clicking on the title.
Here's an excerpt and below is my previous post with links to other previous posts on this matter:
"When it comes to finding culprits for everything that’s wrong with us as children and even as adults, parents are everyone’s favorite default option. And why not? Decades of research in child development and psychology have linked maternal depression to children’s mental and physical illness as well as language and cognitive deficits, shown that when the parents’ marriage is riven by conflict children grow up to be emotionally insecure and have difficulty forming loving adult relationships, and found that when parents are under significant stress their kids are more likely to have behavior problems, to have difficulty handling stress, and to be at greater risk for mental illness. If there was any doubt about the power of this parental legacy, an upcoming study should dispel it: when parents are under emotional, financial, or other forms of stress, it can alter their children’s patterns of genetic activity at least through adolescence and perhaps longer. And since some of the altered genes shape brain development, the effects of parental stress might permanently wire themselves into children’s brains."
From two weeks ago, here's PL:
A couple of years ago, I had a debate with one Barbara Fischkin, author and activist mother of an autistic son. Barbara wasn't pleased with some pieces that I wrote on the subject of autism, particularly because I stressed disturbances in the mother-child connection as a causal factor.
Well, as is so often the case, out comes a study this week entitled: "How Sad Moms Change a Child’s Brain: New research shows that children with depressed mothers can have enlarged amygdalas, the part of the brain responsible for emotional responses—and detecting threats."
I'm not looking to be right here, folks, I'm just fed up with the insidious partnership between the mainstream medical establishment, claiming that brain chemistry is unrelated causally from a child's environment, and parents who don't want to do the self-work necessary in order to qualify themselves for parenthood.
There's nothing disgraceful about acknowledging one's limitations and dysfunctions as parents. What is disgraceful is the denial and refusal to seek appropriate healing at the expense of our kids and society at large.
Sorry, but Bruno Bettelheim, who wrote the landmark book, "Love Is Not Enough," was right!