What are the Effects of Stress on Early Childhood
Experiencing manageable amounts of stress during early childhood (in the presence of supportive adults) is still necessary for kids to develop a healthy stress response system.
However, it’s an entirely different case if kids have frequent or extreme stressful experiences. Excessive stress can have a long-lasting effect to children as they go into formal schooling, having a job, running a business and forming relationships.
The effects of stress on early childhood
Although genes (the nature) have a huge role in shaping the children’s future, the environment and experiences (nurture) can also dictate how kids will adapt to the real world. One reason is that stress can actually affect the child’s brain architecture. This “core infrastructure” can largely influence not just the child’s cognitive capacity, but also the child’s social, emotional and physical capabilities.
After all, stress changes people’s biochemical makeup because of the release of adrenaline, cortisol and other hormones and substances. Our emotions are actually powerful enough to affect our physical health and performance. It’s especially the case with kids wherein they’re just building their foundations and starting to make sense of the world. Terrible experiences early on can shape their expectations of the world and other people. This can have a long-lasting effect in their learning processes and work experiences once they reach adulthood.
It’s true that our brains will remain somewhat flexible and adaptable even during our later years. However, it might be really hard to catch up or make up for the early stressful experiences. Worse, the effects of these stressful experiences can be irreversible. Although there are some people with rough childhood who still succeeded, don’t count on it because these are rare exceptions.
Right now what you can count on is to provide a reliable support system so that your child can cope with stress. Kids can still experience adverse stress from time to time, but the guidance at home and at the early learning centre can make the experience lighter and more tolerable. With parental and professional guidance, kids can better manage stress and cope with different transitions and interactions.
Moving forward with minimal delays
Stress can actually cause developmental delays among kids. Instead of their brains and bodies focusing on growing and developing, the focus is on dealing with stress. The early disadvantages can result to long-term negative consequences in terms of educational achievement and economic success.
To move forward continuously, the stress should be properly managed while getting kids exposed to how the world really works. It’s important to encourage play and exploration so that kids will be exposed to various surroundings and stimulus.
Here at Star Academy Kids Early Learning Centre, we can help kids better deal with stress in natural situations. We provide the right guidance and encouragement so kids can learn, play and explore. Certainly they will be exposed to manageable amounts of stress, but this is vital so they can still cope with the real world especially when they transition to formal schooling. Contact us today if you want to learn more about our curriculum and approach.