Many children have a hard time at home and don’t grow up in loving, stable households. Therefore, they don’t receive the love and care they need to grow up happy and healthy. Sometimes this results in potentially traumatic events that can have negative and lasting effects on both the health and the well-being of the child (Felitti et al., 1998) These traumatic events are called adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), and range from physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, to parental divorce, or substance abuse by a parent. Multiple traumatic events in childhood can lead to a lot of anxiety and psychological disorders for a child. This stress can be so severe, that it can even disrupt the physiological response to stress
Signs to look out for:
Eating disturbance, Sleep disturbances, Somatic complaints. Clingy/separation anxiety, feeling helpless/passive, Irritable/difficult to soothe, Constricted play, exploration, mood., Repetitive/post-traumatic play.
What can we do to help children and prevent these negative outcomes?
Child maltreatment and household dysfunction are serious problems that may have lasting harmful effects. prevention should therefore be a primary goal. To do this, we must create a safe environment where the child is nurtured and loved.