When reading and reviewing some of the Paul Tough book, there were things that I had already assumed to be correct in terms of parenting, and how children respond to stress. For example, I believed that there was a definite cause and effect to how parents nurture their newborns through childhood. I didn’t really know what measures that would be taken for this, however.
Michael Meaney from McGill University used his series of rat research discoveries correlate back to how human children are raised. As fascinated as I was about this, I was also shocked at how it all worked. I found it intriguing and entertaining to be walked through the series of tests that Meaney performed on the rats, and although I felt bad for the pups, I could also see how many children the same situation affected.
Ainsworth’s studies on attachment were something that I had felt existed in children as well. Many children that are overly attached had prime nurturing in their first year of life. In most cases, things like this continue throughout childhood. On the other hand, parents who feel burdened around their children are the ones at fault, because when their children throw tantrums, ignore them, or lash out are at the other end of the non-treatment.
Ainsworth and Liberman’s statement on the child’s living conditions was also something I could see as well, although I never really thought about it. “When you are bombarded by poverty, uncertainty, and fear, it takes a superhuman quality to provide the conditions for a secure attachment” (Tough 38). Not only is this true, but this is something that parents have less control over, I feel.
One of the biggest points thus far in this reading, however, in on page 43.
“…The most effective vehicle for improving children’s outcomes is not the school or the church or even the job center; it is the family- or, if necessary, the creation of substitute or supplemental family structures for children who don’t have them.”
Basically, this says that even if children don’t have a safe place where they can feel comfortable, there needs to be one for them. There needs to be a place for them to go, where they have someone to talk to, someone to give them love and emotional support. It doesn’t always work, but it’s a much better concept than allowing a child to fail based on their upbringing.