Many families we are working with are feeling the stress of the approaching holiday season, the continued economic downturn and the changes to the CA Early Start system. But, how does stress exhibit itself in the young children that we work with? Researchers suggest that children under the age of 6 are developmentally less capable of (1) thinking about an event in its entirety; (2) selecting from a menu of possible behaviors in response to any new, interesting, or anxiety-inducing event; (3) comprehending an event separate from their own feelings; and (4) modifying their physical reactions in response to change in stimuli (Allen & Marotz, 2003). Check the following link to the Clearinghouse on Early Education and Parenting for information on stress and young children.
1- As a home visitor, what have you noticed/are noticing about how stress affects the families and children you work with?
2- How does this influence your work?
-submitted by Karen Baas, Infant Development Association of CA