Most of us had negative experiences in our early childhood. You will be surprised to learn that some of those experiences may still be affecting you.
We outgrow most of our fears as adults. Sadly, many of these early childhood experiences stay until adulthood. As a parent, you’d want to avoid them so that they won’t affect your child later in life.
So, what are the less positive events that kids shouldn’t remember?
Why do early childhood experiences affect us?
Do you avoid eating crab because one pinched you when you were a little boy or girl? Here’s why.
Early childhood experiences affect romantic relationships, social life, and education. We feel their effects years after the fact.
A study shows that babies who received parental support were likely to have a better sense of security than their peers. They got along better with others and enjoyed their romances. Another longitudinal study found that kids with better academic results had better home environments than their friends.
8 Early Childhood Experiences that Continue to Affect You Even In Adulthood
What early childhood experiences shape the way we behave as adults? Positive or not, they decide how well-adjusted we are.
First of all is spanking. Most of us would have gotten spanked at one time or another. We wouldn’t have enjoyed the experience. The good news is that experts stand by children’s side regarding spanking. Researchers from the University of Missouri found that physical discipline had harmful effects on a child’s development. The researchers concluded that it impacted African American children the most.
2. Whether Parents Are Supportive
Everyone, especially children, thrives in caring, supportive environments. Experts, too, conclude that children who received support from their parents have a better academic performance later in life. Research unveils that children brought up in loving environments, had better academic results.
3. Doing everything for a child
You might know of relatives or friends who do everything for their children. It’s tempting to micromanage a child’s activities for fear that he or she will make the wrong decisions. Unfortunately, micromanaging a kid can cause them to become over-reliant on others when he or she is an adult. One study shows that micromanagement has links with college-age depression and other psychological issues.
Another factor that governs whether children become well-adjusted adults is how attached they were to their parents. Children with secure attachments develop academically, socially, and mentally.
Research proves that children with healthy attachment patterns are less likely to use drugs than their peers. Experts like Dr. Magdalena Battles suggest that practicing attachment habits like co-sleeping and consistent care help a child’s personal and social growth.
5. Quality of experiences
Furthermore, the quality of our childhood experiences is a deciding factor for future decades. It affects our self-esteem and health.
Controlling parents use destructive criticism and corporal punishment, e.g., pinching to discourage bad behavior. Such negative feedback creates self-doubt and fear. It also triggers adult diseases. Science points out that girls will become prone to emotional disorders while boys develop aggression-related problems.
The Adverse Childhood Study, conducted by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), is the most extensive research on this subject.
Dr. Vincent Filetti, who ran the Department of Preventive Medicine at San Diego, couldn’t figure out why over 50% of the patients at his obesity clinic had dropped out. Together with the CDC, he went on a 25-year journey to find out why.
He made a startling discovery. Those who had dropped out had healthy weights at birth. That itself wasn’t shocking. He later learned that they had suffered sexual or other types of abuse. Eating soothed their anxieties, so they indulged.
Attachment theorists suggest that the earliest bonds we form with our parents and caregivers are the most impactful. They decide the way we approach adult relationships.
7. Family Stability
Many studies illustrate that divorce affects children the most, especially if it happens during the early childhood. One study shows that it becomes part of a child’s world view.
These children demand a high degree of morality, fidelity, and compassion in their adult relationships. While it’s necessary to have high standards, they can trigger paranoia, which takes a toll on relationships.
8. Role Models
Finally, the role models children associate with affect the way they behave as adults. Children take examples from adults and mimic them. Understandably, negative examples would cause them to act negatively.
Rebecca Bergen, Ph.D., of the Bergen Counseling Center, suggests that parents should model how to express love, anger, happiness and hurt. That will impact the way their children will display their emotions as adults.
In all, early childhood experiences make a person.
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