Consequences of Stress on Children’s Development

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(Retrieved From, http://letslassothemoon.com)

In the world we live in stress is part of our daily lives. However it can be more detrimental to our young children. As a young child I had plenty of food to eat. My father worked in the factory and was an electrician so our family didn’t starve. However when dad came home from the bar every night I had to protect my brother and hide because I knew he would be angry and take it out on our mother and us. He would hit my mother and then come after my brother and me. This was a stress that effected our lives. I was afraid to walk to school because the dog might attack me. I was afraid that he would beat my brother and my brother would end up in the hospital. I was afraid my mother would leave and never come back. I was afraid of all men because in my mind they were all like my father. These were the types of fears that I faced as a young child. When I became an adult I slowly learned that these fears weren’t realistic and that I could live a normal life. When I married my husband we had three children. We loved our children and wanted the best for them. However David our oldest had severe asthma and allergies. So I was needed at home to take care of him and my husband worked three jobs to support our family. We went into a great deal of medical debt to help our son. Our income was small and didn’t meet the bills. I cooked from scratch and we ate healthy however there weren’t leftovers and many times our children asked for more so my husband and I went without to give them more food. David’s health condition and the lack of food caused stress in our family. I spend many nights away from my two youngest children to be in the hospital with David. We had many friends that gladly kept them so I could be with David. However when I went to see Rebecca and Scott they would cry and beg me to stay with them. They didn’t understand how sick their brother was. David almost died many times and I had been told he wouldn’t live past his 18 birthday. I am grateful to say that he is alive today and has three children of his own. God is so good!In this world there is so much poverty and lack of food. In Nigeria which is in Africa’s Lake Chad Basin, war has caused an acute humanitarian crisis (Brecher, 2016). 1.4 million Children are separated from their families, and at least 1 million are trapped in areas affected with violence. UNICEF says that around 475,000 children in this area face severe malnutrition this year (Brecher, 2016).

(Brecher, 2016)

In this world there is so much poverty and lack of food. In Nigeria which is in Africa’s Lake Chad Basin, war has caused an acute humanitarian crisis (Brecher, 2016). 1.4 million Children are separated from their families, and at least 1 million are trapped in areas affected with violence. UNICEF says that around 475,000 children in this area face severe malnutrition this year (Brecher, 2016).

(UNICEF, 2017)

In an unsuspected terror attack in Boko Haram Dzam-Dzam and her family were living there and were hoping for a better live for themselves. Then an unsuspected attack happened before nightfall and Dzam-Dzam’s husband was shot. She hid with her two younger children under the kitchen table. Her other two sons were at a relative’s home outside the village. Once it was over she left with her two younger sons and started running without looking back. After a week Dzam-Dzam found out that two older children were also killed. She couldn’t take time to mourn because her three year old was losing weight and becoming very ill. Dzam-Dzam stated, “I couldn’t find food for my young boy or myself” (Brecher, 2016). Her seven year old died due to starvation before they came to the border. She was sad however she just kept on. After a week of walking she came to Zamai which became a safe place for her and her son. She went to the community health center and UNICEF were there working to fight malnutrition. Dzam-Dzam was so grateful to UNICEF and both her and her son became healthier and stronger. (Brecher, 2016). This was a time of great stress for Dzam-Dzam and her family. I can’t even imagine the fear that they felt as they hid under the table waiting for the insurgents to come after them. Then when they didn’t she took her two children and ran. That time also caused a great deal of stress on her and her children. Then as she lost her son and found out her other two sons were killed she had to just keep on going to safe her other son. I am sure the grief took place once her and her youngest son survived and became healthier.

This is real, many young children and families are suffering from malnutrition which causes stress that effects their developmental growth. Thanks to wonderful programs like UNICEF malnutrition is being fought. In Nigeria and other nations the need is great. We can help by supporting these programs and programs in our own communities. The Food Bank is a wonderful program in Flint Michigan that provides groceries to families in need. We can research our own communities and support these programs. Have a marvelous week!

Tammy

References

 Brecher, A, (2016). UNICEF Emergency Relief. Violence and Malnutrition

                  Ravage Lake Chad: a Mother’s Story, Retrieved

                  From, https://www.unicefusa.org

 

 

UNICEF, (2017). Undernutrition Contributes to Nearly Half of All Deaths in

                Children under 5 and is Widespread in Asia and Africa, Retrieved From,

http://data.unicef.org

 

 

 

4 thoughts on “Consequences of Stress on Children’s Development

  1. Tammy, your childhood story is heartbreaking and I admire your strength and the way you protected yourself and your brother. This act of love and kindness tells me so much about you. You are amazing and the children that you teach are blessed to have you. Thanks for sharing and for bringing attention to the stress of malnutrition and violence that children face in Boco Haram.

    Like

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