26 October 2004

--- Baby Monkeys Teach The Value of Company

Today's health quote comes from a health article I read from the New York Times this morning:

"Early life stresses may lead to lifelong behavioral problems, but a change in the environment can help if it comes early enough."

Do you believe that?

Can monkeys teach us anything? The answer is yes to both.

Monkeys are our closest relatives in the animal kingdom and in a study presented this week in the conference of the Society of Neurocience in San Diego, California, scientists from Oregon and Pittsburgh led by Dr. Judith Cameron gave their findings after studying what happened when baby monkeys were separated from their mothers.

In the first study, the researchers separated some baby monkeys from their mothers within a week of birth, others after a month and others at six months, when they were moving into adulthood.

As the monkeys aged, those in the first group were the most withdrawn, with poor social skills. They did even worse when they were placed in a new group. The monkeys separated at a month were more social, but when placed in a new group, they became less playful.

In the second study, babies were separated within a week of birth and placed at different ages with surrogates known for their nurturing skills.

The sooner the monkey was placed with the surrogate, the better it fared, the researchers found. [New York Times]

What does this study tell us about our OFW parents who leave their children behind?

This study highlights the impact and long-term effects of separation anxiety disorder on children and possible behavioral problems when they are adults.

If you had a psychology subject in college or had seen a shrink sometime in your life, you know how adult behavioral problems are often seen as having its roots and basic foundation from childhood experiences.

You are nothing but a product of your past.

What can be more poignant that that statement?

One's childhood is one moment in everyone's life where stress can both play a constructive and destructive role. Again, the key words are moderation and balance. Too little stress will make the kid a weak adult while too much of it will make him a problematic adult.

I know, easier said than done.

Achieving balance and moderation in anything in our lives has proved to be one of the most, if not, the most difficult problem we keep on having. From food to strss, we can't seem to get the proper balance.

Children are most vulnerable to stress. The children of today are tomorrow's adults and will soon take care of children of their own. If we mess up their lives today, we need not look for a crystal ball to predict the future. We must take care good care of them.

Again, I know, easier said than done.

Many posts ago, when I posted about Sef Gonzales' heinous crime against his own family, fellow blogger BongK sent me this passage which I will use as conclusion to this post. It covers many things beyond separation anxiety, and I know you might have encountered this passage, but reading it again might remind us of what we might have missed while taking care of our children.

  • If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.

  • If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.

  • If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.

  • If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.

  • If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.

  • If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.

  • If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.

  • If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.

  • If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.

  • If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.

  • If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.

  • If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.

  • If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.

  • If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.

  • If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.

  • If children live with fairness, they learn justice.

  • If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.

  • If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.

  • If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.

[Dorothy Law Nolte]

While we're at it, can you imagine what kind of STRESS and childhood experiences corrupt government officials had when they were kids?

As Hamlet would say, "There's the rub!"

0 reactions: