Parents in Poverty Need a Break

From an article published on parents in poverty by KQED News, Merced, CA.

“Parents do need a break, Stress builds up and even a baby will absorb it”, said David Lockridge, an expert in childhood trauma.

“The nervous system is either set up to be soothed and to be calm or it is set up to be constantly on fight, flight or freeze,” said Lockridge, whose work is based on a major study done in the mid-1990s by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Kaiser Permanente.

The findings showed that childhood traumas lead to long term and lingering bad health outcomes later in life. Lockridge’s organization in Merced, ACE Overcomers, works to educate people about childhood trauma.

Whether or not a child is cognitively aware of what is going on, their body keeps score.

“If that poverty affects the stress level of the parents, that’s going to be felt by the children,” he said. “People are actually wearing out years earlier because their homeostasis, their thermometer, was ramped up too high because of early childhood adversity.”

It might seem babies and toddlers are too young and won’t remember their early impoverished years, but the impacts get stored in the body, Lockridge said. “Whether or not a child is cognitively aware of what is going on, their body keeps score.”

Bobbie Allison said she doesn’t feel good about the life that she is providing for her children, but she doesn’t know what more she can do. She hopes to figure out a job with Foster Farms in the area, get her children into Head Start, and begin to get ahead.

View or listen to the full article <here>


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