Adverse Childhood Experiences: Reasons And Solutions

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The negative experiences that a child is going through when he is young, such as: beating a lot, insulting and not taking into account his feelings and not giving him enough attention etc. may affect his life very significantly. Some experiences may make the child lose confidence in himself or be an aggressive person or It makes him not to respect social customs and traditions and does not respect the law, and some other negative experiences may lead to addiction, but may lead to suicide.

Therefore, the family and the school must solve these problems and try as much as possible to prevent these negatives from the child. And that would be a lot of observation and giving him enough attention, taking into account his feelings, giving him self-confidence, and keeping him away from bad friends. All of this will be a person who is confident in himself, balanced and fit for himself and his community.

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1 – Introduction

An American study found that children who experience bad experiences such as abuse and neglect during their childhood may be more likely to face sleep problems after they reach adulthood.

Bad childhood experiences include seeing parents quarrels, separation with divorce, a parent’s suffering from mental illness or addiction problems, or children’s sexual, physical or emotional abuse. Science links bad childhood experiences with what is known as 'toxic stress', resulting in physical and psychological problems that are most often transmitted from one generation to another.

These changes are already observable in childhood years and remain apparent in adult life. ( Danese , 2012 ) .

The study showed that among the types of bad childhood experiences, domestic violence, abuse and rape had the greatest impact on the period of sleep at puberty. Children who have been subjected to abuse and bad experiences experience elevated levels of toxic stress.

Toxic stress damages the body and also affects the child's brain development, including areas of the brain that regulate sleep. Excessive and prolonged stress causes a vital brain change that affects health, learning, and behavior. These effects can last a lifetime.

Growth trauma or harmful childhood experiences are chronic family trauma, such as a parent suffering from mental illness, loss of a parent due to divorce, desertion, imprisonment or death, or witnessing domestic or school violence or during wars and crises, or a lack of love and emotional absence of parents, Or the lack of feeling that the family is close, or the lack of sufficient food or clean clothes, as well as verbal, physical or sexual abuse. As we explained, harmful childhood experiences lead to life-long illnesses.

2 – Basics & Background

2.1 Negative childhood experiences & brain functions & suicide

The researchers compared the brains of 78 people who committed suicide and preserved their specimens. They discovered a decrease in the thickness of the myelin sheath of nerve fibers than normal in the brains of those who were treated severely in childhood .

In front of the screen of a German channel, a young girl with a pale face, telling her story with 'family violence', sat after her father had disappeared from her life, and her mother met a new man. The story of that girl will not be absent from the mind of the viewer, as she is the youngest of 3 sons, two of whom are male. The mother's husband treated them all very severely, amounting to torture.

The lenses moved from the scene of the beating to another scene between the graves, as her older brother committed suicide in the youth stage, which is the suicide that the girl returns to what he went through in his childhood, and his inability to exceed the torture scenes over the years.

The scene of the girl's tears narrating about her older brother and the violence he suffered under the mother’s silence, shocking and painful, and is consistent with the findings of a study conducted by a team specialized in suicide studies at the Canadian Institute of Mental Health and McGill University; The results of their research indicated that 'severe' violence in childhood leaves a lasting impact on nerve connections in the brain.

The study, published by the American Journal of Psychiatry, 'American Journal of Psychiatry' suggests that prolonged exposure to violence, during childhood, causes permanent disruption of the brain's nerve fibers, which form during the first two decades of a person's life, which is likely to drive a person To commit suicide.

According to the study, the matter can be clarified in a simplified scientific way, if we imagine that the optimal form of the brain’s work depends on the release of electrical signals that are considered as messages for the organs of the body, then the neurons will be the postman who travels long distances to transmit the message, and in this case deliver it for another hour 'Another nerve cell,' and so on until it reaches areas of the body.

The path that connects nerve cells is called a 'nerve axis', and to maintain the integrity of the message 'electrical signal' the 'nerve axis' was isolated and protected by surrounding it with a white fatty substance called 'myelin', this substance is formed during childhood, and gradually accumulates in the process It is known as 'myelination', referring to the formation of the substance 'myelin', and then continues to mature until early adulthood.

2.2 Impacts of adverse childhood experiences on health, mental health, and substance use in early adulthood

Research has shown that adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) increase the risk of poor health-related outcomes in later life. ( Mersky , 2013 )

Often a person who experiences negative experiences or harassment from other people, whether in the family or at school, tends to be aggressive and reject others and not accept their opinions, and with the growth of his physical abilities he begins to rely on his muscles and constant assault on someone who tries to tighten him and follow aggressive behavior towards his schoolmates or even His family members .

2.3 Adverse Childhood Experiences & Social withdrawal

With repeated negative experiences, the child reaches a stage of isolation and social withdrawal, and his feeling of fear, tension and anxiety begins to increase day after day, and the stages of social rejection and internal conflicts begin .

At this time, the child begins social withdrawal and avoids people, in order to avoid exposure to problems caused by them as a result of what he had in his mind due to dealing with them.

2.4 Adverse Childhood Experiences & Lack of respect for the laws

The child's negative feeling from the family and the refusal of some of its members extends to society's rejection and underestimation of the rules and laws that control behavior. His underestimation of these laws and the consequences of his violation of them reflect delayed cognitive and emotional development.

It may also be a sign of hyperactivity disorder and attention deficit. Parents should pay early attention to this sign, and seek psychological and educational assistance to avoid child involvement in violence-related problems.

3 – Discussion

There are several reasons that cause lack of confidence in children, including the following :

  1. The child is not encouraged.

    The child needs the constant encouragement of a loving adult person to believe in his abilities and skills, and in the absence of encouragement he will not be able to build his self-confidence throughout his childhood, and therefore will not feel the love and appreciation of others .

  2. The constant criticism.

    Negative criticism, especially by parents, is one of the most important destroyers of self-confidence in a child, as the child believes at the time that he is not smart, strong, or able to face difficulties and achieve his dreams .

  3. Excessive protection.

    Some parents provide protection for their children in an excessive manner, which causes them to lose confidence in their ideas, and deprives them of the opportunity to make their own decisions and try new things. Children may also be affected by excessive stress and anxiety by parents, as this affects their personality and makes them fearful and shy.

  4. Comparison.

    Comparing may fulfill the purpose and may give positive effects at times, but it often causes psychological harm to the child, and makes him lose confidence in his abilities, especially when compared to another child, and focus on his mistakes and weaknesses .

  5. Unrealistic expectations .

    The unrealistic expectations and goals that parents place for their children are a major obstacle to increasing their self-confidence, as after failing to reach these goals, he feels his weakness and his inability to reach what he aspires to .

  6. Negligence.

    One of the behaviors that may harm the child's confidence and feelings is his neglect, lack of care, and giving him the attention he needs, and taking actions that make him feel his family does not like him, saying prejudicial phrases such as 'I am sick of you', or stopping whenever he tries to talk .

  7. Feeling unwanted.

    Parents may sometimes issue unintended messages that the child feels unwanted, which negatively affects his self-confidence, such as if the parents say, “If I had no children, I would have bought a new car .

The influence of bad friends

Friends influence the lives of some of them by 75%, which changes their behavior by simply going to school and mixing with many children of the same age, and the impact continues from childhood to adolescence.

The mother always notes gradual changes in the behavior of her child once he goes to kindergarten or school, due to the mixing of children from different cultures and education, and in the case of neglect of the child and her lack of interest in him, the child turns to his friends more to control his mind and they are his first refuge before the family in care and attention, which is What reflects back after a while negatively, it could be bad friends who lead him to drug addiction and vices.

A child's friend does not blame or abuse him, listens to his problems and tries to solve them as much as he can and tries all the time to make him happy, so the son is attracted to him more than the parents and each of them listens to the other without thinking, they have great confidence in some of them, and this friend or what the parents call. The group of companions 'works to change each other's behavior so that it has one trait that distinguishes them from others, and from here the parents must know the traits and characteristics of their children's friends and try to approach them.

Friends influence 75% of them, which is a high rate, and this percentage varies according to the role of the family in the child's life itself. There are families that leave their children without interest among their friends, and other families attract their children from the 'group of friends' to be among them listening to their advice and be by their side in all Attitudes, both good and bad, so that the child does not belong to his friends more than his family.

The effect of horror films on children

  1. Causing the child anxiety and phobia

    Children are more likely than others to be anxious and phobia by following horror and violence films. They do not have a real experience in life that allows them to follow such kind of movies. Some of them cannot distinguish imagination from reality, and it is advised if the child is shy or suffers It is feared that he would not be exposed to such films and put them off for a few years to be of appropriate age.

  2. Causing a child to sleep disturbances

    Watching horror movies can cause disturbances and anxiety before bed, not only for children but for adults sometimes, but children remain more vulnerable and affected by such films, some of them imagine frightening shadows or hear terrifying sounds and may dream disturbing dreams, so some of them want to sleep with lights open or With someone remaining next to him, and these symptoms are usually short-lived, but if these disorders persist for several weeks, for example, it is always advisable to reassure him, as sleeping a loved pet with him may help, but some cases require consulting specialists.

  3. Causing aggression in a child

    It is dangerous to allow children to watch horror films because of the scenes of killing, violence and chaos that may be attractive to them at times. It is possible that children do not realize the seriousness of these actions and behaviors and may try to imitate them dangerously and aggressively.

  4. Causing a child's loss of emotion

    A social psychologist says that the child's frequent follow-up of violent scenes and horror films negatively affects his emotional feelings, such as what happens to him similar to the emotional numbness, for example, we may see him tend to laugh instead of helping in a situation where he can provide help, so parents must balance in watching movies In front of their children or stop them altogether.

4 – Conclusions & Recommendations

After all this, we have undoubtedly realized that negative experiences of a child may destroy his life in the future, and may even lead to suicide.

Below we will review how to properly deal with the child:

  • Make the tasks and duties of children enjoyable

    Some parents may feel weary as a result of their children neglecting some of their duties from simple household chores or arranging their clothes and rooms, but it is not preferable to force them to do these tasks, but these tasks must be made as a game and a challenge for them they must accomplish, this will create an atmosphere of fun and entertainment for children during Do their homework.

  • Paying attention to the behavior before them

    Children usually acquire their behavior and morals from their parents or from their interaction with adults in general, when dealing with children must pay attention to the person being a model of good morals and behaviors in front of them, for example must be committed to honesty and attention to managing anger in front of them and thus people gain respect for children and cultivate good morals and characteristics.

  • Caring for the Child and Giving Love to Him

    Providing love and care to the child makes them more connected to their parents and more receptive to them and the values they teach them, and this is done through their physical and emotional care and providing a safe family environment, respect and non-violence, dialogue and showing affection for them and appreciation of their efforts and simple achievements.

    Setting the necessary limits and punishment:It is important in dealing with children to inform them of the rules of the limits that they must follow and not to violate, and to put appropriate punishment in case they violate these rules, but it is important that the punishment be away from any violence or depriving the child of things that he may need, such as food, the only goal is to teach him Adherence to rules and behavior.

  • Give options to the child

    It is important that the child's self-confidence be cultivated from the beginning of his upbringing, so he must be given some authority and freedom to choose in his own affairs without trying to force him to make any choice, as this will reduce his disobedience and anger, for example, he can be consulted with the food he wants to eat, or ask him about the story Which he prefers to hear before bed and other simple things that give him an opportunity to make a decision.

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Adverse Childhood Experiences: Reasons And Solutions. (2021, August 16). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 13, 2024, from
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