IN PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS
SETTING KIDS UP FOR A LIFETIME STARTS AT HOME
International Wheelchair Bonspiel 2018 Canadian Open player at the Langley Curling Centre.
ristal Biela, Early Childhood Mental
Health Clinician, Child and Youth Mental Health and Family Development,
made a presentation to city council on Tuesday. In it she described an
element of the work they do and played a short clip called Adverse
Childhood Experiences (ACEs).
Kids all start as a blank page and as they grow older their personalities and perceptions evolve around parental influences. It can be said that some kids are born into what can be described as nothing more than insane asylums with abusive parents often struggling with drug and alcohol or physical abuse issues.
In the 60s there was very little help for children. Often the focus was on the kids who were perceived as the problem when in fact the parents were most often overlooked as the source of the kid's issues.
Case in point. Last week diners at a fast food restaurant in Chilliwack witnessed a man go in with his five-year-old son in tow. When he got his order he wasn't given the condiment he wanted and became enraged. Instead of asking politely for what he wanted he threw what he got so hard that it splattered all over the floor and walls before grabbing the kid and storming out. The owner had to mop it up and use rags on the walls.
Things like this in public may be isolated, but in the home they might be rampant and the child gets the wrong idea and thinks its okay to throw a tantrum and fire things around just because daddy does. This sets the child up for a fall either early, or later in life, or both.
Without a stable home in a child's early years, and getting negative influences from their parents, it could be that they resort to drugs to cope and become involved in crime of all kinds. In some rare cases children could develop into sociopaths and psychopaths.
For example, a kid could get straight A's in
school every year but "X" for behaviour.
Biela tried her best to break down to council how this can happen.
One of the major things parents deal with is stress. According to Biela, there are three types of pressures: positive, tolerable and toxic.
"It's an inevitable part of our life," Biela told councillors.
She put emphasis on how stress can affect people's health in very extreme ways. For one thing it can cause increased heart rates which can then lead to heart attacks.
Biela has had some hard knocks. Her brother died of heart failure last year. In her early years she was sent to boarding school at 7-years-old and her father passed away when she was 9-years-old.
"I had no safe place or adult to connect with about my experiences and I
grew up in a belief system and a time when children didn't grieve," she
Biela played a video clip and spoke about how things like how divorce can be related to heart disease as well or if a child's mother had a drinking then it's possible the child will suffer from depression later in life.
Examples of ACEs are: abuse, neglect and household dysfunction which could alter brain development and even the immune system.
Robert Anda, MD, and Vincent Felitti, MD wrote papers on how childhood experiences can affect health in adulthood and sent out questionnaires to over 17,000 people to come up with a broader picture and scope of the problem.
ACE's helps kids return to being healthy emotionally after trauma happens and the program is tailored for caregivers.
The basic elements of ACEs are: a good night's sleep, a time for reflection,
playtime, being physically active, relaxation time, eating well, connecting
with others, contributing and giving back to others.
"This is easier than you think," she said.
For more information email Cristal here.
For more information and to watch the ACEs clip, visit kpjrfilms.co