The Effects Of Stress On Children

In an ideal world, we would all grow up in a harmonious, nurturing and safe environment. However, in the real world we often don’t.

Our stress responses may start early in life. Infants are highly sensitive to the emotions of their caregivers. They will sense the fears and tensions around them, and become stressed themselves. This can create a vicious circle of anxious parents who get more and more stressed and concerned, and babies responding to this anxiety by becoming colicky. Studies show that this is often more apparent in firstborn children, and especially boys.

We know that adrenaline and other stress-induced neurotransmitters can weaken the immune system. Tummy bugs, ear infections – they can all be indicators of underlying emotional upsets.

Stress causes the release of certain chemicals which will numb the brain on the one hand, but make it hyperactive on the other. Memory and learning may be profoundly affected, since under stressful circumstances our brain waves go faster, and our ability for logical and creative thinking is inhibited. Even environmental noise such as traffic, certain types of music, and television or equipment like computers can keep brain waves on the alert.

Music has a mysterious way of reaching into the depths of our brain and body. Prof. Dr. Tomatis believed that sound can be seen as a nutrient – a very important nutrient, especially when we are young and still very vulnerable. His method has helped thousands of children without medication, in a quick, gentle and simple way.