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  • Writer's pictureFiona Holiday

A throw of the dice

We live in uncertain times.

Certainty is an illusion - what happens to us from the moment we are conceived is dependent on such a complex interaction of genes and environment, experiences and relationships. What we become is like a throw of the dice.

So let us play the game and take our chances...

Where are we born - into war or peace?

Who is with us as we grow - one parent, two parents? A parent with a secure job? Do we see grandparents who live round the corner?

Are the people who care for us fit and healthy or do they have illnesses or been affected by accidents?

How secure are the relationships around us? Do people get on or are there arguments, fights?

How much impact does the state have on our lives? Are there schools, medical care, support for when things fall apart?

With the developments in technology over the past twenty years, we can see how brain development is impacted by the environment as it grows. We see the world through the lens of our prior experiences. Inevitably.

The older and wiser we become, we can often see the filters through which we approach the world - we can see beyond the lens that prepares us for conflict and fear.

For children, though, they have so little to guide them, a fraction of life experience and for some, a brain architecture that has developed in adversity, that constantly scans for danger.

How often do we see the product of this in "difficult" behaviour? And how easy is it for us to hold onto our sense of safety when a child is overwhelmed and out of control?

We have little control over where we are born and what happens to us in our early years. Sometimes it helps to remember this as we struggle to support children in distress.

It is a throw of the dice and we play the best game we can.

To find out more about adverse childhood experiences and the impact on development and health, have a look at this quick introduction:

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