Chapter 8: Social-Emotional Learning

Chapter 8 Cover.jpg
Chapter 8 Cover.jpg

Chapter 8: Social-Emotional Learning

2.99

Your purchase includes a license to place this file on two devices.

Synopsis: As humans, we are hard-wired to develop and thrive within the context of social relationships. Our sense of intellectual and physical competence and our sense of self-worth are derived from our interpretation of how others perceive us to be. These factors make the first few years of life critical in establishing the foundation for future cognitive and emotional development. But for children born into substance-abusing environments, early life exposure to attentive and emotionally available caregivers is unlikely to occur. Physiological changes related to prenatal exposures often result in difficult infancies that mitigate against healthy social-emotional development. For example, prenatally-exposed infants are frequently more prone to colic and the physical discomfort of digestive issues. Sleep patterns may be disrupted and the infant may be more difficult to sooth. Moreover, sensory deficits may result in the child rejecting physical touch and attempts to sooth with hugs and cuddling. If the child is then subsequently avoided by the caregiver, attended to inconsistently, or left alone to “cry it out,” the efforts of caregivers to comfort the infant and develop trust are further compromised. As a result, neural pathways that are designed to ensure survival with the support of caring adults begin to atrophy and are replaced with neural pathways that interpret the world from the context of self-preservation. If infants cannot depend upon the adults in their world to provide comfort in times of distress, then they do not develop a secure sense of felt safety and by necessity turn to their own resources to meet their needs. Studies show that a lack of secure attachment with supportive caregivers can cause children to grow up displaying behavioral characteristics similar to children who have been abandoned and deprived of their mothers completely. These behaviors include a lack of empathy for others, pointless deceitfulness and lying, superficial relationships, inaccessibility, lack of emotional response, and the inability to concentrate in school. To remedy this life-course trajectory requires the rebuilding of the foundations of trust and connection with safe adults in the child’s life. Whether provided by a caregiver, extended family member, teacher, or community service provider, self-regulation, attention, impulse control, and the ability to be introspective about one’s own state of emotional well-being are all fostered within the context of a caring, supportive, and safe relationship with an adult whom the child believes truly cares about him.

Add To Cart

Download file from website immediately after purchase.

Format: PDF

Publication Date: June 2019.