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Monday, December 3, 2012

Child development

I’m hoping to start graduate school in the fall and in preparation for my imminent return to the classroom (knock on wood!), I’ve been doing light research on child development. Don’t get me wrong, I am not an expert on the subject but I came across an interesting intersection that I am drawn to.

The premise of the article was that our formation as adults is largely shaped by our experiences as an infant with our parents/caretakers. We’re talking pre-language, back so far that we don’t have concrete memories of that time. As an adoptee, that begs the question: What exactly happened when I was born and the days and weeks following my birth?

I can tell you how I came to the United States when I was two. But what took place in those 730 days before I was adopted? It’s an interesting scenario to think about for several reasons. The first is that many argue that what takes place during infancy actually formulates our neural connections that in turn, shape our personalities. We are born little machines of receptors and whatever behaviors are positively validated, we continue. On the flip side, those behaviors that are met with negative reactions are discontinued.

Following this line of reasoning, the woman that I am today can be traced back to those 730 days of unknowing. The inner personal struggles and the parts of my personality I doggedly attempt to change exist because of my connection (or lack there of) to my initial parents and caretakers.

Does that make sense to you? Do you agree or disagree? How do you feel about this argument? 

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