What about dopamine?
Dopamine is the chemical in the brain essential for motivation and attention. Infants experience a significant drop in dopamine the second they are separated from their mothers (or equally loving, responsive caregivers). If the mothers are there, but emotionally tuned out, we see the same effect. You can imagine how much worse the dopamine drop is during prolonged separation (ie, nighttime crying)...
Today, we have a society marked by higher than ever forms of addiction: alcohol and drugs yes, but also gambling, shopping, consuming, sex, pornography, social media, texting, the list goes on. The one thing those vices give us? DOPAMINE.
Few things annoy me more than hearing "thats how previous generations did it and we turned out fine." Our society is NOT fine-far from it. We are so hooked on these artificial vices to fill needs we don't even know we have. The link between early childhood experiences and future dopamine chasing IS there, but no one is talking about it. Everyone is "fine". Not to mention the increasing number of children being diagnosed with ADHD and being perscribed Ritalin, a dopamine enhancer. Again, a link no one is talking about.
Now, I know with every core of my being, that 99.99999% of parents, past and present, love their children dearly and want the best for them. Nevertheless. We need to do better. We need to question mainstream parenting values, and methods that are often unquestionably accepted. We need to be the change our society so desperately needs. I'm advocating for the end of common, yet harmful, parenting tactics: no more sleep training, no more sending children to their rooms (separation in a time of need: dopamine drop!), no more belittling of strong feelings and emotions. What else?? #parentingforsocialchange
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