It is assumed that early care in life has a tremendous impact on how the future adult will develop. And that common sense thinking is correct up to a point. While there are random studies being done, as reported by scholarly journals, these are mainly rhetorical postulations and resemble little the question what effect does early care giving have on adult development?
According to a fact sheet put out by United States Health and Human Services, in Long Term Consequence of Child Abuse and Neglect, “An estimated 905,000 children were victims of child abuse or neglect in 2006. While physical injuries may or may not be immediately visible, abuse and neglect can have consequences for children, families, and society that last lifetimes, if not generations.”
Not all abused children grow up to become physical and mental wrecks, a number of them, at least outwardly, appear to have shaken off the detrimental effects of child abuse. Why is this so? It may have to do with the coping skills and they inherited and their ability to grow and learn from teachers and others along the way. In other words, those who grew into adulthood with no apparent effects from poor childhood care as opposed to those who carried these scars into adulthood, may have, at first, been better prepared for life from the outset.
Add to that positive influences along the way, grandparents with their nurturing, influential teachers, wholesome playmates, and these help balance out the negative effects of the whippings, the sexual assaults, the verbal abuse, the physical deprivations that they had to endure. Others with an equal amount of childhood neglect and abuse may not have been as fortunate in their DNA, nor in their ability to overcome. Perhaps, their energy levels were not up to par, their ambitions were less, and most importantly, their cognitive skills never had a chance to develop.
Who knows for sure the future. But it is safe to say, that with a well balanced childhood, enough love and caring from mom and pop, and a fairly good educational background, and no childhood abuse that anyone knows of, many of these privileged children grow up to become physically and mentally handicapped. On the surface it does not make sense. How can that be? Bill had everything as a kid, but look what happened to him as a grown man. Careless in every action. Can’t hold a job, is slovenly, rude, a loner, is a black sheep in family of do-gooders and church attendants. What went wrong?
Who knows for sure? When looking in from the outside, the complete picture is never shown. Possibly the child would have done much better had the parents been poor and struggling and having had to make every dollar count. Then there would have been incentive to improve and young Bill would have been motivated enough to climb up by his bootstraps.
All these are generalizations and even though not to think about the problem of childhood neglect and its effect on the adult later on, is not the answer, as denial never is, one must finally come to realize that life and its perplexities are more profound than they appear to be. Even, with that thought in mind, however, the insistence on good wholesome care for the young must continue. Nothing should get in the way of these potential leaders of society being deterred in their first steps toward the wholesome and balanced life society has a right to expect from them.