Saturday, December 7, 2013

Attachment issues in school closures.

        I was recently interviewed by Teri Pecoski from "The Spectator," a local newspaper here in Hamilton, Ontario. Teri and I talked about the potential impact of school closures on the children/youths and families that are effected. We had an in-depth conversation that touched on neurobiology and the impact of school socialization on the developing mind of children and adolescents. You can read the full story here, School closures can draw raw emotions out.

The bottom line is this, schools are important — they are not simply a place, bricks and mortar where kids go to learn. Humans are social creatures, ours mind have evolutionarily developed this way. From a young age many of us are socialized to the culture of going to school, developing an understanding of themselves, expectations, and social contracts. This socialization has a huge impact on the identity of children as they expand their attachment network to include peers, teachers, and other school staff members.

Most important to consider is that as children age into their adolescents, their peers become the most important attachment figures in their lives. No longer do most teens look toward their parents to meet their attachment needs, they look toward their peers to meet these needs and long for acceptance. Closure of a school could mean that this social fabric gets pulled, some may view this as turbulent and difficult time, rife with uncertainty, whereas another may view this school closure with excitement, an opportunity to expand their peer group and meet new people. Parents can play a an important role in this, a parent with a strong awareness of their own feelings and reactions in these situations can greatly influence their children's response.

Enjoy the article!

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