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What is different between children and adults that cause children to forgive so quickly?

What is different between children and adults that cause children to forgive so quickly?



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Today I observed three children at a birthday party become involved in an extremely serious altercation including the use of (toy) weapons.

Tears were dropping, threats issued, punches and kicks thrown and yet in the space of a few minutes the children had formed a new bond of friendship and were playing contendedly.

It made me consider the wider social impact; what is it that causes teenage/adult human beings to hold personal grievances and grudges for longer periods of time when children seem so willing to forget past transgressions?

I am sure there must be a biological mechanism at work from both the child and adult perspective so if any sociologists, child psychologists or behavioural researchers read this forum it would be great to get a detailed answer.

I suspect similar patterns of behaviour exist in other cub/child/young mammals in social groupings.


The short answer, kids live in the now. They tend to forget everything quickly. A child can be crying about their milk being spilled one moment, and playing the next. They don't think as much about past or future, just what is happening now, and NOW is a big deal. This can cause problems in some ways, but the plus side is they are quickly side tracked from whatever was bothering them before.

They don't hold grudges for the same reason you can make them forget how fun banging on the trashcan or drawing on the wall was. The moment something is out of sight it's quickly forgotten. The offense of 30 seconds ago don't matter, because that was back an eternity ago, and is not NOW.

That 'eternity ago' thing was only half a joke also. It's been argued that children actually experience time different, because of their length of life and perspective. A 2 year old has been alive for a tiny fraction as long as it's parent's have, it has less then a tenth the life experience. However, since they measure time relative to the length of time they have been alive that means that 30 minutes feels like it's 10 times longer to them, because that 30 minutes actually makes up more then 10 times the amount of their life that it does for an adult. If this is true it explains why a 15 minute wait is an eternity to a young child. However, it also means that something that happened a day ago feels like it was weeks ago to a young child. It's easier to forget pass offenses if it feels like they happened in some distant past of time.


I am neither a child psychologists nor a behavioral researcher, but a C++ programmer. Nevertheless I happen to have what I think is not a totally uninformed opinion on the matter, so here's my €0.02:

I think the biological mechanism at work here is intelligence. What children do is what you see among most of the social animals you can watch: dogs, crows, monkeys. They have a conflict (either over some resource or over their standing in the group), fight it out, and once it is solved, they will get along as if nothing ever happened. Only the members of very few, and rather intelligent, species will hold grudges against their peers. The big apes do, elephants do (although not as it is described in the old stories), crows do, dolphins might do. This is because holding grudges require a long-term strategy, long-term goals, and/or a system of morale and ethics.

If someone damaged your standing in the social hierarchy by taking away something from you, then this someone is threatening you climbing up one rung on the social ladder. Improving your place on the social ladder, however, is a long-term project. This is something apes work on for years, and humans work on for decades. You know that this person might forever be in your way if you let it get away with it, so you do need to fight this out. IMO, this is, if you cut it down to the bare bone, what holding grudges is about.

Of course, our societies are very complex even compared to those of the apes (you could switch your job and never run into that person again), and even the great apes have rather complex societies: Frans de Waal, in his book Peacemaking among Primates, describes how males chimpanzees pick their friends according to their political agenda ("If I manage to make Luke my mate, we could dethrone Harold, and while I might not be strong enough to be king myself, if Luke becomes king, he will have to give me a lot of freedom, or I'd side with Luke and dethrone him in turn."), while females stick to their preferences. ("I just don't like Lara. I never liked Lara. I will never like Lara. Lara is a bitch.") So it is not as simple as that. But I believe a lot of this is still in us, and this makes a big difference.

Morale and ethics, too, require intellect. De Waal argues that, to a certain extend, the great apes do have morale principles. He describes a scene where a new chimp was added to the group, and because he didn't know the rules yet (they all have to be indoors before anyone gets their evening meal), he caused everybody having to wait for their dinner. Knowing their chimps, once he was inside, in order to protect him, the humans overseeing the colony separated the one who caused the delay. However, they were very surprised that this didn't spare the poor chap a severe beating by the whole group when they met outside the next morning - because they remembered that the one individual did them wrong. IMO this is a perfect example of a scene that children up to a certain age will mostly have forgotten about in the morning, so they never act on what happened last night, let alone longer ago.

IIRC, human children only begin to overtake chimps intellectually when they are three or four. And, as I said before, our societies are much more complex than those of the other apes. So children have a lot to learn until they are able to have their own web of morale believes that resembles the one adult members of their society have. Until then, they just do not have enough knowledge to understand that someone did them wrong by their society's standards, or even to act upon that knowledge.

Of course, this is just one angle to look at the problem from, but it's the one that came to my mind immediately when I read your question. I am, however, very interested in what others will have to say about the issue.

P.S.: For a very interesting different angle on apes vs. other social animals I suggest Mark Rowlands' The Philosopher and the Wolf. (You do not have to be a dog lover to find this interesting.)


My personal theory about this is that this is about the seriousness of the conflict, and how you emotionally handle it.

Sharing and taking turns is hard, it is one of the key skills we want pre-schoolers to learn. It involves and understanding of not only other kids desire and right to have that fulfilled, but also an understanding of something that may happen in the future - it will be my turn next.

As adults, these things are easy to understand, we have mastered this along time ago.

Imagine in an office, you have a pinball machine to use on breaks. Well, one day, I really want to use it, but so does Paul and Sally. Do I push them out of the way, or start crying? No, I simply say tell them to let me know when they are done, since I would like to play.

Similarly, if I am in a meeting and people do not agree with my solution, but likes Paul's better, I might feel some annoyance or anger. However, I might point out how if we incorporate ideas from my solution, it will end up better overall. This is conflict resolution.

There is no need for tears and drama and pushing people away - but I might feel a brief disappointment in having to wait for the pinball machine, but a moment later it is gone. I might be upset that people don't agree with my solution, but in the end I understand why the solution picked was the best.

I think these are simply the same emotions and reactions that kids feel when sharing toys, they just don't have the capability handle them yet. The result is still to move on, and they kids have learned how to resolve a conflict.

Now, if Paul and Sally ALWAYS used the pinball machine on every break, I might end up bearing a grudge. If one of the kids playing always wanted the 'best' toy, I bet you would see a grudge too. I have had my 4 year old tell me:"A' hit me today', while laughing, since he and 'A' usually play well together, it was a one time thing. Then he has also said: 'I don't like playing with 'B', he hits and doesn't listen when I tell him to stop. '

So I think the key here is not the expression and scale of the emotions and reactions, which the kids are in process of learning, but the seriousness of the actual issue.


Children have short memories. They can't remember that their "friend" of this moment was someone who hit them a few minutes ago.

They also have limited understanding of cause and effect. Most adults will "attack" each other (verbally or otherwise) for a reason. Young children don't understand that, and even if and when they hit each other, there's usually no reason or motivating force behind it.

This has a biological basis in children and adolescence, the underdevelopment of the pre-frontal cortex specifically, and an imblance in the development of thinking processes, generally.


When Mother Wants More Contact

Susan was beside herself. Her 34-year-old daughter, Isabel, who lived in another state, just had her first baby and wanted Susan and her husband to wait a month before visiting their new grandson. Susan had been seeing me for three years when she came into her session overwhelmed with feelings:

“I can’t believe this. You know how I’ve been so excited about going to visit Isabel and the baby and helping out. I assumed she would need me as soon as the baby arrived. I know she can bristle when I give her my opinions or suggestions about things. But I figured she doesn’t know anything about babies, so this was going to be different. Finally, she would let me be a mother.”

I asked Susan why she thought Isabel wanted her to wait. Susan let out a huge sigh and responded:

“I guess I should have anticipated this. Since she left home for college, she’s been keeping me at a distance. When I worried about her in college, she would take forever to respond to my contacts. I remember explaining that it’s a mother’s job to be concerned and she told me it made her feel like I don’t think she can take care of herself and I need to stop. She was partly right. I still don’t think she knows how to be a mother to a newborn and should welcome my input. But I fooled myself about this. I suppose I need to feel like I’m valued as a mother, and I do get worried that she is too independent and will get herself into trouble.”

I reminded Susan that she has been talking with me for some time about how distressed she is about Isabel. When she first came to see me, she was overwhelmed with anxiety that Isabel was about to make a mistake and marry Jake. She was hurt and angry that she had been given no clue that the relationship had progressed to the point of engagement. I recalled that early in our work she had told me she didn’t know why Isabel kept her out of the loop on everything, and I reminded her that we have been looking at that question in our work. Then I asked, “What have you come to understand about this?”

Susan shook her head sadly. “I know, I know. Isabel has to live her own life. Jake turned out to be great. I have to remember that my anxiety about Isabel’s life is about my own needs to feel like a good mother. When she was younger, I felt we were two peas in a pod and I always knew exactly what was right for her. That made me feel like a good mom. Now, she has such a different life from mine that I don’t always know who she is or how to be her mom.”

I recognized how painful this was for Susan, who wanted to feel like a good mother and desirable grandmother. I thought it important to remind her that lately she has been doing a good job thinking about what Isabel wants and being less intrusive. I told her I knew it was difficult to wait for Isabel to ask her on rare occasions for advice. I also hypothesized that perhaps becoming a grandmother triggered her feelings of wanting to be a good mother/grandmother and she was reverting to old patterns of wanting to be involved on her terms, not Isabel’s.

Hopefully, Susan will have an opportunity when she visits Isabel to practice what is so difficult to do: not attempt to influence Isabel’s thoughts and feelings. She knows the more she can admire and recognize Isabel’s differences, the more likely Isabel will learn to see her as uncritical and not controlling. Susan is working on this.

When mom and her little girl spend their early years thinking of each other as the same, the daughter’s seeking to separate can become a painful process for both. If the daughter wants to remain the child and not venture into the grown-up world, the mother who sees this as problematic faces the dilemma of how to help launch her daughter without creating feelings of abandonment and rejection. When the mother finds separation painful, she has to learn how to give her daughter space so they can attach in a new way.

Mother and daughter ultimately have to understand that being separate and different, rather than the same and enmeshed, facilitates a stronger experience of attachment: When you are the same or one, the relationship is symbiotic, with no space between the two. When you are two separate, distinct people, there is a space within which each can attach to the other. That may be the best contact of all.

Note: To protect privacy, names in the preceding article have been changed and the dialogues described are a composite.


AETIOLOGY AND RISK FACTORS FOR CHILDREN’S BEHAVIOURAL AND EMOTIONAL DISORDERS

The exact causes of various childhood EBPs are unknown. Several studies have identified various combinations of genetic predisposition and adverse environmental factors that increase the risk of developing any of these disorders. These include perinatal, maternal, family, parenting, socio-economic and personal risk factors[53]. Table ​ Table7 7 summarizes the evidence for various risk factors associated with development of childhood EBPs.

Table 7

Summary of common risk factors for development of childhood emotional and behavioural disorder

DomainCharacteristic examplesRef.
Maternal psychopathology (mental health status)Low maternal education, one or both parents with depression, antisocial behaviour, smoking, psychological distress, major depression or alcohol problems, an antisocial personality, substance misuse or criminal activities, teenage parental age, marital conflict, disruption or violence, previous abuse as a child and single (unmarried status)[4,54]
Adverse perinatal factorsMaternal gestational moderate alcohol drinking, smoking and drug use, early labour onset, difficult pregnancies, premature birth, low birth weight, and infant breathing problems at birth[55,56]
Poor child-parent relationshipsPoor parental supervision, erratic harsh discipline, parental disharmony, rejection of the child, and low parental involvement in the child’s activities, lack of parental limit setting[57,58]
Adverse family lifeDysfunctional families where domestic violence, poor parenting skills or substance abuse are a problem, lead to compromised psychological parental functioning, increased parental conflict, greater harsh, physical, and inconsistent discipline, less responsiveness to children’s needs, and less supportive and involved parenting[59]
Household tobacco exposureSeveral studies have shown a strong exposure–response association between second-hand smoke exposure and poor childhood mental health[60,61]
Poverty and adverse socio-economic environmentPersonal and community poverty signs including homelessness, low socio-economic status, overcrowding and social isolation, and exposure to toxic air, lead, and/or pesticides or early childhood malnutrition often lead to poor mental health development Chronic stressors associated with poverty such as single-parenthood, life stress, financial worries, and ever-present challenges cumulatively compromise parental psychological functioning, leading to higher levels of distress, anxiety, anger, depressive symptoms and substance use in disadvantaged parents.[62-66]
Chronic stressors in children also lead to abnormal behaviour pattern of ‘reactive responding’ characterized by chronic vigilance, emotional reacting and sense of powerlessness
Early age of onsetEarly starters are likely to experience more persistent and chronic trajectory of antisocial behaviours[67-69]
Physically aggressive behaviour rarely starts after age 5
Child’s temperamentChildren with difficult to manage temperaments or show aggressive behaviour from an early age are more likely to develop disruptive behavioural disorders later in life[70-72]
Chronic irritability, temperament and anxiety symptoms before the age of 3 yr are predictive of later childhood anxiety, depression, oppositional defiant disorder and functional impairment
Developmental delay and Intellectual disabilitiesUp to 70% of preschool children with DBD are more than 4 times at risk of developmental delay in at least one domain than the general population[15,73]
Children with intellectual disabilities are twice as likely to have behavioural disorders as normally developing children
Rate of challenging behaviour is 5% to 15% in schools for children with severe learning disabilities but is negligible in normal schools
Child’s genderBoys are much more likely than girls to suffer from several DBD while depression tends to predominantly affect more girls than boys[24,25,27,47,51]
Unlike the male dominance in childhood ADHD and ASD, PDA tends to affect boys and girls equally

ADHD: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ASD: Autistic spectrum disorder DBD: Disruptive behaviour disorder PDA: Pathological demand avoidance.

There is ample evidence supporting the genetic inheritability of many EBDs in CYP from their parents. From a prospective study of 209 parents along with their 331 biological offsprings, moderate inheritability (r = 0.23, P < 0.001) between parental and offspring CD was found[74]. Anxiety seems to be transmissible from mothers to their preschool children, through both genetic factors and also through behaviour modelling and an anxious style of parenting[6].

A developmental taxonomy theory has been proposed by Patterson et al[75] to help understand the mechanisms underlying early onset and course of CPs. They described the vicious cycle of non-contingent parental responses to both prosocial and antisocial child behaviour leading to the inadvertent reinforcement of child behaviour problems. Parents’ engagement in 𠇌oercive cycles” lead to children learning the functional value of their aversive behaviours (e.g., physical aggression) for escape and avoidance from unwanted interactions, ultimately leading to the use of heightened aversive behaviours from both the child and parents to obtain social goals. This adverse child behavioural training combined with social rejection often lead to deviant peer affiliation and delinquency in adolescence[76].


Dive deeper

Since tantrums and meltdowns are so different, you need to handle them in different ways. With tantrums, it helps to acknowledge what your child wants without giving in. With meltdowns, find a safe, quiet place for your child to calm down.

Also, it’s important to know if there’s something behind your child’s difficulties. Try to look for patterns in behavior and talk to your child’s teacher and medical provider.

Come up with a signal for when your child is getting frustrated.

Take a time-out for yourself when it’s safe to leave your child.

Challenging behavior in the classroom is hard for everyone. But when kids are having a meltdown, they really can’t control it. And afterward, they often feel bad about it. It may be difficult in the moment, but try to respond with empathy .

Work closely with your student’s family. Describe what you see in class and find out what’s been happening at home. You may also be able to share with each other strategies that have worked at home and in school.

Validate your student’s feelings — there’s no right or wrong feeling.

Learn about functional assessments for behavior challenges.

Give behavior-specific praise to help increase self-esteem.

Knowing the triggers for your sensory meltdowns — crowded places, certain food smells, bright lights — helps you take steps to avoid them. You can also think about where you can go to calm yourself if you start feeling overwhelmed.

You may be able to get accommodations at school or at work to help you avoid triggers. These are changes to the environment around you that remove barriers to doing your best work.

For example, you might be able to sit in a quiet place to take tests. Or maybe you can work in an area that has less noise or fewer people. Learn more about accommodations at school , college , and work .


5. Ignored Boundaries

Last but not least is the refusal of the older generation to respect the boundaries of the child/parent relationship. Because disordered minds struggle to understand boundaries, I believe this reason is better explained with examples.

  • Prying into your child&aposs finances and/or offering unsolicited financial advice is overstepping.
  • Insisting on being present for the birth of a grandchild is wrong. Nobody but the mother-to-be and her birthing staff have the right to be in the room.
  • Giving undergarments and sex toys as gifts is inappropriate. Doing this is crossing more boundaries than I have time to list.
  • Stop insisting on spending all holidays with your adult child and behaving badly if it doesn&apost happen. You&aposre an adult, for goodness sake, quit acting like a child.
  • Quit demanding "alone time" with your adult child away from their significant other. Sure it&aposs nice, but as I mentioned with grandchildren, your insistence on such is downright creepy and concerning.
  • Discussing your marital troubles with your adult child is wrong and crosses so many hill-to-die-on boundaries. Tell it to your best friend, or may I recommend a therapist? Whatever you do, don&apost discuss it with your child.
  • Criticizing clothing choices, hairstyles, companions, careers, religion or lack thereof, parenting styles, and the like is crossing boundaries. It is an utter and complete disrespect for your children&aposs right to choose what is best for themselves.

A majority of boundary crossing is rooted in a parents&apos inability to believe in their children. Ask yourself, "Why would my child make a bad choice? Did I not teach him the tools needed to make good decisions?" If your immediate response to is to think, "I did teach them to make good decisions but they&aposve made so many bad ones in the past," your inability to accept your role in their repeated bad decisions is having severely adverse effects on your relationship.

At some point, the older generation must trust they have raised their children to make good decisions and respect those decisions. If you can&apost do this, you need to work out why with a therapist. In the meantime, keep your opinions to yourself and stop trying to "save them" or "fix" things. You&aposre only making it worse, I promise.

They had been maligning me my whole life. . . not in a way of telling people I was a horrible person but making it seem as if I was a poor, befuddled soul, a hapless idiot, borderline mentally disturbed, a pathetic loser. None of this was true. It never was. Once I got away, my life got so much better. Oh, so much.

— Anonymous, r/raisedbynarcissists, Reddit.com


Biden continues to use Title 42, a Trump-era immigration policy. But he's made one key change.

The footage was released by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection as media has been denied access to border facilities. USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden undid several of Donald Trump's hardline immigration policies since being inaugurated earlier this year. But the Biden administration continues to use one COVID-19-era policy that is causing the majority of migrants to be turned away at the border: Title 42.

Title 42, issued by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, allows Customs and Border Protection to expel undocumented migrants to prevent the spread of the virus in holding facilities. The policy began last March under the Trump administration at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

The policy has been getting attention lately as the administration grapples with the increasing numbers of unaccompanied migrant children seeking asylum at the border, where thousands of children are being held in government facilities. It's caused an uproar on Capitol Hill with Democrats and Republicans criticizing the administration for its handling of what some call a "crisis" at the border.

A group of 19 Republican senators are expected to visit the border in the Rio Grande Valley on Friday.

Although both the Biden and Trump administrations have used Title 42, there are key differences in how it’s being implemented, something the White House has pointed out.

Biden's Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Sunday the prior administration used the policy “far differently than we are using it now.”

“We have made a decision that we can address the public health imperative while addressing the humanitarian needs of vulnerable children,” Mayorkas said.

A group of migrant families from Guatemala rest as they wait at an intake area set up by the U.S. government in Roma, Texas, on Wednesday. (Photo: Dario Lopez-Mills, AP)

The key difference between the two administrations’ implementation of the policy: unaccompanied children.

Under the Trump administration, almost every migrant coming to the U.S.-Mexico border was turned away, including children. While adults would typically be expelled to Mexico, children were often put up in hotels and then sent back to their home countries.

The Biden administration, on the other hand, has begun admitting migrant children into the U.S., while expelling most families and single adults. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said a small, limited number of families have been accepted into the U.S.

Psaki and other administration officials have repeatedly said it would be inhumane and dangerous to turn away children.

“Children presenting at our border who are fleeing violence, who are fleeing prosecution, who are fleeing terrible situations, is not a crisis,” Psaki said Monday. “We feel that it is our responsibility to humanely approach this circumstance and make sure they are treated and put into conditions that are safe.”

The White House says it's "working to finalize details" of a plan to allow press access to the southern border facilities where migrants are being held. Press secretary Jen Psaki again refused to call the migrant surge at the border a crisis. (March 22) AP Domestic

The policy has been criticized by immigration activists and was condemned by Vice President Kamala Harris under the Trump administration. Harris was one of 10 senators last year who signed a letter to then-acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf asking for information on the policy’s implementation.

“A public health crisis does not give the Executive Branch a free pass to violate constitutional rights, nor does it give the Executive Branch permission to operate outside of the law,” the letter said. “Responding to crises while upholding our legal obligations is the very hallmark to the rule of law.”

On Wednesday, Biden announced Harris will now lead the administration's efforts to stem migration.

"While we are clear that people should not come to the border now, we . must address the root causes that cause people to make the trek," Vice President Kamala Harris says. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images)

Title 42 has been challenged legally. Last year, immigrant rights activists challenged the policy, with some saying unaccompanied minors have special rights under anti-trafficking legislation, said Nicole Hallett, director of the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic at the University of Chicago Law School.

A district court sided with the activists and ordered the Trump administration to begin accepting unaccompanied minors. However, the ruling went to the Court of Appeals, where it stayed the lower court ruling while it considered the merits of the appeal, Hallett said.

“Up until the end of the Trump administration, minors were still getting expelled under Title 42 just like everybody else,” Hallett said. “Essentially what the Biden administration has done is, has decided to follow this court order even though it doesn't have to legally.”

Mayorkas said Sunday the Biden administration is using the policy as “intended.”

“We are using it as a Title 42 authority was intended, and not as a bludgeoning tool under immigration law that the prior president used,” Mayorkas said.

Trump implemented several hardline immigration policies, including the Migrant Protection Protocols, also known as “Remain in Mexico,” which forced migrants to wait for U.S. immigration hearings in Mexico. It also had a “zero-tolerance” policy that led to the separation of parents and children at the border.

Under the Trump administration, the Department of Homeland Security was supposed to consult with the CDC on how to make case-by-case exceptions to the policy, said Kristie De Peña, vice president for policy and director of immigration at the Niskanen Center, a think tank that advocates for immigration reform, among other policies.

Despite that, De Peña noted the Trump administration was turning away the majority of migrants coming to the U.S.-Mexico border.

Rep. John Katko, R-N.Y., addresses the press during a congressional delegation visit to the border in El Paso, Texas, on March 15. (Photo: Justin Hamel, AFP via Getty Images)

But the Biden administration's change in policy has also left them grappling with how to address the influx of unaccompanied migrant children at the border.

The White House has said it will not turn away unaccompanied children. But a small number of families are also being accepted if they have young children under the age of six. Psaki said Monday that Mexico doesn't have the capabilities to hold some of those families, so they are "processed, tested, considered at the border" in the U.S.

"Most of them are sent back to their home countries," Psaki said.

The increased number of children being accepted into the U.S. has led to overcrowding in short-term, jail-like facilities run by Customs and Border Protection. The Biden administration has struggled to quickly move children out of those facilities and into facilities ran by Health and Human Services. Children are supposed to be moved out of CBP facilities within 72 hours by law.

The Biden administration is now trying to quickly open new facilities to help transfer children out of the CBP facilities, which Psaki has noted were "not made for children."

In October, November and December, U.S. Border Patrol apprehended fewer than 5,000 unaccompanied minors per month. But that number rose to 5,700 in January, and climbed again to nearly 9,300 in February.

As of Thursday, Health and Human Services had 11,900 unaccompanied minors in its care, while another 5,156 children were in CBP custody.

The Department of Health and Human Services released photos Tuesday that showcased some of the conditions in the short-term facilities. In a video of a CBP overflow facility in Donna, Texas, children can be seen getting medical check-ups, as well as lining up for food. The video also shows children sleeping on mats with foil blankets.

This March 20, 2021, photo provided by the Office of Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, shows detainees in a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) temporary overflow facility in Donna, Texas. Cuellar said he released the photos in part because the administration has refused media access to the Donna tent. (Photo: Office of Rep. Henry Cuellar via AP)

A separate video from an overflow facility in El Paso showed similar conditions, with children seen getting a health screening and some children sleeping on mats with foil blankets. The video also showed some children eating and watching a movie, as well as some children outside exercising.

With migrant children arriving at the border and the coronavirus pandemic still underway, it’s unclear when the administration will end the use of the controversial policy.

“I expect that decision will be made with our health team in the lead, and in coordination with the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Homeland Security,” Psaki told reporters Tuesday when asked when they will reevaluate Title 42.

“Obviously, we’re still in the middle of a pandemic, 1,400 people are still dying in our country every day,” she added. “I don’t think we’re at that point in the process.”

De Peña said the Biden Administration will likely keep the Title 42 policy in place as the administration tries to figure out a better way to process larger groups of asylum seekers and families.

"In the interim, we need to handle the processing of unaccompanied minors and get the funding to do so," she said. "That's a critical part of it."


Facts About Developmental Disabilities

Developmental disabilities are a group of conditions due to an impairment in physical, learning, language, or behavior areas. These conditions begin during the developmental period, may impact day-to-day functioning, and usually last throughout a person&rsquos lifetime. 1

Developmental Milestones

Skills such as taking a first step, smiling for the first time, and waving &ldquobye-bye&rdquo are called developmental milestones. Children reach milestones in how they play, learn, speak, behave, and move (for example, crawling and walking).

Children develop at their own pace, so it&rsquos impossible to tell exactly when a child will learn a given skill. However, the developmental milestones give a general idea of the changes to expect as a child gets older.

As a parent, you know your child best. If your child is not meeting the milestones for his or her age, or if you think there could be a problem with the way your child plays, learns, speaks, acts, and moves talk to your child&rsquos doctor and share your concerns. Don&rsquot wait. Acting early can make a real difference!

Developmental Monitoring and Screening

A child&rsquos growth and development are followed through a partnership between parents and health care professionals. At each well-child visit, the doctor looks for developmental delays or problems and talks with the parents about any concerns the parents might have. This is called developmental monitoring.

Any problems noticed during developmental monitoring should be followed up with developmental screening. Developmental screening is a short test to tell if a child is learning basic skills when he or she should, or if there are delays.

If a child has a developmental delay, it is important to get help as soon as possible. Early identification and intervention can have a significant impact on a child&rsquos ability to learn new skills, as well as reduce the need for costly interventions over time.

Causes and Risk Factors

Developmental disabilities begin anytime during the developmental period and usually last throughout a person&rsquos lifetime. Most developmental disabilities begin before a baby is born, but some can happen after birth because of injury, infection, or other factors.

Most developmental disabilities are thought to be caused by a complex mix of factors. These factors include genetics parental health and behaviors (such as smoking and drinking) during pregnancy complications during birth infections the mother might have during pregnancy or the baby might have very early in life and exposure of the mother or child to high levels of environmental toxins, such as lead. For some developmental disabilities, such as fetal alcohol syndrome, which is caused by drinking alcohol during pregnancy, we know the cause. But for most, we don&rsquot.

Following are some examples of what we know about specific developmental disabilities:

  • At least 25% of hearing loss among babies is due to maternal infections during pregnancy, such as cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection complications after birth and head trauma.
  • Some of the most common known causes of intellectual disability include fetal alcohol syndrome genetic and chromosomal conditions, such as Down syndrome and fragile X syndrome and certain infections during pregnancy.
  • Children who have a sibling with autism are at a higher risk of also having autism spectrum disorder.
  • Low birthweight, premature birth, multiple birth, and infections during pregnancy are associated with an increased risk for many developmental disabilities.
  • Untreated newborn jaundice (high levels of bilirubin in the blood during the first few days after birth) can cause a type of brain damage known as kernicterus. Children with kernicterus are more likely to have cerebral palsy, hearing and vision problems, and problems with their teeth. Early detection and treatment of newborn jaundice can prevent kernicterus.

The Study to Explore Early Development (SEED) is a multiyear study funded by CDC. It is currently the largest study in the United States to help identify factors that may put children at risk for autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disabilities.

Who Is Affected

Developmental disabilities occur among all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. Recent estimates in the United States show that about one in six, or about 17%, of children aged 3 through 17 years have one or more developmental disabilities, such as:

For over a decade, CDC&rsquos Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network has been tracking the number and characteristics of children with autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, and intellectual disability in several diverse communities throughout the United States.

Living With a Developmental Disability

Children and adults with disabilities need health care and health programs for the same reasons anyone else does&mdashto stay well, active, and a part of the community.

Having a disability does not mean a person is not healthy or that he or she cannot be healthy. Being healthy means the same thing for all of us&mdashgetting and staying well so we can lead full, active lives. That includes having the tools and information to make healthy choices and knowing how to prevent illness. Some health conditions, such as asthma, gastrointestinal symptoms, eczema and skin allergies, and migraine headaches, have been found to be more common among children with developmental disabilities. Thus, it is especially important for children with developmental disabilities to see a health care provider regularly.

CDC does not study education or treatment programs for people with developmental disabilities, nor does it provide direct services to people with developmental disabilities or to their families. However, CDC has put together a list of resources for people affected by developmental disabilities.


8 Toxic Ways Narcissistic Mothers Emotionally Abuse Their Children

Our mothers are the foundation of our first attachment to the world. As infants, we learn by her example how to bond with others. We derive our initial sense of our self-worth from how she cares for us, nurtures us, protects and shields us from harm.

A mother&rsquos capacity to provide us with a healthy attachment, to tune into our emotions, validate our pain, and meet our basic needs has a fundamental impact on our development, attachment styles, and emotional regulation (Brumariu & Kerns, 2010). When this initial attachment is instead tarnished by psychological violence, it can leave scars that can take a lifetime to heal. Emotional and verbal abuse by a parent can hinder our learning, memory, decision-making and impulse control in adulthood it can also heighten our risk for anxiety, suicidal ideation, addiction,and depression (Bremner, 2006 Teicher, 2006 Brumariu & Kerns, 2008).

An abusive, narcissistic mother sets up her daughters and sons for inevitable danger due to the nature of her disorder. Her insatiable need for control, excessive sense of entitlement, stunning lack of empathy, tendency towards interpersonal exploitation and constant need for attention overrides the welfare of her children (McBride, 2013).

Not only does the narcissistic mother fail to protect us early on from the terrors of the outside world, she becomes the sourceof our terror. Rather than affection, we are exposed to unhealthy enmeshment, chronic rage, and egregious boundary-breaking. Narcissistic parenting distorts our self-perception instead of being given the building blocks of a healthy self-esteem, we internalize a nagging inner critic and a perpetual sense of self-doubt (Walker, 2013).

The narcissistic mothers erratic shift in emotions, her ever-conditional love, her constant shaming tactics and her ruthless comparisons terrorize us, creating a persistent sense of anxiety where safety and security should be.

What toxic parentsallhave in common is their inability to provide their children with a safe, nurturing, and loving environment. If they are narcissistically abusive, they are without empathy and sometimes even conscience. This type of ruthless behavior has a damaging impact on our early development as well as the way we navigate the world as adults.

The narcissistic mother engages in the following toxic behaviors:

1. She chronically shames her children.

Shaming is a tactic the narcissistic mother uses to ensure that her children never develop a stable sense of identity or self-esteem to ensure that they never grow independent enough outside of seeking her validation or approval. She shames her children for not accomplishing enough academically, socially, professionally and personally. She shames them for their choice of career, partner, friends, lifestyle, their manner of dress, their personality, their preferences &ndash all of these and more come under the scrutiny of the narcissistic mother. She shames her children for acting with any sense of agency because it threatens her sense of control and power. By doing so, she instills in them a sense of never being good enough, no matter what they achieve.

2. She sets up damaging comparisons among her children as well as their peers.

Like any narcissist, the narcissistic mother engages in triangulation manufacturing triangles among her children and even their peers. She destructively compares her children to their peers, teaching them that they fall short in terms of looks, personality, obedient behavior, and accomplishments. She unfairly pits two or more siblings against one another, always asking, Why cant you be more like your sister or your brother? She stirs up competition, drama, and chaos. She might make one child a golden child (doting upon them excessively) while making the other a scapegoat. This form of devaluation can leave a painful imprint it causes her children to compare themselves to others as a way to evaluate their self-worth.

3. She treats her children as extensions of her.

The narcissistic mother micromanages and exerts an excessive level of control over the way her children act and look to the public. Her children are objects and must be pristine and polished in every way, lest their reputation or appearance taint her own. Though she criticizes them and treats them with contempt behind closed doors, in public she shows her children off as if they were prized possessions. She brags about how little Timmy always gets straight As and how her darling Stacy is the prettiest little girl in town. Yet behind closed doors, she is pouncing on Timmy with reprimands about what he has yet to accomplish and picking on Stacys weight.

4.She competes with her children, disrupts their transition to adulthood and crosses sexual boundaries.

It is common for narcissistic mothers to compete with their children, especially their own daughters. The narcissistic mother is likely to overvalue her own looks and sexual prowess. Female narcissists exhibit internalized misogyny and often view other females as competition. The daughter is thus looked upon with fury, jealousy,and envy her own offspring is viewed as a threat.

As a result, she may devalue her daughters appearance, criticize her body and shame her. On the other hand, some narcissistic mothers will objectify their daughters and demand physical perfection. She may expose her daughters to inappropriate discussions about sex or flaunt her body, placing an emphasis on the value of appearances. She might teach her daughters and sons that a woman derives value from her body and her ability to please men sexually. If the narcissistic mother has histrionic tendencies, she may even seduce the friends of her children to demonstrate her superiority over her younger competition.

In other cultures where sexuality is far more restricted, the narcissistic mother may instead attempt to stifle her daughters burgeoning sexuality and punish her for being anything less than abstinent. She may fail to provide her daughters with the proper education concerning sex and their growing bodies.

5. An obsession with the external, at the expense of her childs needs.

To the narcissistic mother, appearances are everything. She may construct the false image of being a sweet, loving and charitable person to others all while gossiping about others, engaging in petty one-upping and abusing her children emotionally, physically or even sexually. She enjoys the social status of being a mother without doing the actual maternal work.

She shows off her children without properly tending to their basic emotional and psychological needs. To her, how things look is far more important than how they actually are. Depending on her social class, the narcissistic mother may enlist the help of others to care for her children while neglecting to give her children affection or attention when they are around, treating them as nuisances rather than as human beings. She may even be callous and cold to the point where she refuses to touch her children altogether.

6. Engages in horrific boundary-breaking.

At the other end of the spectrum, the narcissistic mother may become so enmeshed with her children and overbearing that she engages in covert emotional incest. She makes her children the center of the world and responsible for fulfilling her emotional needs.

Rather than taking on the responsibilities of being an authority figure and parent, she parentifies her own children, making them feel obligated to cater to her arbitrary desires and expectations. She violates her childrens basic needs for privacy and autonomy, demanding to know every facet of their lives. She might enter their rooms without knocking, read their diaries, and interrogate them constantly about their friends or romantic partners. She keeps her children in a state of perpetual childhood by punishing them for growing up whether that means moving out of the house, getting married, going on a date or becoming aware of their sexuality.

7. Becomes enraged at any perceived threat to her superiority.

The narcissistic mother is not unlike any other narcissist in that she feels entitled to have her way and endures narcissistic injury when this sense of superiority is questioned or threatened in any way. As a result, her emotions tend to be a psychological rollercoaster from start to finish. From the sudden outbursts of rage when you fail to obey her demands to the abrupt love-bombing which occurs when she needs something from her children, there is little consistency in a household with a narcissistic mother. Her children walk on eggshells every day, fearful of encountering their mothers rage and punishment.

8. Emotionally invalidates, guilt-trips and gaslights her children.

A childs reactions to her narcissistic mothers abuse are frequently met with invalidation, shaming and further gaslighting. The narcissistic mother lacks empathy for the feelings of her children and fails to consider their basic needs. A narcissistic mother is prone to telling her children that the abuse never occurred. It is common for the narcissistic mother to claim that her child is being oversensitive or overreacting to horrendous acts of psychological violence.

The narcissistic mother has no qualms about using her emotional outbursts to control and manipulate her children, yet when her children express their emotions, she invalidates them completely. She redirects the focus to her needs and guilt-trips her children at every sign of perceived disobedience. She provokes her children and is sadistically pleased when her put-downs and insults have staying power.

Empathic mothers are attuned to the emotional welfare of their children narcissistic mothers represent a perversion of the maternal instinct.

This article is an excerpt from my new book for children of narcissistic parents, Healing the Adult Children of Narcissists: Essays on The Invisible War Zone.

References Bremner, J. D. (2006). Traumatic stress: effects on the brain.Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience,8(4), 445461.

Brumariu, L. E., & Kerns, K. A. (2010). Parentchild attachment and internalizing symptoms in childhood and adolescence: A review of empirical findings and future directions. Development and Psychopathology, 22(01), 177. doi:10.1017/s0954579409990344

Brumariu, L. E., & Kerns, K. A. (2008). Motherchild attachment and social anxiety symptoms in middle childhood. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 29(5), 393-402. doi:10.1016/j.appdev.2008.06.002

McBride, K. (2013). Will I ever be good enough? Healing the daughters of narcissistic mothers. New York: Atria Paperback.

Miller, A. (2008). The drama of the gifted child: The search for the true self. New York: BasicBooks.

Teicher, M. (2006). Sticks, Stones, and Hurtful Words: Relative Effects of Various Forms of Childhood Maltreatment. American Journal of Psychiatry, 163(6), 993. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.163.6.993

Walker, P. (2013). Complex PTSD: From surviving to thriving. Lafayette, CA: Azure Coyote.

Featured image licensed by Shutterstock.


Selection Effects

The discussion so far has assumed that the associations between parental separation and child outcomes are brought about through causal connections that link the former to the latter. However, it is also possible that the associations arise through non-causal mechanisms in particular, through selection effects. The discussion now turns to an examination of such effects.

Several studies have demonstrated that many of the presumed effects of parental separation on children are evident many years in advance of the actual separation. Block et al. (1986) found the behaviour of boys as early as 11 years prior to parental separation to be characterised by undercontrol of impulse, aggression, and excessive energy. Elliott and Richards (1991) report that children whose parents divorced when they were between seven and 16 years old had worse scores on a range of measures of wellbeing than children whose parents remained married, not only at age 16 (after the separation) but also at age seven.

A question that arises is whether these results reflect the fact that the process of parental separation can take place over a long period (while some families break down quickly, often in spectacular ways with much heat, in other families the process is a longer and slower burn), or whether they result from selection effects (that is to say, some parents bring into a marriage a set of characteristics that are likely both to raise the possibility that the marriage will break down and to heighten the risk of adverse outcomes for their children). There are a number of characteristics that might perform such a role, such as poor mental health, antisocial behaviour and substance dependencies. Parents with such personal difficulties are likely to have greater difficulties both in maintaining stable and enduring intimate relationships and in providing their children with a family environment that is likely to promote their wellbeing. Part of the patterns of association between parental separation and child outcomes might therefore simply reflect the fact that some adults are not well equipped either to perform well as a marriage partner or as a parent. Furstenberg and Teitler (1994) note that:

Families that eventually divorce may be different in a variety of ways from those that do not long before marital disruption occurs. They may be more likely to exhibit poor parenting practices, high levels of marital conflict, or suffer from persistent economic stress . exposure to these conditions may compromise children&rsquos economic, social and psychological wellbeing in later life whether or not a separation takes place.

Sun (2001) found that, compared with parents that remain continuously married, parents who later divorce are more likely to have personal, sexual, psychological or financial problems throughout their marriage, and these problems continue to affect children negatively. Given the persistence of these problems, a separation may actually reduce the stress associated with such problems, resulting in relatively little further damage to child wellbeing.

Emery et al. (1999) found that while children from never-married and divorced families had higher rates of externalising behaviour problems, much of this could be explained by their mothers&rsquo histories of delinquent behaviour in adolescence. In fact, delinquent behaviour reported when future mothers were single, childless adolescents prospectively predicted behaviour problems among their offspring 14 years later.

Thus, it appears that the contribution of divorce and its aftermath to children&rsquos problems in later life is not nearly as great as might be inferred from findings that do not take adequate account of family conditions prior to the separation. Parental separation does not occur randomly, and the causes that underlie it may also be part of the explanation for the apparent impacts on children.


Difference between a Highly Sensitive Person and Borderline Personality Disorder

Dan came into his therapists office convinced his wife had Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). After reading several articles and blogs on the internet, he diagnosed her erratic behavior, heightened sensitivity, occasional outbursts, and mood swings as evidence of BPD. He desperately wanted the therapist to affirm his analysis, confront his wife and make her better.

Having met his wife already, the therapist was not convinced of his perspective. But because he was so insistent, the therapist ran through the BPD checklist as outlined in the DSM-5 with the wife and not Dan. While his wife had some of the characteristics, she did not meet the full standards and had some glaring missing necessities to meet the criteria. However, the discussion of the symptoms did lead to another possibility: a highly sensitive person (HSP).

This is a common mistake made by people who dont understand the difference between the two. While most BPDs and are also HSPs, the reverse is definitely not true. HSPs can even do some BPD behaviors when under the extreme stress of abuse or trauma, but it is not pervasive (in every environment) which is an essential element for BPD. Here are some other areas of similarities and differences:

  • Heightened sensitivity: A common characteristic shared by people with BPD and HSP is an acute awareness of their own emotions and the emotional energy of others. Both feel and sense the full range of each individual emotion. For instance, anger can be felt on a scale from 1 to 100. Whereas others may only feel it from 1 to 10. While both groups are able to sense the emotions of others, a person with BPD actually absorbs the emotion and is unable to separate themselves from that emotion.
  • Love relationships: When a person with BPD or HSP falls in love, they give their entire self over to the other person. The difference is a person with HSP tends to be selfish at the beginning of the relationship, withholding large parts of themselves until they feel safe. A person with BPD dives right in without any hesitation regardless of any warning indicators about the other person.
  • Abandonment: A BPDs intense and pervasive fear of abandonment (whether real or imagined) literally permeates their decision making abilities. This is at the core of a diagnosis of BPD and is wholly necessary. Friends, family, partners, children, and co-workers can all testify to panicky reactions a person with BPD expresses when the fear is activated. A person with HSP might be also be fearful of abandonment and react very emotionally when it happens, but it does not propel them into self-destructive behaviors and is not seen by every person in their sphere.
  • Trauma response: One of the gifts of a person with BPD is the ability to dissociate during traumatic events. This is a survival coping mechanism which comes naturally to BPDs. The ability to step outside of ones self during abuse/trauma allows the ego to stay intact. A person with HSP does not have this ability naturally. When they are met with abuse/trauma they shutdown, have a hard time moving forward, and even harder time forgiving. It is as if their emotions received too much stimulus and need long periods of rest before re-engaging.
  • Depression: While other people may experience depression only a few times in their lives, persons with BPD and HSP experience it with regularity. When BPDs and HSPs discover that they feel deeper than others, this becomes a source of isolation, heaviness, and ultimately alienation. Both groups can become suicidal at times however, only persons with BPD struggle with these thoughts almost daily. To remove the pressure, BPDs tend to self-harm, act impulsive, or engage in high risk behavior. People with HSP tend to be too cautious to engage in this type of behavior as they tend to fear pain of all sorts.
  • Mood swings: The ups of You are the best to the downs of You are the worst person in the world can be very confusing to others. But people with BPD and HSP really do feel these extremes on a regular basis as well as every emotion in between. Sometimes their emotions overtake them so quickly that they are unable to explain the source of the extremity. The big difference is that people with BPD tend to be willing to express themselves in any and all environments regardless of who is present. Whereas people with HSP tend to be more withdrawn in front of others and reserve their mood swings for a few safe people.

Once Dan was shown the differences between BPD and HSP, he eventually came around to agreeing with HSP. While the internet does provide useful information, it is extremely important that a person be properly evaluated by a licensed professional and not self-diagnosed.