Why it's so important to love our kids

October 29, 2012, 11:01 amYahoo!7

Brain scans prove the importance of a parent's love and care for young, developing brains.

Why it s so important to love our kids

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We all know how important it is to love and nurture our kids, but now science can show the physical difference in brains of children when they're subjected to severe neglect.

Severe psychological and physical neglect produces measurable changes in children’s brains, causing significantly smaller gray matter volumes in the cortex of the brain.

Neurologists say that differences between brain scans of three-year old children can be explained by how they were treated in the first two years of life.

Children exposed to strong parenting, a stable household and lots of love show much larger brains with fewer spots and dark areas than children who have suffered abuse and neglect. Abused children generally have brains much smaller and with less gray matter.

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Well nurtured babies and toddlers are more likely to be more intelligent - both emotionally and academically. The trajectory of their neglected friends is a lot sadder - they're more likely to develop social disorders, turn to drug use and be involved in violent crime.

The theory is supported by research from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis from earlier this year. Their research showed children who were nurtured by their mothers developed brains with a larger hippocampus – the part of the brain that is key to learning and memory.

Lead author Dr Joan Luby, professor of child psychiatry says “This study validates something that seems to be intuitive, which is just how important nurturing parents are to creating adaptive human beings”.

Professor Allan Schore of UCLA supports this theory, saying that if a child is the subject of such neglect early in life that it can have a severe effect on brain function and development.

According to the Sunday Telegraph (UK), such is the importance of good care that fundamental areas of the brain stunted by neglect may never develop - even if children are taken into foster care.

However, an earlier study by Boston Children's Hospital on kids in institutional care found that while social deprivation has a measurable effect on brain growth - with decreased grey and white matter among these children - white matter can “catch up” if circumstances improve.

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  1. corrina s10:50am Wednesday 31st October 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    I can't believe you even have to print this article. If people are that bloody stupid that they think they don't have to love their kids and treat them with the utmost care and respect then they shouldn't have children.

  2. Sydney06:09am Tuesday 30th October 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    The scientists says Let the babies cry alone in the room thru day and night. Now the health providers have diagnosed it as neglect and takes it hard on parents. Sick, sick,sick !!

  3. Amy10:26pm Monday 29th October 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    People should have to pass a test to own a pet, then if they can't even look after a rabbit etc they should not be allowed to have kids.

  4. manda07:25pm Monday 29th October 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    My cousin neglected her first born by leaving him in the cot while she smoked weed outside everyday for his first 5 months. Now she thinks he is retarded/autistic because he is behind the other kids in his classes. I hate her so much!! and she keeps popping more kids out so she doesnt have to work. She's pregnant with her 5th right now

  5. pete t05:49pm Monday 29th October 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Your a very SICK person "norm" find some help fast or Ill be after you with a gun!


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