Marc Hauser on Building Resilience

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Building boys’ resilience can help them thrive, says Marc Hauser. 

Even if they’ve experienced a lot of adversity.

“Adversity experienced by children is not a rare event, but a relatively common event,” says Marc, author of Vulnerable Minds: The Harms of Childhood Trauma & the Hope of ResilienceAdverse childhood experiences (ACEs) may include abuse, violence, neglect, poverty, and loss of a caregiver, and these experiences can negatively affect kids’ development.

But although research linking ACEs to behavioral problems and decreased academic achievement has been around for more than two decades, many adults still do not understand that adverse experiences may be at the root of children’s behavioral issues. Boys who act up (or out) at school, at home, or in the community are frequently met with punishment, not understanding.

Shifting your mindset from What’s wrong with you? to What happened to you? What’s happening? can be “transformative,” Marc says.

The 5 Ts (& How They Impact ACEs)

All adverse experiences are not equal. There are 5 Ts that can impact a child’s adverse experiences:

Type  – Poverty may impact a child differently than sexual abuse or loss of a caregiver, for instance.

Tenure  – How long is the child exposed to the adverse experience? Is it relatively fleeting, or a persistent issue over many months or years?

Timing – When, during the child’s development, did they experience an adverse event? Some ACEs are particularly impactful if they occur during specific phases of development.

Toxicity  — This describes the severity of the event. Broadly speaking, severe physical abuse is typically more impactful than mild physical abuse.

Turbulence – How unpredictable and uncontrollable is the event?

In this episode, Jen, Janet, & Marc discuss:
  • Prevalence of ACEs
  • How exposure to trauma affects parents & their parenting practices
  • ACEs impact on males
  • The COVID pandemic’s impact on boys
  • Strategies boys (& others) can use to mitigate the impact of ACEs
Links we mentioned (or should have) in this episode:

Vulnerable Minds: The Harms of Childhood Trauma & the Hope of Resilience, by Marc Hauser — Marc’s website

“Whole Child, Whole Life” with Stephanie Malia Krauss — ON BOYS episode

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) & Muscle Dysphoria — ON BOYS episode

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