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Guest Thinkers

The End of Childhood?

Has post-industrial capitalism completely destroyed the conditions required for healthy childhood development? Dr. Gabor Maté says today's parents are too stressed out.

The conditions in which children develop have been so corrupted and troubled over the last several decades that the template for normal brain development is no longer present for many, many kids. Dr. Bessel Van der Kolk, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Boston, says that the neglect or abuse of children is the number one public health concern in the United States. A recent study coming out of Notre Dame has shown that the conditions for child development that hunter-gatherer societies provided for their children, which are the optimal conditions for development, are no longer present for our kids. And she says, actually, that the way we raise our children today in this country is increasingly depriving them of the practices that lead to well-being in a moral sense.


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