I was reading a synopsis of research on childhood development alterations of the nervous system that would help predict later life stress induced illness. It was confirmed some years ago that children having adverse in-utero or childhood experiences would have permanent, negative changes in their nervous systems. These changes would lower stress tolerance and make the person more likely to have over arousal health problems. Here is the new research confirmed through multiple, large scale studies: how a child’s nervous system develops is not only based on what happens to them but even more importantly what does not happen. A family can look stress free and fairly normal but unless certain stages of the child's development are addressed the nervous system will not develop properly. Here is one I found very interesting, if parents are able to provide the child with consistent positive feelings these produce chemicals that promote cellular brain growth. At some stages children are producing several billion new neuronal connections per minute. If parents are anxious, detached, absent or not capable of providing the required emotions the child's emotional and stress systems will be impaired. And here is one stated as critical: babies are unable to self regulate many internal processes, including blood pressure, heart rate, hormone production etc. They require the cathexis (physical & emotional bonding) to teach their bodies how to self regulate. Through mirror neurons or some other unknown process just as the child shared the mothers physiology in utero we now know that even after birth the child remains connected to both parents internal systems for self-regulation....primarily the mothers. There is no doubt that outright neglect or abuse causes damage but for the first time it is understood that a distracted, emotionally labile, stressed, anxious, ill, over committed, self-involved or absent parents alter the child's ability to self regulate in permanent ways. While this lessens as the child ages any absence of the parent, especially the mother in the first 6 years creates developmental problems. This absence can be physical or emotional. With many parents working full time the child is disconnected from critical developmental steps necessary for a healthy nervous and emotional system. It was also found that care-giving by relatives did not provide the connections then child needs – it only occurred with a fully involved, emotionally stable and available parent. While fathers can be adequate physical primary care parents it is the mother that shares certain DNA strands with the child that was found to be most critical in nervous system development. Simply children need a stable, fully involved mother, in the home or with them until around the age of six. At this age the father starts providing more of the neuronal development through independent exploration, problem solving, physical activity, self esteem through life potency and skills development. Children who lack these developmental necessities are more prone to illness, less stress hardy, lack certain life skills and can suffer psychological difficulties.