How Healthy Parenting Can Shift Early Childhood Experiences

Jul 17, 2018

On what the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACEs) is

The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACEs) is a research study by the American health maintenance organization Kaiser Permanente and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a hypothesis and a study that helps us understand how early childhood experiences can affect our health later on in life. 

On how ACEs can inspire action in Northeast Louisiana

The study helps us to understand how we can heal our communities through information. It will also help [parents] decide in parenting practices. Parents will learn how to understand early childhood development from birth to age five.

On how adverse childhood experiences are passed down generationally

In the State of Louisiana, we have a high child abuse and neglect rate, but there are also families that are mandated to come in for services. The ACEs study resonates throughout their lives through early childhood experiences. These parenting practices have also been passed down from generation-to-generation. 

For example, if a mother has been exposed to domestic violence, the environment that she and her children are in would receive an ACE score of 1. More than likely, her children will go on to experience abuse or experience domestic violence just by exposure. 

On risk factors for abuse

In my opinion, some of the biggest risk factors are poverty, drug abuse, homelessness, and depression. Most importantly, statistically, we have more neglect than physical abuse. Neglect is the biggest issue because if [a parent] is on drugs, depressed, or homeless they’re not in a position to parent properly. 

On resources are available to parents and new parents

New parents can benefit from learning early childhood development and knowing about the environment that your children are raised in. Knowing what children are exposed to early impacts them greatly going forward. If a child is exposed to a traumatic event, I have to think about how it impacted the brain and the environment the child is in. Resources that we have in the community are parent education. It is the greatest resource that I’ve found. We have readily, great evidence-based information for our communities to use and access.