Learning Outcomes for Early Childhood Stress: Serious Stress in Children’s Lives

Lesson 1: Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

After completing Lesson 1, you will be able to:

  • discuss Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), the serious stress caused by ACEs, and the short- and long-term impact on children’s lives;
  • explain what constitutes child abuse and neglect, as well as risk factors and consequences of abuse and neglect;
  • describe how children’s special needs, parental mental illness, household substance abuse, incarceration, and domestic violence create serious stressors for the whole family;
  • discuss the stressful effect on children caused by relocation, military deployment, the death of a parent, poverty and homelessness;
  • explain how stressors in the community, such as public health crises, national disasters, violence, and exposure to racism can cause serious stress in children’s lives.

Lesson 2: Mitigating Factors

After completing Lesson 2, you will be able to:

  • list mitigating factors that can protect children from the impact of serious stress in their lives and help them develop resilience;
  • describe how your role as a caregiver can be a significant mitigating factor and identify strategies you can use to support children and strengthen families;
  • explain how outdoor play, spending time in nature, and caring for plants and animals can mitigate the impact of serious stress;
  • name strategies, such as relaxation techniques, that you can use in your early childhood program to reduce children’s stress.

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