Janae B. Weinhold
People who work with children, particularly those of preschool age, are the first point of interventions that should involve both education and early identification of children with problems. This group includes parents, grandparents, child care providers, preschool and kindergarten teachers, public and private school officials, obstetricians and pediatricians. These early caregivers need up-to-date information concerning the psychological stages of children’s development and the social, emotional, mental, physical and spiritual needs for each stage. Children’s environments and activities need be structured around these needs and the optimal care of children must become a national priority.
Children’s caregivers must have practical training in identifying children’s earliest symptoms of bonding breaks and other kinds of emotional trauma that are typically displayed through misbehavior. Distressed children exhibiting problems must be identified and provided with appropriate interventions to minimize the effects of bonding-related trauma in their lives.
Prevention must become a national value. The growing costs of building facilities to incarcerate children and youth for long periods of time are rapidly making this a major budget item for states. The costs of prevention are minimal when compared to incarceration.