You may not think your toddler can understand the stress that you’re talking about, but they can feel it if you’re manifesting it around them. If so, you need to stop right away, because research shows that a stress hormone is linked to learning delay in toddlers, and that stress hormone could be coming from you.
Toddlers who live in stressful family situations often have too little or too much cortisol, which is a hormone that can have toxic effects on the brain. To test the effects of a stressful family on a toddler, a study of 201 low-income mother-child pairs was conducted at Mt. Hope Family Center in Rochester, NY, and tracked the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in children at ages 2, 3, and 4.
The results showed that specific forms of family adversity are linked to both elevated and low levels of cortisol in children. The kids with either elevated or low cortisol levels showed lower than average cognitive ability at age 4. That means that stressful family situations can actually cause a learning delay in your toddler.
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