Sobering thoughts

Two items recently arrived in the mail…

First, 360: News for Alumni and Friends of the Illinois Math and Science Academy. Here’s an excerpt from “Family Ties” (Spring 2014, page 4):

The IMSA group excitedly introduced themselves to the 90 Peruvians, and then immediately jumped into their daily routine, eating with them, touring the NPH home and property, and learning about their lives. Rather than having an adjustment period, orphans of all ages clamored to include the IMSA students in their meals and various activities, and they bonded faster than the students thought possible. […] Within the week the orphans were calling the IMSA students “tio” and “tia,” and the students in turn used this term to describe the caretaker of the orphanage, who Mayuri also said she became “extremely close with.”

Second, Monitor on Psychology. Here’s an excerpt from “The Lasting Impact of Neglect” (June 2014, page 39):

One of the most common behaviors she sees among post-institutionalized children is indiscriminate friendliness. “A child who doesn’t know you from Adam will run up, put his arms around you and snuggle in like you’re his long-lost aunt,” Gunnar says. That friendliness was probably an important coping technique in their socially starved early lives, she says. “What’s interesting is it just doesn’t go away.”

Fox and his colleagues had also noted such disarming friendliness in the Romanian orphanages. Initially, children with indiscriminate friendliness were thought to have an attachment disorder that prevented them from forming healthy connections with adult caregivers. But findings from the Bucharest Project as well as Gunnar’s own research have demonstrated otherwise, she says.

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