Darcia Narvaez, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Notre Dame.
Dr. Narvaez’s current research explores how early life experience influences societal culture and moral character in children and adults. She integrates neurobiological, clinical, developmental and education sciences in her theories and research about moral development.
We are a traumatized people, a people silently bequeathed a heritage of toxic treatment, under-care, and various forms of violence. It is encoded into us during our early years, directing the development of our neurobiology, personality, and morality. We then pass it down accidentally as an extension of an ignorance propagated by a society founded on SHITTY advice on raising children. But we are not lost, nor are we locked into this cycle. We have an opportunity to make a profound difference on the future world by raising healthier, happier, and more well-adjusted kids.
The guest on this episode, Darcia Narvaez, Ph.D., is here to give perspective on what that might look like. She walks us through the influence Western conventional culture’s child rearing tendencies has on the individual and the collective, from neurobiology to psychology to society and ecology. We also specifically explore several conventional practices, their harm, and alternative options.
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- How early life experiences influence neurological and moral development
- The impact of the parent/child relationship on the child’s nervous system
- The elements of The Evolved Nest; aka The evolved Developmental Niche
- Soothing birth experience
- Responsive care giver
- Breast feeding
- Multiple adult care givers
- The good development of the human
- The role of epigenetics in moral and neurological development
- The slave self; the empty self
- The ecological impact of the broken nest
- Our mistaken understanding of the baseline of human behavior
- Disambiguating childhood trauma (undercare / toxic stress / trauma)
- Limbic memory and how we perceive the world
- Being “tough” on boys
- Unpacking what the science shows are the impacts of:
- Breast milk vs. formula
- cry it out sleep training
- common birthing practices: Pitocin, cesarean, epidural
Here you will find a complete collection of her publications, as well as her blog.
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