chapter  3.3
10 Pages

Companionship and loneliness

BySandra Smidt

This chapter discusses the growing child's need for companionship or friendship, and looks at the evidence that even very young children experience the sadness of loneliness. It follows that one of the key themes to explore is the role of emotions in the life of the developing child. Modern brain science knows that the architecture of the brain is constructed through an ongoing process that begins before birth and continues through adulthood. During the early years of life it appears that an astounding 700 new synapses or neural connections are formed every second. This is followed by a period when these connections between nerve cells are reduced through 'pruning'. Most young children have built memories in the safe and secure company of loving family members and specially trusted others and in doing this have been able to make a good story of their lives.