What resulted in Romania was a generation of children with what today is called ‘maternal deprivation’ syndrome. This ‘failure to thrive’ can result in stunted growth, inability to gain weight and failure to accomplish the milestones that are typical in childhood. For the Romanian children that were in the orphanages much of their behaviour was stunted or grossly delayed. Both their motor and mental skills were found to be in the three to tenth percentile and they had a tendency to rock and grasp themselves. The autistic – like rocking, hyperactivity to touch and abnormal social behaviour characteristics of maternal deprivation syndrome are sited as side effects of the brain damage caused by a lack of physical contact. Behavioural scientists are linking deprivation of physical affection as a main cause of depression, aggression and drug abuse.
We are a social people. To be connected and have a feeling of belonging is important. To achieve this parents must begin when their children are most vulnerable and dependent on our love. This love is unconditional for a baby can’t do anything to earn your affection, they just are.
Unlike the tragedy that transpired in “Fuzzieville” where the people were convinced by a witch that if they gave the warm fuzzies away freely they would run out, or as in Romania with the orphans, let us give affection freely and inspire our children to grow healthy and happy!