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Your Children’s Experience of Positive Stress and Toxic Stress: A Conversation with U of M Professor Megan Gunnar

Gunnar,Megan_hs2As much as we’d love to make life easy for our children, they inevitably will experience stress. And, as research demonstrates, some stress actually is positive in that it allows children to discover and practice their coping and problem-solving strategies. But when – and under what conditions – does stress become toxic stress and undermine our children’s longterm health and well-being? And what does this research mean for us as parents? You won’t want to miss this important discussion with Dr. Megan Gunnar from the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Child Development!


Based on what you learned in this Mom Enough interview with Dr. Megan Gunnar, give some examples of stress that might have a positive effect on your child’s development. Thinking about the importance of preventing toxic stress in your child’s life, what steps can you take to protect your child at home, at school and in the larger community?


To view an Institute of Child Development video on toxic stress, click here.

For our What is Toxic Stress? sheet, click here.

For our Understanding the Biology of Stress in Young Children sheet, click here.

To view a video presentation about buffering children from toxic stress, click here.

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