Understanding ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) and how developing too fast can be bad for a child/teen in the future.

Photo of a child looking down.

The Wall Street Journal recently released an article, What Children Lose When Their Brains Develop Too Fast. We found it to be relevant to the work we do and wished to share the information with you.


Early Trauma = Early Development.

The main point of the article that we want to focus on is the fact that ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) can lead to faster brain development, which leads to more problems as an adult. According to the CDC, an ACE occurs between the time of birth and the age of 17. These experiences include:

  • Experiencing or violence, abuse, and neglect

  • Witnessing violence in the home or community

  • Growing up in a household with substance abuse, mental health problems, parental separation due to divorce or imprisonment, or attempts of suicide by family members.

Not too long ago, hearing that a child was developing faster may have sounded positive. Still, the recent science on child development says otherwise. Faster brain and body development can react to repeated dangers in one’s life. If a child is raised in a dangerous environment, their brain takes action to develop survival skills faster, which leads their brain to hone in on a select few skills and leaves a child more likely to stay set in their ways into adulthood. We see this a lot with residents who come to us with backgrounds of abuse and neglect. They are constantly on defense, and it takes a lot of work to open their hearts and get them to try new things.


Children are Meant to Be Children

Essentially, a child is meant to take it easy. They should be loved and given time to play and learn independently. “But as the research on adverse experiences shows, far too many children and parents don’t have the resources they need to allow that sort of childhood to unfold.” That is why Timothy Hill is on a mission of Transformation through Love. We are a resource for young men to have time to relax, time to play, and time to grow up a little more slowly. We want to show all those who stay with us that they are loved, they deserve to be loved, and they deserve to have fun and be a kid for a change.

Children Playing Tug of War | Timothy Hill Ranch
Staff Member Timothy Hill Ranch
Children Riding Horses Timothy Hill Ranch
Children Skiing Timothy Hill Ranch