The Forgotten Baby: A Crack in the Data Stream

The Forgotten Baby: A Crack in the Data Stream

We live in the age of the technoman. Although we have the ability to have a lot more information and choices than before, we have lost the ability to really pay attention to what is important to us. Our brain can’t adapt to AI photonic neurons. He cannot develop the intellectual capacity to become a cog in the world’s information machine. We live in a world full of noise. Mobiles, notifications, emails and notifications. Constantly present without physical presence. With the fear of missing something. All of this was brought to our attention, tragically, by the death of a baby, forgotten in the back seat of his father’s car. This is the first incident to occur in our country, and it happened in a provincial town.

And that’s how we all learned “Forgotten Baby Syndrome” (Forgotten Baby Syndrome – FBS), i.e. for abandoning a baby in a car. Others are registered in the United States 30 deaths per year. For this reason, the National Highway Safety Administration launched the campaign “Look before you lock», for those who transport children to check the back of the vehicles before leaving their car.

The vast majority of those experiencing this tragedy are mentally healthy and loving parents.

THE Danae Marinakh, BA, Pg.D,M.Sc, ECP, person-centered psychotherapist, spoke to for this painful phenomenon.

Interview with Efi Zerva

First of all, Ms. Marinaki, are we talking about a syndrome or is it terminology?

The term “syndrome” is used in medicine and psychology to refer to a set of specific mental phenomena or medical symptoms. Neuroscientist Dr. David Diamond coined the term “forgotten child syndrome” in an attempt to summarize common information/components and to explain what seems to be going on in the parent’s brain when they seem to “forget” their own child specifically in the car.

The premise it seems to boil down to is that our working memory (working memory, the memory that helps us function on a daily basis and guides us in what we need to do), can be hampered by external stressors (a sudden phone call, urgent work, daily stress ). In addition to or alongside this, it seems that when we do something consistently as a routine (we take the child to daycare on the same street every day, etc.), it works our motor memory (motor memory) which leaves room for reflection on the future and not on the here and now.

The Forgotten Baby: A Crack in the Data Stream
Person-centered psychotherapist Danai Marinaki

Again, his research is limited and we can only speak of hypotheses and not absolutes. The important thing is that he comes here once dimension of neurobiology to help us understand the phenomenon in a multifaceted way and not close the door to further research into why it happens.

Personally, I would choose this word: the phenomenon of the forgotten child. Of course, it may have biological bases, but I think it’s important do not pathologize (because the term syndrome automatically leads us to a pathologization) phenomena that we must examine mainly at the social level. Indeed, for a thing to end up being recorded, either as a phenomenon or as an organic symptom, it is because it is frequent, it requires our attention as well as the search for solutions.

Did it strike you that it takes place in a small country town, where living conditions are supposed to be more humane?

I actually found myself intrigued by the “it happened in Arta” information, as if it was more likely to happen in Athens. As if inside we knew how inhumane living conditions can become in the big city, as if we unconsciously kept the hope that there, in the countryside, people live more comfortably. This myth is also gradually being dispelled.

When you learned the fact, what did you think as a mother and as a psychologist?

I heard it done automatically as a mother. In a flash, all those moments came to my mind that a few seconds later could have been fatal for my child. Days of total exhaustion where I could have made bad decisions or operated mechanically. in the car, at work, a job I love and have chosen. That day, I remember having had a slight fall of inattention, insomnia, fatigue. Of course, this fact came as a jolt to take further steps with my husband, to sort of shape everything differently. We had this opportunity and the blessing of not being faced with something irreversible.

As a psychologist, what worries me is the reaction of most people in the world. Anger, condemnation, conclusions, suspicion. The sentence I read that haunted me was “not having children”. Is it so extreme, so rare that a parent makes a mistake raising such a vulnerable creature that it can be fatal? Personally, I have and have heard countless stories to share that prove otherwise. Has this (tragic) moment come for us to use our scientific knowledge and design assessment tools to judge the most suitable people to be parents (physically, mentally and intellectually) and select an elite of parents?

But surely now is the time to trust and use our knowledge of the human, the infant, and society to begin to radically change our outlook on new parents, on parenting in general, and on the social pathologies that can act as agents of crime.

It’s time to decriminalize the need for knowledge (and free government provision). Children don’t, they don’t grow up alone, not with their mother and father’s instincts, not with their DNA guiding them.

  • Eliminate the absolute necessity of providing assistance so that one of the two parents is always with their baby.
  • Record new parent fatigue and stress so that proper support and care can be taken for grantedh) An accompaniment that allows the parent to stay with his child until the same but also the adult to gain a foothold in the new reality.
  • To record these accidents and suggest ways to prevent them. For example, I have read that companies have offered a special alarm which warns the parent if there is a baby in the seat when he is going to close the car.

There is an African proverb that says “It takes a whole village to raise a child”. That is, in freehand, “It takes a whole village to raise a child.” Childcare at such a young age, the baby was 5.5 months old, could he join the “net” that surrounds a newly formed family?

We now know from modern studies that the appropriate age for the child’s entry into kindergarten is 2.5-3 years. An infant does not have the capacity to perceive what is happening around him, where his mother is, where his safety is when he is in an environment where mother is absent (I mention mother here because she is usually the primary caregiver).

Of course, it takes a whole village to raise a child. A village (parents, friends, neighbours) that respects and accepts the basic needs of babies and their parents. A village that can share the chores, comfort and accompany the couple as long as it takes until their child is old enough to spend enough time away from home.

Without being able to be agnostic towards infants, I will say that they came as a solution of necessity. When or if we come to see as a society that this solution ultimately weighs on children and parents, we may turn to solutions that are more helpful to all of us.

Two simple young people who loved their child. Now what awaits them?

I can’t even imagine that… In terms of bereavement, we have here one of its most tragic forms. A loss that counts among its causes murder (because that is how it is experienced when one has intentionally or unintentionally caused death). A murder that simultaneously kills the child and the parent… Stigma, guilt, fear, disorganization. Unfortunately, history will tell what awaits them. the least we can do is to remain silent in the face of their drama and to act as a society and as a state that finally cares about young families.


* Danai Marinaki she works as a person-centered psychotherapist and supervisor. She studied Psychology at American College (Bachelor of Arts, Deree College, 2001) and did postgraduate studies at ICPS where she earned a Certificate, Diploma and Master of Science in Centered Counseling. the person. She received the European Certificate in Psychotherapy from the European Society for Psychotherapy in 2015. The central focus of her clinical practice revolves around grief and loss. For the past 20 years, she has been associated with the field of bereavement counseling following training through special seminars as well as personal therapy and supervision.


Related article: Forgotten baby syndrome: how a parent forgets their child in the car


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