Hunt, Gather, Parent: What Ancient Cultures Can Teach Us About the Lost Art of Raising Happy, Helpful Little Humans

Hunt, Gather, Parent: What Ancient Cultures Can Teach Us About the Lost Art of Raising Happy, Helpful Little Humans

When Dr. Michaeleen Doucleff becomes a mother, she examines the studies behind modern parenting guidance and finds the evidence frustratingly limited and the conclusions often ineffective. Curious to learn about more effective parenting approaches, she visits a Maya village in the Yucatán Peninsula. There she encounters moms and dads who parent in a totally different way than we do—and raise extraordinarily kind, generous, and helpful children without yelling, nagging, or issuing timeouts. What else, Doucleff wonders, are Western parents missing out on?

In Hunt, Gather, Parent, Doucleff sets out with her three-year-old daughter in tow to learn and practice parenting strategies from families in three of the world’s most venerable communities: Maya families in Mexico, Inuit families above the Arctic Circle, and Hadzabe families in Tanzania. She sees that these cultures don’t have the same problems with children that Western parents do. Most strikingly, parents build a relationship with young children that is vastly different from the one many Western parents develop—it’s built on cooperation instead of control, trust instead of fear, and personalized needs instead of standardized development milestones.

Maya parents are masters at raising cooperative children. Without resorting to bribes, threats, or chore charts, Maya parents rear loyal helpers by including kids in household tasks from the time they can walk. Inuit parents have developed a remarkably effective approach for teaching children emotional intelligence. When kids cry, hit, or act out, Inuit parents respond with a calm, gentle demeanor that teaches children how to settle themselves down and think before acting. Hadzabe parents are world experts on raising confident, self-driven kids with a simple tool that protects children from stress and anxiety, so common now among American kids.

Not only does Doucleff live with families and observe their techniques firsthand, she also applies them with her own daughter, with striking results. She learns to discipline without yelling. She talks to psychologists, neuroscientists, anthropologists, and sociologists and explains how these strategies can impact children’s mental health and development. Filled with practical takeaways that parents can implement immediately, Hunt, Gather, Parent helps us rethink the ways we relate to our children, and reveals a universal parenting paradigm adapted for American families.

Title:Hunt, Gather, Parent: What Ancient Cultures Can Teach Us About the Lost Art of Raising Happy, Helpful Little Humans
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781982149673
Format Type:

    Hunt, Gather, Parent: What Ancient Cultures Can Teach Us About the Lost Art of Raising Happy, Helpful Little Humans Reviews

  • Amber

    I resent all parenting books, just like I hate every article that tells me I’m washing my face wrong or eating Tic Tacs wrong or making my grocery list wrong. Like, I’ve made it to age 36 and ever...

  • Phillip

    Giving 3.5 stars. Here’s my hot take in a few points:1) if you get it in your head from the outset that this book is not academic but personal, autobiographical, and pragmatic with some confirmation...

  • Traci at The Stacks

    I really appreciated the advice and suggestions in this book. Lots of helpful ideas and tips. The ways were encouraged to change our approach to parenting made lots of sense. The author is a white wom...

  • Adria

    SUMMARY OF REVIEW: DEAR PUBLISHER, WHY NOT PUBLISH BOOKS BY THE EXCELLENT HUNTER/GATHERER PARENTS instead of making a best seller out of Doucleff?The parenting tips seem good -- especially the ones th...

  • Sarah Cole

    I have a lot of mixed feelings about this book. On one hand, I picked up a handful of tips that have really worked for usOn the other hand, the author’s “better parenting”involves saying things ...

  • Maya Kukudzhanova

    ... my, this book is a bad joke.Having a PhD in chemistry and education in the wine fermenting space, the author feels presumptuous enough to advise in the area she neither has experience nor any qual...

  • Maria McGrath

    I think that if this book had been around sooner, my teens and young adult would be even happier and more self-actualized. I've been reading parenting and child development books for about twenty year...

  • Tiffany

    Some issues with this book:• The advice is not supported by research. The author relies on her limited observations of other families, and on the results of applying techniques to a one person sampl...

  • Declan Moulden

    When I showed up to the bookstore, I thought this was a sort of anthropological study - serious, academic, and a totally normal purchase for a childless, single, somewhat directionless 24-year-old. (I...

  • Shelby

    OKAY. So I have a lot to say about this book and not a lot of battery left. It was fabulous, it truly felt like Doucleff knew the ins and outs of my relationship with my toddler, and her parenting adv...