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

(New York: Avid Reader/Simon & Schuster, 2021), 309

Her acronym is TEAM:

  • Togetherness
  • Encourage
  • Autonomy
  • Minimal interference

1 - Weird, Wild West

Chapter 1: The WEIRDest Parents in the World

Summary: Our [Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, Democratic] parenting is rather different than it was in the recent past, or today in less industrialized societies. Western families (and parents) today are more isolated and structured than has been typical in human history.

Chapter 2: Why Do We Parent the Way We Do?

Summary: A lot of parenting "best practices" (e.g. forced schedules) have their origins in questionable industrial revolution age sources. Our emphasis on learning and praise are recent 20th century developments. Research studies aren't the most helpful for giving advice to parents.

2- Maya Method

If a child misbehaves, they need more responsibilities.

Chapter 3: The Most Helpful Kids in the World

Summary: We need to teach our children to be responsible family members, to be acomedido: proactive helpers.

Chapter 4: How to Teach Kids to Do Chores, Voluntarily

Summary: Show them how to help from when they are little. The tasks should be real, doable, and never force a task. Instead of telling them what to do directly you can activate them by alluding to the task that needs to be done.

Chapter 5: How to Raise Flexible, Cooperative Kids

Summary: Make your child a real member of the family and treat them the lik other members of the family.

  • Minimize child-centered activities and maximize exposure to the adult world
  • Always let kids help, even if they make a mess. you job is to train them
  • Take a daily time-out from entertaining and instructing your child
  • Downsize your toys, and treat the remaining toys as a privilege (the child's responsibility to clean up)

Chapter 6: Master Motivators: What's Better Than Praise?

Summary: Praise is not an effective long-term motivator.

  • Instead of praising children, point out helpfulness and unhelpfulness, and link helpfulness to maturity
  • Threaten natural consequences but don't force children to help.
  • Accept a child's contribution to a task and offer corrections sparingly

3 - Inuit Emotional Intelligence

If a child misbehaves, they need more calmness and more touch.

Chapter 7: Never in Anger

Summary: When you yell at children they stop listening.

  • "Your daughter must be sick of you. That is why she is misbehaving."

Chapter 8: How to Teach Children to Control Their Anger

Summary: Never yell at your child.

  • "Getting angry at a child has no purpose. It only stops communication between the child and the parent."

Chapter 9: How to Stop Being Angry at Your Child

Summary: Expect children to misbehave; our job is to teach them how to behave. Stop talking and learn how to have less anger toward children.

  • Every time we yell at a child, we teach them to yell and act in anger when they're upset or have a problem.
  • Every time we respond to an upset child with calmness and quiet, we give the child the opportunity to do the same.
  • When you feel angry:
    • Stay silent
    • Walk away and return when you are calm if needed
    • Never argue or negotiate with a child
    • Stop forcing children to do things

Chapter 10: Introduction to Parenting Tools

Summary: These are some actionable tips to replace an response of anger.

  • Parent with calmness
  • Parent with touch or toss
  • Parent with awe
  • Take the child outside
  • Instead of saying "Don't":
    • Ignore it
    • Give a stern look
    • Parent with consequence puzzles: tell them the consequences of their behavior; tell them the truth
    • Parent with questions rather than commands
    • Parent with responsibility: use responsibility as rewards
    • Parent through actions, not words: just start doing the task and the child will follow

Chapter 11: Stories to Sculpt Behavior

Summary: Tell stories as a way to teach your children lessons.

Chapter 12: Dramas to Sculpt Behavior

Summary: Convert problems into play and discipline into practice. Act out a troubling behavior to practice how to respond while not in the heat of the moment.

4 - Hadzabe Health

Chapter 13: How Did Our Ancient Ancestors Parent?

Summary: Recall the "gift economy" and give children autonomy.

Chapter 14: The Most Confident Kids in the World

Summary: Decrease your commands (and for 3/yr) and other verbal input, and empower your child to handle obstacles themselves.

Chapter 15: Ancient Antidote for Depression

Summary: Build a network of other adult caretakers, let your child play in multi-age playgroups, and train older children to be "alloparents" in how they care for younger children.

5 - Western Parenting 2.0

Chapter 16: Sleep

Summary: Minimize your interference by stepping back and watching (rather than telling a child what to do), and having confidence that children can entertain and occupy themselves.


Source: Jordan, Ariana


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Created: 2021-11-16
Updated: 2023-01-23-Mon