In HUNT, GATHER, PARENT: What Ancient Cultures Can Teach Us About the Lost Art of Raising Happy, Helpful Little Humans (Avid Reader Press; on-sale now; ISBN 9781982149673), award-winning NPR producer and science reporter
Dr. Michaeleen Doucleff upends our 21st century mode of parenting and reintroduces methods that will turn any chaotic family into the calm oasis of our dreams.
Parenting is a deeply personal journey and one Dr. Doucleff thought she wasn’t getting quite right. Mornings with her toddler Rosy were chaotic; evenings were stressful and often filled with tears. But while on assignment as a reporter in the Yucatan, she witnessed something too good to be true: a young child helping around the house unprompted and un-applauded. Could this really be? A cooperative and confident kid helping around the house?
What Dr. Doucleff witnessed was a form of parenting likely practiced all over the world—for well over 250,000 years—but sadly has lost favor in the “Wild and WEIRD West.” Coined ‘TEAM parenting’ by Dr. Doucleff, it includes four tenets that are still the norm in hunter-gatherer families across all livable continents. HUNT, GATHER, PARENT will teach parents about Togetherness; Encouragement; Autonomy; and Minimal Interference; all pillars of this traditional form of parenting.
Dr. Doucleff’s 2019 NPR story on how Inuit parents control anger was a viral hit; with over three million page views it struck a chord with harried parents in the United States. It also inspired Dr. Doucleff to keep learning from hunter-gatherer communities, eventually bringing her back to the Yucatan to study cooperation between Maya moms and their kids; the Inuit above the Arctic Circle; and to Tanzania, where Hadzabe children ranging from newborns to preteens live autonomously among other adult community members, feeling accomplished and confident in their contributions to their family. And she does it all with rambunctious and (sometimes) out-of-control Rosy in tow!
What HUNT, GATHER, PARENT offers is more than just tools for raising happier children; it gives support and space for the overworked parent of today