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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER The oldest cultures in the world have mastered the art of raising happy, well-adjusted children. What can we learn from them? “Hunt, Gather, Parent is full of smart ideas that I immediately wanted to force on my own kids.” —Pamela Druckerman, The New York Times Book Review When Dr. Michaeleen Doucleff becomes a mother, she examines the studies NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER The oldest cultures in the world have mastered the art of raising happy, well-adjusted children. What can we learn from them? “Hunt, Gather, Parent is full of smart ideas that I immediately wanted to force on my own kids.” —Pamela Druckerman, The New York Times Book Review 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.


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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER The oldest cultures in the world have mastered the art of raising happy, well-adjusted children. What can we learn from them? “Hunt, Gather, Parent is full of smart ideas that I immediately wanted to force on my own kids.” —Pamela Druckerman, The New York Times Book Review When Dr. Michaeleen Doucleff becomes a mother, she examines the studies NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER The oldest cultures in the world have mastered the art of raising happy, well-adjusted children. What can we learn from them? “Hunt, Gather, Parent is full of smart ideas that I immediately wanted to force on my own kids.” —Pamela Druckerman, The New York Times Book Review 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.

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

  1. 5 out of 5

    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 everything’s pretty much fine so I think I’ve got it under control? I also resented my husband for buying this book because he liked an interview he heard with the author on NPR. Uhhh, our kid is 3? AND A HALF! So I think I’m good, dude. But I read it anyway and the book called me out every time I was dubio 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 everything’s pretty much fine so I think I’ve got it under control? I also resented my husband for buying this book because he liked an interview he heard with the author on NPR. Uhhh, our kid is 3? AND A HALF! So I think I’m good, dude. But I read it anyway and the book called me out every time I was dubious and NO WAYing. The author is all like, “I was skeptical, I have a PhD in chemistry, I’m not dumb- I thought, ‘No way!’”. And if there’s one thing I have to respect, it’s a chemistry witch with mind-reading capabilities. This book is surprisingly helpful and only kind of gimmicky! It’s weird how revolutionary the concept of just doing your chores and hobbies around your kid, instead of doing them when your kid is asleep or away at school, feels. I have more free time later, my kid is learning how to take care of stuff and also entertain themselves without me, and they’re also more chill. Like, day one of barely attempting this and they woke up from their nap telling me helping is their favorite??? Day two and they put on their own shoes???? What???? Ok, sure, I’ll take it. Thanks, stupid helpful well-researched book!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Phillip Fernberg

    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 from academia you’ll enjoy it more. 2) I really loved how practical it was. Strewn with action items and recommendations throughout and illustrates good examples of applications from her own parenting and those she learned from. I’m very interested to implement some of them and see how it turns out 3) 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 from academia you’ll enjoy it more. 2) I really loved how practical it was. Strewn with action items and recommendations throughout and illustrates good examples of applications from her own parenting and those she learned from. I’m very interested to implement some of them and see how it turns out 3) I think the scope of the book doesn’t match the ambitions of its title. While there are good snippets where she supports her experiences with three particular cultures more broadly with research from others, it’s still full of so many over-generalizations that could have been avoided if the work were reduced and compiled into a series of essays instead. 4) some things that kind of bugged me were the use of the term “Western Parenting” (think there needs to be more nuance there because that’s got a lot of assumptions baked into it), and a little too much fetishization (in some instances I thought it led to reductive thinking about entire peoples) 5) lastly, something that really bugged me was a stark absence of commentary on fathers and sons until the last chapters (which still left me underwhelmed). Up until her trip to Tanzania the men seem to be either gone or portrayed as pretty dopey, and those ones that are seen positively are not the actual fathers of the children. Also, I might’ve counted wrong but I’m pretty sure there is literally one example in the entire book of a parent implementing one of her principles with a boy. I’m a dad and I have two boys, so definitely a bit of head scratching for me there. Not to be all woe is me privileged white boy dad but in a book that professes to be about universal parenting principles I would’ve loved to see more representative ratios of examples. All that said I think it’s clear the author put her heart and soul into the book and I really appreciate that she is thoughtfully bringing a broader perspective on family relationships to the attention of us stressed out American parents. We truly need it, and I really hope some of these tips work for us when we try them!

  3. 5 out of 5

    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 advice from non western cultures felt so relevant and eye opening, I have not been able to stop talking about it. Seriously, I won't shut up. I knew about the inuit ways of viewing children as emotionally 'dumb' so that section was not new, but the Mayan way of building helpful children, and giving the 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 advice from non western cultures felt so relevant and eye opening, I have not been able to stop talking about it. Seriously, I won't shut up. I knew about the inuit ways of viewing children as emotionally 'dumb' so that section was not new, but the Mayan way of building helpful children, and giving them their membership card just awed me. It made PERFECT sense. I frequently try to get my daughter to play (currently almost two) anytime I get going on chores because she always tries to undo the chore, no matter what. If it is laundry you can beet your bottom dollar she will rip folder clothes out of the basket. Dinner time? She's going for that knife. You get the picture. TEAM parenting makes so much sense, Doucleff took the time to introduce us to the families who helped her, not just writing a how to manual, and often her visual language was cheesy, but effective. but hey, she's a scientist. I marked up my copy heavily, and immediately gave it to my MIL under the guise of "OMG YOU HAVE TO READ THIS!" (but really that woman just undoes any strides we make with my daughter because #grandma. So the nitty gritty, yes I gave it five stars but it still had some problems. First off, I'd like to acknowledge some of the reviews I have seen that she "fetishizes" the non western culture. I thought long and hard, but I honest to god think that is inaccurate. She is clearly very excited about them, and in awe of their knowledge but it just seems like the appropriate response to the fact that western parenting is bananas and we are constantly told that western-ism is more advanced and better but then she got to see the truth, we suck (I Know this is pretty obvious to me already, but I never realized how bad we sucked with kids). Now the real problem. This book was so clearly written by a wealthy woman I just could NOT handle it. It was not overly frequent, and I believe once or twice she mentioned her obvious socioeconomic privilege, but at least 5 times she mentioned thing that were presumptuous because we are westerners we obviously have. The example that first comes to mind is that, in our western culture out 'alloparents' the nannys, baby sitters, and daycare workers who watch our kids deserve the best possible compensation etc.. OKAY. Girl we do not all have nannys, and we can not all afford daycare and babysitters. When she talked about how her postpartum depression got so bad that after a few months her therapist told her to get a nanny I just sighed. In many ways she is NOT relatable. She also acts like all westerners parent in this exact way, and ignores the facts that many low income families have multi-generational households, as well as many non white people, regardless of income. (There might be white people out there that chose this route but I am not familiar, but I also didn't try to write a book on this topic so I am fine with my current ignorance). So that being said, the parenting advice was EXCELLENT, her depiction of her time spent with those cultures was really interesting, her daughter reminds me greatly of my own, and I really did enjoy reading this book, and will recommend it to anyone with children at any age. But when I do choose to push this book, I will tell them "hey it was very obviously written by a wealthy woman and that is pretty annoying".

  4. 5 out of 5

    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 years now (my oldest is 20), and some have been real standouts, but this is the first that really steps back from scientific studies to take a longer and wider view. Rather than contrasting Western parenting styles with what the rest of the world does, Doucleff looks at the practices of more rural socie 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 years now (my oldest is 20), and some have been real standouts, but this is the first that really steps back from scientific studies to take a longer and wider view. Rather than contrasting Western parenting styles with what the rest of the world does, Doucleff looks at the practices of more rural societies in Mexico, Tanzania, and Canada, who live more communally and traditionally and, seemingly consequently, have much calmer children and much less fraught parent-child relations. Doucleff bravely cites all the mistakes she makes in her own parenting journey and the baffled but kind reactions she receives from her hosts while at the same time laying out helpful action steps for parents who are interested in adopting her newly learned techniques ("Dip Your Toe"). I'm lucky that I stumbled onto The Idle Parent: Why Laid-Back Parents Raise Happier and Healthier Kids years ago, as well as the excellent The Self-Driven Child: The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives, which eloquently and repeatedly argues that kids will make reasonable decisions if given the chance and the right information--we really don't have to manipulate kids for their own good, and if we do, it will always (eventually) backfire. As a children's librarian, the most interesting and novel aspect of the book was the argument, which makes a lot of sense when I look back at the development of my own children, that almost all toys, especially learning toys, are unnecessary and can even hinder development, because they raise a barrier between kids and the real adult world that they are desperate to enter. Fake phones, fake food, and setting kids off to one side while the real work of the household gets done gives them a sense that they are incapable of contributing and dampens their strong drive to help. It's much better to let the child into the kitchen, office, or workroom and give them a small task--pull leaves off herbs, staple papers, etc. As a parent, though, the biggest takeaway is to cut down on wasted words. I was lucky enough to get ahold of How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk when my oldest was three, and that book made a convincing argument against ever trying to use logic to compel cooperation, but Doucleff really doubles down on that concept. As long as a child is not in imminent physical danger, use as few words as possible and watch as things unfold. It's lovely to watch her own journey from being constantly hyped up and stressed, a state her daughter mirrors, to regaining a sense of calm, which is then passed straight along to her child.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mirele Kessous

    It’s pretty rare to stumble upon a book that changes your life, but I was lucky enough to discover this gem. Doucleffe asks: What if we threw our Western notions of parenting out the window and examined how ancient cultures have been raising happy, helpful, respectful and confident young people for generations? So much of what we are taught about parenting is false. Doucleffe applies her journalistic chops to solve the question of how to get her young daughter to behave. Together, they travel to It’s pretty rare to stumble upon a book that changes your life, but I was lucky enough to discover this gem. Doucleffe asks: What if we threw our Western notions of parenting out the window and examined how ancient cultures have been raising happy, helpful, respectful and confident young people for generations? So much of what we are taught about parenting is false. Doucleffe applies her journalistic chops to solve the question of how to get her young daughter to behave. Together, they travel to far-flung places and live in multiple different non-Western communities to learn alternative methods of parenting. So if you’re like me, with 3 young children and working full-time and feeling as though your home life is a constant tornado, do yourself a favor and read this book. It is not without faults, of course. I think that some of the advice and practices Doucleffe touts are more difficult to swing with more than one child (and especially with multiple children under 6). Doucleffe has the luxury of being able to try her methods on just one child with a husband at hand to help out. So if you are a single parent or a parent of multiple young kids, you will find some of the exercises impractical. The vast majority of the book, however, is useful not just for parents but also for teachers or anyone else who works with children ages 0-10. I also admire Doucleffe’s honesty about how challenging it is to parent a young child and her feelings towards Rosie during those moments. I wish I had read this before I had children, but as Doucleffe points out, it’s never too late to make a change. Children are so adaptable.

  6. 5 out of 5

    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 that are nearly exact quotes from the different women she interviewed. But the overall book is extremely prolematic in its simplistic and rosy depiction of people's lives - hunter/gatherer or not, everyone faces complications. Making the lives of these various peoples seem "simple" downplays the human 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 that are nearly exact quotes from the different women she interviewed. But the overall book is extremely prolematic in its simplistic and rosy depiction of people's lives - hunter/gatherer or not, everyone faces complications. Making the lives of these various peoples seem "simple" downplays the humanity and reality of their lives. I also much less out of the stories about the author's application of what she was learning to her own daughter, than I did from the women themselves. My kids are older, I have five, what she was learning and how she applied it is different than what I was learning from them. Which is fine -- but then WHY NOT PUBLISH BOOKS BY THOSE EXCELLENT PARENTS instead of making a best seller out of Doucleff? Are the proceeds split? Contracted to support the women whose knowledge she is sharing? I believe she truly connected with them and that she means well, but I don't understand why in 2021 a publisher wouldn't see the problem with publishing a white woman's writing the words of a whole lot of families of color. Much less problematic than the overall appropriative nature of the knowledge/profit - but I wonder what she would have observed had she spent more time watching the boy children and their sense of responsibility towards the house and the kids. The parenting and implications of gender roles was a huge piece of this story that was never discussed.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Bethany Joy

    Maybe I enjoyed this because it reinforced a lot of things I actually do as a parent and reminded me to lean into those things (like using nonverbal communication, scaffolding tasks, considering developmental age of the child, focusing on connection). The section on developing autonomy definitely is my weak point as a parent, but it also was a weak point in the book as the author didn't really dig into practical applications in the same way as she did with other sections. Two things about the bo Maybe I enjoyed this because it reinforced a lot of things I actually do as a parent and reminded me to lean into those things (like using nonverbal communication, scaffolding tasks, considering developmental age of the child, focusing on connection). The section on developing autonomy definitely is my weak point as a parent, but it also was a weak point in the book as the author didn't really dig into practical applications in the same way as she did with other sections. Two things about the book itself: (1) the whole thing would have probably been better if she waited 10 years to publish it, given she references her own parenting experience constantly, and her daughter is only a preschool. TBH every preschooler seems magically improved in behavior between the ages of three and five. (2) she seems to assume whatever the small scale society parents do is good, not really unpacking the pieces. Every culture has it's goods and harms and it would have been better to examine those things more evenly. The fact that she calls these parents "super parents" is telling. (3) I did feel there was a helpful bridge here between "attachment parenting" and what comes next, something that other parenting books from an attachment perspective often fail to bridge. On a personal level it felt sad to read about all the benefits of alloparents, intergenerational relationships and community in March 2021 after a year of loneliness and disconnection. Overall, despite some flaws this was and enjoyable and highly practical parenting read. Would definitely recommend to others.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Natasha

    I do want to read it again, as I'm very sure I glazed over parts of it. I did enjoy most of this advice and can see how it would work. Some of it I recognize as things I learned from my own family, which shouldn't be too surprising bc my grandma is Inupiaq, which is a close tribe to the Inuit. I do not agree with some of it, such as calling young kids babies when they don't behave. Also the whole portion on older siblings taking care of younger siblings... I was that eldest daughter and I had to I do want to read it again, as I'm very sure I glazed over parts of it. I did enjoy most of this advice and can see how it would work. Some of it I recognize as things I learned from my own family, which shouldn't be too surprising bc my grandma is Inupiaq, which is a close tribe to the Inuit. I do not agree with some of it, such as calling young kids babies when they don't behave. Also the whole portion on older siblings taking care of younger siblings... I was that eldest daughter and I had to unravel a lot of baggage around being in that role as I got older. (I love my sisters very much, and am proud of our relationships, but it could have gone a different way easily.) Your oldest children do not get a say when you have more kids, so that responsibility should not be on them. I was worried before reading this book bc of the implication that "ancient" is indeed ancient. The author did an okay job highlighting that these tips come from cultures that are very much alive and relevant today, but I wish that part wasn't in the title. Theres some typical "white gaze" stuff that goes on too, but I think the author does try... she just misses the mark sometimes and it made me wince. I also have to wonder what parts she is misinterpreting or not fully grasping bc of the cultural difference. No matter what there are things her host families would take for granted that "everyone knows" that she would not know, wouldn't know to ask, and they wouldn't think to explain. Would love to see a book like this from one of the families that helped her write hers.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Peyton Parra

    This was a super intriguing & insightful book that juxtaposes western (specifically, American) parenting methods with those of traditional hunter-gatherers. The author is a young & exhausted mother to her 3-year-old “Rosy.” She & Rosy travel around the world to learn from other cultures how to work smarter - not harder - in their mother/daughter relationship and entire family dynamic. Filled with many entertaining stories from her travels to villages in Mexico, the Arctic Circle, & Tanzania, Dou This was a super intriguing & insightful book that juxtaposes western (specifically, American) parenting methods with those of traditional hunter-gatherers. The author is a young & exhausted mother to her 3-year-old “Rosy.” She & Rosy travel around the world to learn from other cultures how to work smarter - not harder - in their mother/daughter relationship and entire family dynamic. Filled with many entertaining stories from her travels to villages in Mexico, the Arctic Circle, & Tanzania, Doucleff offers her readers practical parenting tips for a “team” approach to parenting (as opposed to the common helicopter or free-range parenting methods). “Team” stands for togetherness, encouragement, autonomy, & minimal interference. America certainly isn’t a remote village, but I believe many of these tips can translate easily into Western homes with a bit of intentionality & practice...such as - allowing kiddos to entertain themselves and cultivate imagination, harnessing their intrinsic motivation to help others (although it will make a mess or hinder the efficiency of the task), fluid collaboration, non-verbal communication, & connectedness within a family. “Western individualism goes against our innately human desire - and need - to be together and collaborate. Also forcing independence doesn’t allow kids to develop at their own pace.” “Rosy’s life seems confined, even imprisoned, by contrast...she lives constantly under the watchful eyes and through it all, she receives a constant stream of instructions.”

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly Barnes

    The book Hunt, Gather, Parent by Michaeleen Doucleff examines parenting styles in other parts of the world. In this novel, Mrs. Doucleff embarks on trips to examine parenting styles in multiple global locations. She examines parenting in Mexico, the Arctic, and Tanzania. She discovers that other cultures do not experience the same issues that are evident in the Western world. The relationships that parents exhibit with their children in Mexico, Arctic, and Tanzania are different than those in th The book Hunt, Gather, Parent by Michaeleen Doucleff examines parenting styles in other parts of the world. In this novel, Mrs. Doucleff embarks on trips to examine parenting styles in multiple global locations. She examines parenting in Mexico, the Arctic, and Tanzania. She discovers that other cultures do not experience the same issues that are evident in the Western world. The relationships that parents exhibit with their children in Mexico, Arctic, and Tanzania are different than those in the United States. Not only does Mrs. Doucleff present her observations and interviews of these families, but she also, provides relevant information from other professionals also studying relationships and parenting such as: psychologists and researchers. This book provides strategies that parents can use in order to get their child to help and be a functioning, independent member of the family without nagging, yelling, and bribing. This book is a highly interesting read and I recommend it to any parent interested In improving his/her child’s independence, willingness to help, and improving cooperation. I thank the publisher and NetGalley for providing an advance copy for my reading and review.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Todd Smith

    Dr. Michaeleen Doucleff becomes a mother she decides to explore modern parenting guidance. She finds evidence of its value limiting and conclusions ineffective She encounters parenting in a Maya village in the Yucatán Peninsula. They raise kids who are extraordinarily kind, generous, and helpful children without yelling, nagging, or issuing timeouts. Doucleff also visits other cultures that still involve hunting and gathering, like Inuit families above the Arctic Circle, and Hadzabe families in Ta Dr. Michaeleen Doucleff becomes a mother she decides to explore modern parenting guidance. She finds evidence of its value limiting and conclusions ineffective She encounters parenting in a Maya village in the Yucatán Peninsula. They raise kids who are extraordinarily kind, generous, and helpful children without yelling, nagging, or issuing timeouts. Doucleff also visits other cultures that still involve hunting and gathering, like Inuit families above the Arctic Circle, and Hadzabe families in Tanzania. Families build relationships on trust instead of fear and personalized needs instead of control. They raise cooperative children without 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. Hadzabe parents raise kids who are confident and self-driven. If you want to learn parenting methods outside of the Western world that is different from what many are raised by then this is a good book to turn to. I hope I can take some of what I have read about and use it in raising my son.

  12. 5 out of 5

    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 us On the other hand, the author’s “better parenting”involves saying things like “oh, you can’t do it because you’re a whiney baby?” Um... what?! I couldn’t help feeling like the author still didn’t fully grasp all of the concepts that people were trying to explain. The author is still very focused on controlling her child at the end, she just now does it differently. Better proba 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 us On the other hand, the author’s “better parenting”involves saying things like “oh, you can’t do it because you’re a whiney baby?” Um... what?! I couldn’t help feeling like the author still didn’t fully grasp all of the concepts that people were trying to explain. The author is still very focused on controlling her child at the end, she just now does it differently. Better probably overall... but she keeps using the word “train” which makes me cringe. They aren’t puppies. What I mostly got from this book is: - parents talk too much. No wonder they tune us out. - we expect too much from our kids. - do it with them rather than asking them to do things alone. - there are lots of ways to say “no” other than saying “no” -call attention to their behavior and allow them to draw their own conclusions. -don’t be so obsessed about your kid listening to every single thing you say. -take the emotion out of it. Good lessons over all. But I’m still not sure I recommend the book unless you are really able to throw out of stuff and just take a few small gems.

  13. 4 out of 5

    James Davisson

    The author's NPR pieces on world parenting strategies have made a big impact in our house, and her book was full of what feels like sensible, practical, and kind ideas. Looking forward to putting them into practice in our home and seeing how we fare. I think the biggest critique here is the obvious one: this is a parenting book for Americans, but it's about implementing parenting ideas from other cultures. Even if you manage to implement these ideas successfully in your home, you won't be support The author's NPR pieces on world parenting strategies have made a big impact in our house, and her book was full of what feels like sensible, practical, and kind ideas. Looking forward to putting them into practice in our home and seeing how we fare. I think the biggest critique here is the obvious one: this is a parenting book for Americans, but it's about implementing parenting ideas from other cultures. Even if you manage to implement these ideas successfully in your home, you won't be supported at the community or society level the way the author's informants are. The author alludes to this without directly addressing it, possibly because there's not much to be done or said about it. This parenting book does pull double duty as a critique of western culture norms around parenting, not only of parenting practices, but also lack of social support for parents and families. Probably not worth reading for that angle alone, but the light social critique combined with the pop anthropology focus of the text might appeal to some non-parents as well.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Casady

    Scary that we need a book to tell us basic life paradigms that can be summed up as... 1. Let your children help around the house 2. Be patient they are children 3. Give your children autonomy That said, seriously this is a good book. We DO need those reminders in our fast paced always-going overprotective adult-dominated world. The author gives wonderful examples of how these 3 ideas play into every day life both within the cultures she visited and within her own life as a San Franciscan with a 3yo Scary that we need a book to tell us basic life paradigms that can be summed up as... 1. Let your children help around the house 2. Be patient they are children 3. Give your children autonomy That said, seriously this is a good book. We DO need those reminders in our fast paced always-going overprotective adult-dominated world. The author gives wonderful examples of how these 3 ideas play into every day life both within the cultures she visited and within her own life as a San Franciscan with a 3yo daughter. My one critic is the author paints the societies she visited as perfect. There are problems and unhappy families in every society. I think she tries to the cultures overly positive due to the underlying WASP superiority she's attempting to counter. But it alsmot sways too much in the other direction making it seem like there are only perfect people and perfect families in the societies she visited. Would've been better in all regards if she were just able to see them as her fellow humans.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Heather Parker

    Implementing the lessons in this book is changing how I parent and how we structure our days. After 1 week, our house is less stressful and there are less tears. I feel more capable and know what to try when my child is upset. Doucleff shares her experiences with different cultures and decodes why their parenting practices are so effective (and why ours fall flat). I would have loved more clarification on some things (when a child is doing a chore, do I really just watch him or do I do it alongs Implementing the lessons in this book is changing how I parent and how we structure our days. After 1 week, our house is less stressful and there are less tears. I feel more capable and know what to try when my child is upset. Doucleff shares her experiences with different cultures and decodes why their parenting practices are so effective (and why ours fall flat). I would have loved more clarification on some things (when a child is doing a chore, do I really just watch him or do I do it alongside him while watching him?), and it would have been great to have a better idea of how to implement these cultural practices into our western world. Reference charts at the end of the book readers could copy and print to their fridges would be helpful too. But I couldn’t put this book down and will be picking it back up from time to time to reference. She intertwined what she witnessed with what she learned. A beautiful intersection of culture and science. I absolutely LOVED it.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jill

    As a mom of six, with a degree in Child Development, I’ve read A LOT of parenting books over the years. This is probably my favorite- definitely in the top 2! I wish this book existed YEARS ago when my oldest was a baby! As I read, I recognized ways that I parented like the “superparents” and ways that I did the OPPOSITE and am experiencing the consequences. 😂 There is so much to learn from this book that I will likely read it again! I’ve already begun implementing elements of TEAM and have seen As a mom of six, with a degree in Child Development, I’ve read A LOT of parenting books over the years. This is probably my favorite- definitely in the top 2! I wish this book existed YEARS ago when my oldest was a baby! As I read, I recognized ways that I parented like the “superparents” and ways that I did the OPPOSITE and am experiencing the consequences. 😂 There is so much to learn from this book that I will likely read it again! I’ve already begun implementing elements of TEAM and have seen improvements already! Hunt, Gather, Parent is friendly, encouraging, and down to earth. The author is not only a gifted story teller and teacher, she seemed so authentic in sharing her struggles and successes, that I found myself wishing we could be friends. I was fascinated by how so many practices in the ancient cultures lined up with the findings shared by modern child psychologists. appreciated the application and summaries at the end of each chapter. Highly recommend!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jeni

    It is rare for me to come across a parenting book that I can still apply with my kiddos who are 11 and 7. However, this book blew me away. It didn't focus on tips to make us more productive as parents or to change our children's' behavior, but rather focused on the ways in which how we parent now impacts the skills our children will need into adulthood. I think that is what I loved most about this book - the focus was really on developing life-long traits, not necessarily changing a child's beha It is rare for me to come across a parenting book that I can still apply with my kiddos who are 11 and 7. However, this book blew me away. It didn't focus on tips to make us more productive as parents or to change our children's' behavior, but rather focused on the ways in which how we parent now impacts the skills our children will need into adulthood. I think that is what I loved most about this book - the focus was really on developing life-long traits, not necessarily changing a child's behavior. As someone with a bit of a travel bug and an interest in cultures other than my own, the fact that these lessons were gleaned from indigenous cultures from around the world made the book even more engaging. This allowed for examination on the priorities and philosophies Americans place as primary in our culture and what it can look like if we structure our priorities a little bit differently and explore a new normal for our families.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jerzy

    The core takeaway for me was basically this point from an NPR interview with the author: ...they have a different perception of children and their behavior — so it's not so much that they're suppressing anger towards children or suppressing frustration, it's that they look at children in a way that allows them to have less or really no anger towards children. So, for instance, you know, we often think that children are pushing our buttons or testing boundaries or manipulating us. But actually a l The core takeaway for me was basically this point from an NPR interview with the author: ...they have a different perception of children and their behavior — so it's not so much that they're suppressing anger towards children or suppressing frustration, it's that they look at children in a way that allows them to have less or really no anger towards children. So, for instance, you know, we often think that children are pushing our buttons or testing boundaries or manipulating us. But actually a lot of parents don't see children that way. They see them as just really inept, illogical beings that are of course misbehaving because they haven't learned yet.

  19. 4 out of 5

    CJ

    I thought that this was really interesting. I expected it to be more academic, but it was actually very hands-on and geared towards providing practical advice to parents of young children. I don't plan to have kids but I would definitely recommend it to someone who wanted to start a family or was going to be working with young children and wanted to learn more about childrearing. The book's findings push back heavily on the idea that our current nuclear family model with one woman completely res I thought that this was really interesting. I expected it to be more academic, but it was actually very hands-on and geared towards providing practical advice to parents of young children. I don't plan to have kids but I would definitely recommend it to someone who wanted to start a family or was going to be working with young children and wanted to learn more about childrearing. The book's findings push back heavily on the idea that our current nuclear family model with one woman completely responsible for all of the care for multiple children is actually 'traditional' or the way that children are supposed to be raised--in fact, she argues that this is a modern invention that is actually counterproductive to both children and parents. Food for thought now that childcare is back in the national conversation.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Emily D-W

    Could not decide on a rating. I learned so much from this book and felt that Doucleff did a great job of explaining WHY Western parenting just doesn’t make sense. I finished the book feeling inspired and with some takeaways that will inform my parenting for the better, without a doubt. This is not to say that this book is without its faults. There are many. As another reviewer said, there is fetishizing of hunter-gatherer cultures and giving a sort of glossy-eyed view of them. Race and gender ar Could not decide on a rating. I learned so much from this book and felt that Doucleff did a great job of explaining WHY Western parenting just doesn’t make sense. I finished the book feeling inspired and with some takeaways that will inform my parenting for the better, without a doubt. This is not to say that this book is without its faults. There are many. As another reviewer said, there is fetishizing of hunter-gatherer cultures and giving a sort of glossy-eyed view of them. Race and gender are not examined in this book. And the thing that drove me the most crazy was Doucleff’s use of the word “acomedido,” an adjective, as a noun, a verb, an adjective, just... whatever she wanted. She didn’t honor what the word meant and how it’s used in Spanish. I think it’s worth the read, knowing that it is imperfect and should be criticized. There is a lot to learn!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea Bruning

    I will be the first to admit that our house is chaotic. We complain about there being too much stuff, too much noise, not enough time. It feels like we are always rushing, or someone is always yelling. I found this book to be so valuable because it didn’t lecture me about what I have been doing wrong, but gently encouraged me to pay more attention to how I have been parenting. Is it true that I say so many words that the important ones get lost? I’m sure of it. Do I steal my kids’ chance at lear I will be the first to admit that our house is chaotic. We complain about there being too much stuff, too much noise, not enough time. It feels like we are always rushing, or someone is always yelling. I found this book to be so valuable because it didn’t lecture me about what I have been doing wrong, but gently encouraged me to pay more attention to how I have been parenting. Is it true that I say so many words that the important ones get lost? I’m sure of it. Do I steal my kids’ chance at learning by doing because I don’t have the patience? More often than I’d like to admit. I feel like my eyes have been opened and my mouth has been shut. During the course of reading this, I slowly put some of the suggestions into practice and have already noticed positive changes - mostly in me.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    There were a lot of good tips in here regarding raising a child. I especially like the approach to calming a child during temper tantrums - to approach the child with calmness instead of demands and arguments. My child is only 9 months old right now, but I'm sure this will be useful in the future. Some of the suggestions were a bit extreme for me (e.g. getting rid of all toys), but like most parenting books I take the parts that I feel will work best for our situation and family. I also think a There were a lot of good tips in here regarding raising a child. I especially like the approach to calming a child during temper tantrums - to approach the child with calmness instead of demands and arguments. My child is only 9 months old right now, but I'm sure this will be useful in the future. Some of the suggestions were a bit extreme for me (e.g. getting rid of all toys), but like most parenting books I take the parts that I feel will work best for our situation and family. I also think a lot can be learned from other cultures. I feel she romanticizes a bit too much some cultures without access to electricity, etc. But if you get past that, I think there are some really good points that can be taken from this book.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Teresa

    This is an excellent read. I've already recommended it to countless parents. After as little as a chapter or two, I was already questioning so much about what I was doing as a parent- and I'm a child psychologist! Lots of solid, helpful advice that is tried and true, but new to me. I did not agree with everything Dr. Doucleff asserted- for example, I will never use "monster" stories with my children, and I don't find that eliminating almost all toys to be terribly practical or realistic advice. This is an excellent read. I've already recommended it to countless parents. After as little as a chapter or two, I was already questioning so much about what I was doing as a parent- and I'm a child psychologist! Lots of solid, helpful advice that is tried and true, but new to me. I did not agree with everything Dr. Doucleff asserted- for example, I will never use "monster" stories with my children, and I don't find that eliminating almost all toys to be terribly practical or realistic advice. The final chapter on sleep fell short for me, as well. I found it to be superfluous and unhelpful. However, overall, this is a fabulous book that I would highly recommend.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin

    This is the best parenting book I ever read and the first that actually seems to make your job as a parent easier. I immediately started trying the techniques with my 2.5 year old and she's since been verbalizing, "I love helping you!", "Can I help?", and "Here let me help you." We also soared past a potty training regression as I went into the bathroom and waited for her to come in. Reading this book made me feel relieved. The author candidly shares her own difficulties with her toddler, over a This is the best parenting book I ever read and the first that actually seems to make your job as a parent easier. I immediately started trying the techniques with my 2.5 year old and she's since been verbalizing, "I love helping you!", "Can I help?", and "Here let me help you." We also soared past a potty training regression as I went into the bathroom and waited for her to come in. Reading this book made me feel relieved. The author candidly shares her own difficulties with her toddler, over and over again. But also the transformation that takes place. As a therapist working in part with parents, I've recommended this reading to every single one of them.

  25. 4 out of 5

    BreeAnn (She Just Loves Books)

    This was a really interesting book that I think parents with children of any age will find nuggets of help from. I really liked how the author takes her learnings and traveling experiences and applies them to our western world parenting. There were so many times where I though, well shit, I AM doing that...and I need to stop. I haven't had enough time to tell you if I now have happy, helpful little humans, but I sure hope that we can get there! I had the audio of this, and I highly recommend it. This was a really interesting book that I think parents with children of any age will find nuggets of help from. I really liked how the author takes her learnings and traveling experiences and applies them to our western world parenting. There were so many times where I though, well shit, I AM doing that...and I need to stop. I haven't had enough time to tell you if I now have happy, helpful little humans, but I sure hope that we can get there! I had the audio of this, and I highly recommend it. It gives so much extra insight and emotion, and it was great! I was provided a gifted copy of this book for free. I am leaving my review voluntarily.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    It was not as mind blowing as it was made out to be, but there was some good takeaways like the storytelling and alloparenting/community importance. The book reiterated basic parenting skills, so it was a nice reminder to read: "less talk, more walk" versus "do as I say not as I do." However, it was kind of annoying to read about the constant comparisons with the different cultures or her daughter to the other children, felt more like shaming. Like children and adults, cultures are different for It was not as mind blowing as it was made out to be, but there was some good takeaways like the storytelling and alloparenting/community importance. The book reiterated basic parenting skills, so it was a nice reminder to read: "less talk, more walk" versus "do as I say not as I do." However, it was kind of annoying to read about the constant comparisons with the different cultures or her daughter to the other children, felt more like shaming. Like children and adults, cultures are different for a reason; all have their upsides and downfalls. It'd be interesting to see how this would have played out had it been Michaeleen and a son or the father and Rosy.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Brooke Shackelford

    This book was great! I recommend it to anyone with kids 5 and under. I’m not overly stressed about parenting and my kids aren’t totally out of control, but parenting during a pandemic is tough and sometimes my husband and I get lazy. I knew a lot of the ideas mentioned in this book, but there were still plenty of new ones I want to put into practice. I also loved hearing the stories from different cultures around the world and how they handle toddlers and young kids. I listened to this as an aud This book was great! I recommend it to anyone with kids 5 and under. I’m not overly stressed about parenting and my kids aren’t totally out of control, but parenting during a pandemic is tough and sometimes my husband and I get lazy. I knew a lot of the ideas mentioned in this book, but there were still plenty of new ones I want to put into practice. I also loved hearing the stories from different cultures around the world and how they handle toddlers and young kids. I listened to this as an audiobook but went and bought a hard copy so I could highlight and take notes!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Karissa

    My favorite so far of the “parenting around the world” type books. This confirmed so many gut instincts, reframed thoughts I’ve wrestled with, and offered a new perspective on our wonderful little helpers. She occasionally toes the line a bit of describing the people she spent time with as some sort of magical natives, but overall she clearly has great respect for those who brought her into their homes. Plenty of personal anecdotes, as with nearly all parenting books, but ultimately it was a qui My favorite so far of the “parenting around the world” type books. This confirmed so many gut instincts, reframed thoughts I’ve wrestled with, and offered a new perspective on our wonderful little helpers. She occasionally toes the line a bit of describing the people she spent time with as some sort of magical natives, but overall she clearly has great respect for those who brought her into their homes. Plenty of personal anecdotes, as with nearly all parenting books, but ultimately it was a quick and useful read.

  29. 4 out of 5

    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 woman and there seems to be a fetishization of other cultures that felt a little off. Also way too much personal interest from the author. This book could’ve easily been 100 pages shorter had it focused on the parenting and less on scene setting.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Loren

    Hands down the best parenting book I've read so far- not only good advice but an entertaining read. While there was nothing revelatory it greatly distilled a lot of simple, logical, actionable steps that can be done today. While a lot of it echoed what we have attempted to do with our child I've been trying little tips here and there and have found them to be really helpful. 'Cavity' the monster who lives in your teeth and eats your food has already made teeth brushing fun and easy. Hands down the best parenting book I've read so far- not only good advice but an entertaining read. While there was nothing revelatory it greatly distilled a lot of simple, logical, actionable steps that can be done today. While a lot of it echoed what we have attempted to do with our child I've been trying little tips here and there and have found them to be really helpful. 'Cavity' the monster who lives in your teeth and eats your food has already made teeth brushing fun and easy.

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