• Hunt, Gather, Parent

  • What Ancient Cultures Can Teach Us About the Lost Art of Raising Happy, Helpful Little Humans
  • By: Michaeleen Doucleff
  • Narrated by: Michaeleen Doucleff
  • Length: 11 hrs and 11 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (1,847 ratings)

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Hunt, Gather, Parent  By  cover art

Hunt, Gather, Parent

By: Michaeleen Doucleff
Narrated by: Michaeleen Doucleff
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Publisher's summary

New York Times Best Seller

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.

©2021 Michaeleen Doucleff. All rights reserved. (P)2021 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

Critic reviews

"NPR reporter Michaeleen Doucleff narrates this audiobook - part memoir and part guide on contemporary parenting. She is honest, clear, and thoughtful as she presents a wide range of research on parenting theories from many cultures. For those seeking new ways to connect with or better understand their children, this will be a welcome listen. Doucleff creates the feeling she is in your kitchen, swapping stories and wisdom of the ages. This title is easy on the ears, and the chapters go by swiftly. For an author turned narrator, she is very confident as she presents ideas from diverse sources. From the Inuit to city dwellers, Doucleff informs as she entertains, regaling us with advice of how to keep the peace." (AudioFile Magazine)