EducationFirst NationsParents

Have we forgotten how to parent?

In her book, “Hunt, Gather, Parent: What Ancient Cultures Can Teach Us About the Lost Art of Raising Happy, Helpful Little Humans“, Michaeleen Doucleff makes an entertaining and convincing case: we’ve forgotten how to parent!

In a feature in TIME magazine, she describes how what she saw in a Maya village, nestled in the Yucatan Peninsula, shifted her “whole sense of how parenting could work. The moms related to children in a way that parents, all over the world, have turned to for thousands of years — a way that parents in Western culture once embraced, as well. I believe this approach may just be the lifeline parents need right now as we enter the second year of the pandemic.”

“I call it TEAM parenting, for its four main elements: togetherness, encouragement, autonomy and minimal interference. In combination, these elements minimize conflict and foster cooperation—two things I sorely needed to do with my hot-tempered, fire-in-belly 2-year-old, named Rosy, who was waiting for me back home.”

Michaeleen Doucleff is a correspondent for NPR’s Science Desk. In 2015, she was part of the team that earned a George Foster Peabody award for its coverage of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Prior to joining NPR, Doucleff was an editor at the journal Cell, where she wrote about the science behind pop culture. She has a doctorate in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree in viticulture and enology from the University of California, Davis. She lives with her husband, daughter, and German shepherd, Mango, in San Francisco.