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  • Hunt, Gather, Parent

  • What Ancient Cultures Can Teach Us About the Lost Art of Raising Happy, Helpful Little Humans
  • Written by: Michaeleen Doucleff
  • Narrated by: Michaeleen Doucleff
  • Length: 11 hrs and 11 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (169 ratings)

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Hunt, Gather, Parent

Written 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.

What the critics say

"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)

What listeners say about Hunt, Gather, Parent

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Game changer. Life changer book.

This is my first review. I just had to do it. I can’t stop talking about this book. As I started listening, at first I wasn’t sure I was going to like this book. But it didn’t take long for it to get my attention and by the end it spoke to me on such a deep level. I have read some of the top parenting books and Loved them, but found them hard to implement. This book skipped the textbook talk (that my psychology degree brain loves) and just explained it parent to parent. I started trying the tips as I was learning them and it’s almost like I tuned into their needs and saw them for who they were. I have not raised my voice in 2 weeks. They don’t trigger me anymore. I get frustrated and annoyed but instead of yelling I try to ask a question and see if magic happens. Who is squishing the cushion? *magically gets up off the couch cushion and straightens it.* It has been fun figuring out how to communicate with them. Making kids think changes the power struggle and builds executive function. Also makes them think it’s their idea and creates conversation vs giving out orders. I see them differently and i have stopped raising my voice, repeating myself, barking orders, and talking so much.

Thank you for taking the time to travel with a toddler so that you can share this with the world that really needs this!

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good content, tiring narration

Really great content and good summary/take home points at the end of the chapters. she wove the components together well.

The narration was tiring. She speaks with such emphasis and almost incredulity I could only listen in little bits. Happy to have gotten through it.

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1 person found this helpful

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A must read for parents!!!!!

I cannot tell you how much I wish I had read this 30 years ago when my children were babies! Vital information, simply and powerfully explained. Read it and give it to every parent/ grandparent you know!
And then check www.UnschoolingSchool.com to see how we can apply the same fundamentals to education and give more autonomy and responsibility at school.
Heather MacTaggart

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Author writes from a self serving perspective

Author took certain parenting tips from other cultures, but seemed to only focus on how to control their children. The well being or fulfilment of the child was never mentioned. Single focused viewpoint from someone who doesn’t seem to actually enjoy spending time with their child.

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Must read

Incredible book! The author has a great voice and it’s so easy to listen to. My only (minor) complaint is that she often pronounces “children” as “trilldren”

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Great perspective on parenting

Gave me so much to consider and think about with regards to my own daughter (20 months old). Highly recommend this book to other parents!

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Absolutely loved!

It validates so many thoughts/questions as a first time mom, and I very much appreciate much credit to the true people of the land.

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Wow! I needed this book sooner

I’m so thankful for this audiobook. Over just the past few days I have already noticed a change in our household. I’m excited to continue implementing these changes with my two kids (ages 3 & 1.5), and I’m looking forward to creating the bond I had always hoped to have with them.

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Amazing Read

This book is incredibly insightful. I grew up in rural Newfoundland and I resonated deeply with many of the concepts. While I listened, I reflected on how I was approaching communication and control with my child. I’ve already put many of the suggested concepts into action and feel a shift in happiness as a parent. Can’t recommend enough.

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This book is GOLD

Within a week of starting to listen to this book my relationship with my 3 year old drastically improved. I am so grateful that Michaeleen made it her mission to write this book. It all just makes sence, and she’s so easy to listen to. She makes it light, her voice is engaging… it’s really a must read/listen. Filled with Aha moments.

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