Skip to comments.Is it time to return to caveman parenting?
Posted on 10/15/2010 12:46:10 PM PDT by Immerito
In 2-year-old Nate Macauley's world, the arms of mom and dad and a small cadre of family friends are always available for a snuggle, whether it's to help calm the toddler's woes, or just to keep him close. To his mom, Amy, the plentiful hugs and cuddles they lavish on Nate provide an important lesson.
"I want Nate to grow up to be a kind person," says the 33-year-old from Cleveland. "And the way we can do that is to show him kindness.
The Macauleys' take on parenting showing compassion for a little one just learning to navigate his world sounds so easy even a caveman could do it.
In fact, that's just how doting Stone Age parents reared their children, according to three new studies presented this week at a University of Notre Dame conference. While our hunter-gatherer ancestors may not have been big on dental hygiene, they did get it right when it came to raising well-adjusted, empathetic children, says lead researcher Darcia Narvaez, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Notre Dame, whose research focuses on moral development of children.
They instinctively knew what was right for a child, and children thrived because of that, claims Narvaez, who discussed her research on hunter-gatherer societies at a meeting exploring the psychological, anthropological and biological conditions related to human development.
When every day brings a new report about packs of student bullies , teenage cyber-harrassment and even 6-year-old kindergarteners terrorizing their less-fashionable peers, a return to Stone Age parenting may be just what we need to reverse whats widely being called a rampant culture of mean, the researchers suggest.
(Excerpt) Read more at msnbc.msn.com ...
If only we could go back to the good old days when there was no such thing as Christianity and people just instinctively knew the difference between right and wrong.
What a crock of BS. The article makes it sound like the woman has personally interviewed prehistoric people. How laughable to claim that so-called cave parents didn’t spank their kids. What a riot.
I thought they clubbed their women over the heads and dragged them by their ponytails. Again the popular media has failed me.
They must have done something right - OR WE WOULDN’T BE HERE!!!!
There are so many disturbing stories every day of mothers & fathers abusing and killing their kids - maybe we could learn something - starting with a little humility.
Really, they make it sound like cavemen were such great parents, how would they know?
They’re idealizing them without a scintilla of evidence.
Why not idealize Indians? They usually make them out to be “one with nature”.
I got news for you Mom and Dad--little Nate is going to grow up to be a pansy.
Even a less-than-ideal family environment can promote values, cultivate virtue, and breed success -- if the right ingredients are there.
The title of Clarence Thomas' autobiography -- My Grandfather's Son -- is a tribute to his maternal grandfather who raised him and his brother after his father abandoned the family and his mother couldn't handle the financial and emotional strain of raising her children while working two or more low-paying jobs at a time.
Yeah, they should smack him around more to help him develop character. A cigarette burn or two when he least expects it and he might even grow up to be a real tough guy. That and tell him that he's unwanted and that's why daddy drinks. Before you know it, we'll have a man among men.
Wow, the article is bulging at the seams with FAIL.
To start with, it is very correct that infants need a lot of tactile stimulation for their brains to develop. They also need very controlled amounts of other forms of stimulation as well, because their senses are very sensitive and can be overloaded. Bright lights and intense sounds can be distressing to them.
Children also need very established parameters around them, which works in concert with their strong imperative—and capability, to explore and learn.
At a particular time, small children should properly also temporarily *reject* coddling, because it is interfering with their development. And this means that they must be provided strong guidance, so that they do not blunder into danger while increasing their own abilities.
From there it is critical that they learn how to do things on their own, with little or no help. They must fail in this as much as succeed, so they can learn to adapt to failure, neither requiring continual supervision nor succumbing to frustration and quitting.
And this is when parents must back off, and let success be its own reward. No blue ribbon for second place. Rewards are for winners. Smart losers learn from their mistakes and improve.
“Really, they make it sound like cavemen were such great parents, how would they know?”
Here’s how I would know.
God created man.
God gave man the ability to determine right from wrong.
Man was monogomus and with woman had children.
Children were taught right from wrong.
Yes, but how did they know that? Whig cavemen did they interview or did they babysit their kids or something?
Kids raised by stoneage parents never cut the living hearts out of their neighbors or ate their brains or pealed the skins of their living bodies or......
Nope those stone age societies were all peace, love and understanding.
Balogna, high grade. Consider that even if a Stone Age human managed to survive to “adulthood”, I believe they died of old age pretty early, like maybe age twenty-eight or so. Kids became “adults” pretty early, with responsibilities we reserve for adults today going to preteens.
You can argue about what constitutes the ideal childhood but you can’t realistically claim the Stone Age folks got it right, not without some pretty hefty proof.
Is Darcia Narvaez still employed by Notre Dame after this ridiculous research and article? Where to even start....
....not unless he is regularly seeking to snuggle with parents and/or relatives in his late childhood or teens.
Oh, I agree that this MSNBC journalist is definitely (sans substantiation) idealizing these imagined traits of Stone Age parenting.
Swaddling was, likely involve, I would imagined, as many (I don’t know about all) ancient societies swaddled their infants. Breastfeeding for the first few years of life is certainly attested to in the Ancient Near East.
But unfortunately, the left mixed some fecal matter into the fudge batter.
I know that in my experience, coming to FR to read people commenting on various news articles helped to shape my conservative worldview; I hope that as a member, I can also influence others by posting such articles, and that my fellow Freepers will continue to refute the bad and extol the good within said articles.
Thank you for your thoughtful, detailed reply.
It’s unfortunate how many people still follow the left’s advice on childrearing, although the more their unsound advice is followed, the worse each generation becomes in terms of discipline, respect, etc.
My comment wasn’t a personal opinion of you, it was on the article.
I have no quibble that anciently a lot of things were done right, among them the tribal system that kept generations of the family in close touch with each other. Our atomized families are at a distinct disadvantage compared to daily interaction with parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings. And, no, neighbors and friends can’t quite duplicate that system, no matter what the article says.
My criticism is that the author of the article seems to me to have sugarcoated Stone Age life and likely had little or no evidence to prove the assertions. Had the article compared, say, the childrearing practices of isolated indigenous societies of today, and drawn the conjecture that their similarities most probably reflect ancient similarities, I could accept that, albeit even that with a grain of salt.
On the other hand, we do have some evidence that ancient— maybe not Stone Age, but certainly ancient—civilizations practiced infanticide, sacrificed children to idols, enslaved children, farmed them out to be servants and hired hands, abandoned children, and expected children to act like adults at a very young age. The good was surely balanced with a lot of bad along the way.
Never give the left credit for their perfidy. On one hand, “progressives” have been trying to pollute young minds since before the turn of the 20th Century. On the other hand, their results have been mixed to poor.
Perhaps the left’s greatest success, measured on the ruined educational prospects of their victims, was promulgated by Noam Chomsky and his peers, with their invention of “whole language” English instruction.
In the late 1950s, black American school children were almost on a par with white children academically. But within a few years after the introduction of whole language to their poorer schools, their test scores plummeted across the board, starting with English.
The difference was that white parents and schools quickly spotted this deficiency, and corrected for it, while black parents and schools did not. Yet with 50 years of rock solid evidence of the failure of whole language, it is still an article of faith with the left that it is a better system, because it *must* be a better system.
Otherwise, the left has long been frustrated that both parents, and the culture in which children are raised, has always been far more influential than anything introduced in public schools. And while bad advice before then, such as Dr. Spock’s “Baby and Child Care”, has found wide use among naive parents, its long term effects have been marginal at best.