Parenting like a Caveman

So I read an article today from the Daily Mail about how parents back in the caveman days were better much better parents than todays “breed” of parents.  Here’s a snippet of the article:

“‘Professor Narvaez led three American studies, including one looking at the parents of three-year olds and how they compare with the child rearing of foraging hunter-gatherer societies of the past.

She found that unlike parents nowadays, ancient communities relied on extended families to look after their children or, as she said, ‘people beyond mum and dad who also love the child’.

They were also more likely to promptly respond to a baby’s crying and fussing.

‘Warm, responsive care-giving like this keeps the infant’s brain calm in the years it is forming its personality and response to the world,’ said Professor Narvaez, who is based at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.

‘At the same time, our distant ancestors spent much of their time being held and caressed by their mother, forming a close bond. They were not spanked.'”

Because of this, it’s said that those children were less self-centered, had better morals and more compassion than today’s children. Other interesting tidbits to know:

*Back in Caveman days children were breastfed until 5.

*Children often played outside instead of playing indoors.

*Children who play indoors are more likely to have mental health issues and hyperactivity.

Some of the issues I have with this article is that it doesn’t take into account the idea that times are different. We are no longer a hunter and gatherer society. So that type of parenting–sounds nice–but is much more difficult to achieve in the grand scheme of things.  Especially in context of breast-feeding.  Doctors have told us that breastfeeding after 2 is unnecessary. And anyone who breastfeeds their children after 2 is often seen as a social deviant.  We’ve been told that sometimes we just need to let our children cry to avoid spoiling them and to also give us some sanity.  We’ve been told that coddling a child after a certain age is a bad idea and leads to attachment issues. All of this information has been conditioned into the way many of us parent our children.

The biggest issue I have with studies like this one is that it completely debunks what we’ve been told by our doctors, or by the previous generation of “parents”.  Matter of fact at least once a year I read about a “new” study that completely debunks the study before in regards to parenting and the implications for a child’s future. So we never really know which study is right and which one is wrong.  I’ll accept caveman parenting-as the best way to parent–for now, but I expect for a new study to come out next year completely debunking caveman parenting.


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