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Paul Cooper

Research Suggests 6 Parenting Techniques Used By Cavemen

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Posted on October 16 2010 10:00 pm
Paul Cooper is a husband and father above all else. With a wife and 2 daughters he could use a dog, but sadly he only owns a cat – a female cat no less. Paul is also a pastor, blogger, and business owner. Find him on Twitter.

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Parenting...it's so easy a caveman can do it.

Not only can cavemen help Geico Insurance spike in sales, they can also teach you a thing or two about parenting.  Or at least that is what some recent research seems to suggest.  Those promoting prehistoric parenting have some controversial suggestions that go far beyond simply taking Flintstones vitamins.  You might be surprised to hear caveman parenting is more about cuddling your kids instead of clubbing them.

At a Notre Dame University symposium this past week, three new studies were presented by Notre Dame professor Darcia Narvaez and others arguing that ancient hunter-gatherer models of child-rearing are the most effective strategy for the first three years of childhood.  Anthropologists believe (though with limited and varied source material) that hunter-gatherers were not warrior like but rather sweet and sharing.  They further argue that those ancient moms and dads just may have had better parenting skills than today’s parents.  It could be that Pebbles and even BamBam were actually very sweet and caring little tikes.

Recent research studies show that today’s young people are becoming less and less empathetic.  Kids simply don’t care about other people as much as they used to.  For example, a study of 14,000 college students showed that today’s youth is 40% less empathetic than kids were just 30 years ago.  With all the recent coverage of school bullying many wonder if we are doing something wrong and raising mean children.  Add to these numbers the huge spike in psychological medicine dished out to our little ones, and we just might be due for a new perspective on child-rearing.

The way we raise our children today in this country is increasingly depriving them of the practices that lead to well being and a moral sense. – Narvaez

So what practices do the researchers believe helped hunter-gatherers raise such caring children?  They offer six suggestions that are extremely similar with the theories of attachment parenting promoted by pediatrician Dr. William Sears.  The focus is on the mother-child bond being more important than anything else.  The world of early childhood parenting philosophy is passionately debated and your reaction to these tips will probably reflect what school of childbearing you support.  That said, here are the six caveman tips for moms and dads:

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