I’ve got twin toddlers who are right in the middle of the so-called terrible twos.
For that reason I’ve been closely reading Michaeleen Doucleff’s book Hunt, Gather, Parent: What Ancient Cultures Can Teach Us About the Lost Art of Raising Happy, Helpful Little Humans.
Here I’d like to share a visual summary of each of the three main sections of the book.
How to Raise Helpful Kids
In the first section of the book Doucleff shares what she learned from a Maya community in the Yucatan that is known for raising particularly helpful children.
What stood out to me from this section of the book was the simplicity of the “let them help” advice, and the encouragement to take on normal daily tasks together as a family. The challenge is overcoming the feeling of “I could do this so much more quickly by myself!” and settling into the slower (and often messier) cadence when you bring your children along for the ride.
How to Teach Kids Emotional Intelligence
Doucleff next shares some insights gleaned from an Inuit community in the Arctic, where the emotional intelligence of children is off the charts.
The biggest shift for me in this section was the concept of not just suppressing or managing anger, but not having it in the first place. I’ve noticed that comes a whole lot easier when I’m well-rested and other aspects of life are running smoothly.
How to Raise Confident Kids
Finally, Doucleff shares what she learned from spending time with a Hadzabe community in Tanzania, where you’ll find some of the most confident kids on the planet.
The difference between independence and autonomy is what stood out to me here. For much of my life I valued independence over connection, which made the first few years of parenthood particularly difficult. These days, however, I’m finding space for my own (and my children’s) autonomy instead, and enjoying the stabilizing gravity and deep connections that come with family life.
Sketchnote Book Club
If you enjoyed those visual summaries and want to develop a similar skill yourself, then check out our new monthly Sketchnote Book Club series.
Each month I’m picking a book from my reading list and inviting others to read it with me. Along the way, in weekly live workshops, I’ll be teaching the skill of visual note-taking from the ground up.