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Parenting Book Review: Hunt, Gather, Parent

Cover image of the book Hunt Gather Parent which is the subject of this book review. The subtitle says "what ancient cultures can teach us about the lost art of raising happy helpful little humans".
Hunt, Gather, Parent

Why This Book?

I grabbed this book from the library because I read parenting books like a starving person might go after food. As you may know, I’m not a parent myself, but I’ve been a nanny, a preschool class teacher, and now a therapist who has spent a great deal of time working with children and their parents.

Side note: I became a therapist partly (mostly) because even as a child I naturally gravitated to the relationship books. Imagine an elementary school kid passing over the fun books to grab a fat stack of dating, marriage, and parenting books. Anyway, I’m fairly certain I’m in the right career path.

Parenting Strategies

The book promises to give a new look on parenting strategies based on those found in more traditional cultures around the world. But unlike most other books on traditional parenting, this author wrote the book with the goal of translating these traditional techniques into something usable by fully modern parents. It’s refreshing to see how these skills are used in tiny villages and how the author then uses them back in San Francisco with her own daughter.

Goal: Reduce Parent Stress

If you’re like me and devour parenting books for breakfast, you’ll recognize many of these skills like allowing kids to follow their natural helpful instinct, managing your own anger and frustration so things don’t escalate, and giving kids space to practice growth on their own.

Parenting Experience, Not Theory

While the skills may not exactly be new, the presentation is fresh because the author was (and is still) in the middle of raising a toddler. The author describes her own childhood experience of growing up in a yelling home. She’s open about her struggles to adapt to the idea of quiet and calm parenting. Readers who come from a similar background may relate. But even for those parents who grew up in peaceful homes, you know it is still be a struggle to keep calm in the face of a screaming, crying, hitting toddler. And yes, this book goes into managing that kind of kid.

Accessible Starting Points

The narratives are engaging and worthwhile reading, but for parents needing immediate help (or for readers needing a quick reminder), each section concludes with a helpful boxed summary with practical tips to implementing these new strategies.

Interested? You can find the book here on the publisher’s website.

Need parenting help as you work through this book? Many parents use therapy as a space to get coaching, support, and education as they manage their own unique families. Contact me for any questions or to get started.

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