What is Primal Parenting?
By Darcia Narvaez, PhD
Intuitive parenting represents parenting practices that evolved more than 30 million years ago with the social mammals which became more intense through human evolution. They match up with the maturational schedule of the baby whose development is optimized when they are raised with these practices.
Our research is showing that these practices matter for child wellbeing and moral development. They are also related to adult wellbeing and moral orientation.
NOTE: Babies are 0-2 years old or so; Young children 2.5-6 years old
List of practices with babies and young children as identified by a review of research into small-band hunter-gatherers (who represent 99% of human genus history).
1. Soothing Child Birth
2. Responsivity (no distress to babies)
3. Breastfeeding (2-5 years; average age of weaning is 4 years old)
4. Touch constantly in the first year of life and frequent positive touch thereafter
5. Free play in natural world with multi-aged playmates
6. Multiple adult caregivers
7. Positive social climate
FOR MORE DETAILS, SEE: The Evolved Nest (Evolved Developmental Niche)
Sources for this information include:
Hunter-Gatherer Childhoods, edited by Barry Hewlett and Michael Lamb
The Evolution of Childhood, by Melvin Konner
Mothers and Others: The Evolutionary Origins of Mutual Understanding, by Sarah Hrdy
Evolution, Early Experience and Human Development
Ancestral Landscapes in Human Development
Wenda Trevathan, Human Birth
Tiffany Field, Touch
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