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Useful Parenting Tips from Traditional Societies

Parenting or child rearing is the process of promoting the development of a child from infancy to adulthood. It is observed that parents in WEIRD societies or Western, educated, industrialized, rich and democratic, have pre-conceived notions concerning parenting, such as all children are unique individuals and should be allowed to make independent decisions; children should be under adult supervision etc.

Indeed, there is a lot that the parents in WEIRD societies can learn from their counterparts in small-scale societies. Some of the major practices that may be adopted by modern societies are Allow for make-believe about real life - The children in the village critically observe and copy adults. During playtime, children of various age groups indulge in acting out and even parodying adult behaviours. Western kids should be more often encouraged to play among unsupervised, mixed-age groups.  Kids should indulge in collaborative games - It is important for children of all age groups to play together. This imbibes in them co-operation and negotiation. Often older kids handicap themselves so that the younger kids win the game. This prevents any kind of intrusion by adults. Western kids should take up this practise to curb bullying which is observed in modern societies. Young children should be put to work - The village children often play with miniature and cast-off tools and utensils such as knives. This method is used in order to prepare them for adult responsibilities. Western children should be involved in helping adults, so that they willingly perform chores at later ages.

By: Anuja Arora


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