Cavemen – better parents than us?

Research suggests that our ancient ancestors spent longer caring for their babies than we do today


Parents in today’s society spend less time caring for their children than parents from the Ice Age, an American psychologist has argued, reports the Daily Mail.


Professor Darcia Narvaez’s study looked at how the parenting techniques of mums and dads with 3-year-olds today compared with the techniques of parents from ancient societies.

“Our research shows that the roots of moral functioning form early in life, in infancy,” said Professor Darcia.

“But child-rearing nowadays is increasingly depriving them of the practices that lead to well-being and a moral sense.”

The research suggested that, in contrast to practices that are common today, mums in ancient communities were likely to respond quickly to a baby’s crying and breastfeed until their child was 5.

“Warm, responsive care-giving like this keeps the infant’s brain calm in the years it is forming its personality and response to the world,” said Professor Darcia.

“At the same time, our distant ancestors spent much of their time being held and caressed by their mother, forming a close bond. They were not spanked.

“There’s an epidemic of anxiety among the young,” Professor Darcia continued.

“Kids who don’t get the emotional nurturing they need in early life tend to be more self-centred. They don’t have the same compassion-related emotions as kids who were raised by warm, responsive families.”


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