Hunt, Gather, Parent

by Michaeleen Doucleff

Not Recommended

Hunt Gather Parent Book Cover


I enjoyed this book and there were a number of good nuggets of information in this book. One of my favorite quotes is “If a parent doesn’t demand and control a child’s attention then a child doesn’t demand and control the parent’s attention.” Multiple times helpful ideas were undermined by going too far or twisting the concept after presenting it. I recommend reading this with a critical lens of how it may fit or not fit with how you hope to raise your children and take out the helpful pieces.


  • Comparing your child to a baby or calling them a baby when they are having a hard time is cruel, disrespectful, and harmful. It is also disrespectful to babies who are awesome even though they are different from us as adults. 
  • We love the idea of more physicality with loving, touching, and active play but that physicality should not be used to distract children from their needs and tickling is not something we advise because it is difficult to maintain consent.
  • We are strongly against the use of physicality when angry. When an adult is angry it is harder to read cues and make logical decisions. We recommend moving back and recentering if angry.
  • The section about stories is another example. We love the idea of using storytelling which is powerful and research based. However, we recommend against creating mystery monsters and using fear to motivate children.