Childhood living is easy to do, is it?

  • Kids are spoilt rotten by their mothers, breastfeed up to age four
  • Kids are alloparented (fathers and others) about 25% of the time
  • Fathers play a more significant role in parenting in foragers than in other ethnographic communities
  • Carefree childhood and not expected to do any work until adolescence
  • Mixed age and sex playgroups
  • Punishment is rare, physical punishment virtually absent
  • No formal, directed learning; learning is observational, imitative and experimental (similar to the “scientific method”) and self-initiated
  • Children are never “commanded” or coerced and enjoy almost the same egalitarian status everyone else does
  • Absence of adolescent (same-age) peer groups (“cliques”)
  • Adulthood comes late for girls, who have their first child at a median age of 19.2 years (menarche around 17 years)
  • show defiant behaviour
  • react more strongly (and defiantly) to punishment
  • not be obedient just to please their parents or teachers
  • be more self-directed learners and may struggle with directed learning
  • have opposite sex friends
  • not be a part of a clique or gang or even have loner tendencies
  • not conform to peer pressure
  • be bullied (because of the above)
  • have puberty and romantic relationships later than average
  • have a higher risk of mental health problems such as depression and anxiety
  • have higher rates of self-harm and suicidal ideation

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