Nov 122007
 

Jean Liedloff writes about her experiences while living with Yequanas, native Indians in the South American jungle. She notices the differences in parenting and upbringing to our civilized culture as well as the apparently innate socialty in all members – lack of competition, lack of fighting, happyness, no hyperactive children, etc.

She concludes that this must be the result of their upbringing which she describes in detail. Essentially the development of a child happens in a continuum. Evolution leaves its imprint on experiences or kind of experiences expected in the development. If these expected experiences are not met, deprivation occurs. For example, direct and constant contact with its parents is cruical right after birth (bonding) and for as long as the baby feels need to.

Liedloff also muses how the inadequate upbringing in our civilized cultures are linked to many “problems” – for example never fulfilled longings, drug addiction and even homosexuality. Many of these conclusions should be dealt with a critical view. To me some of them make immediate sense, some are worth to be more closely examined and some are plainly wrong – especially the one about homosexuality.

The book was first published in 1975. I read it about fifteen years ago and read it again now. It has still not lost its relevance. Parents who have adapted the continuum concept confirm this online in book reviews and experience reports.

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