The secrets of Hadza education, to give children self-confidence

How to raise your child? There are a multitude of educational methods. It’s not always easy to navigate! Michaeleen Doucleff has gone to the Hadza. Their particularity? Children are endowed with great self-confidence.

The education of a child elsewhere than in the West

Michaeleen Doucleff is a scientist, and Rosy’s mom. The least we can say is that the education of his daughter gives him a hard time. She therefore set out to discover three hunter-gatherer civilizations: the Mayas, the Inuit and the Hazdas. From these three trips, she gained rich experiences. She also discovered new methods of education , which differ from those practiced in the West, both in theory and in practice. Following this, she wrote a book “ Hunter, Gatherer, Parent ”, in which she shares her experience and advice.

Growing up among the Hadza

The Hadza are a population of East Africa, living in central Tanzania. They lead lives similar to those of their ancestors thousands of years ago. They have a great relationship with flora and fauna. If they have lived in the heart of the wooded savannah for all this time, it is not because they are cut off from the world, but because this way of life works. The earth gives them, and they give to the earth. This gift economy is also valid in the parent-child relationship . Parents give all their love, protection, food to their children. In return, they expect them to take responsibility, but do not seek to achieve a certain ideal. They have an approach to education that adapts to the needs of childrenboth mentally and physically, ” like a perfectly fitted glove with one hand, ” writes Michaeleen. In this way, the Hadza children are endowed with great self-confidence.

The recipe for self-confidence

The lack of confidence is an issue that speaks more or less everyone. This can be felt from childhood. Through her book “ Hunter, Gatherer, Parent ”, Michaeleen Doucleff shares the way of life, and the education system of the Hadzas, in order to raise their children , so that they have confidence in them. During her trip to Tanzania, the author was struck by the autonomy and freedom of children. While in Western cultures parents sometimes tend to want to control children’s lives , the Hadza is the opposite. However, as we can read in the book: “ Giving autonomy does not come at the expense of security”, Because adults have eyes everywhere, and children are always watched. Then you will find out how.

Child autonomy and self-confidence

Children from the Hadza civilization are therefore very autonomous, from an early age. This is an essential ingredient, to allow them to flourish and gain self-confidence. To do this, as a parent, you have to give them freedom! “ Let your child do whatever he wants. You are out of place. Let him live ”: this was the advice given to Michaeleen Doucleff. “ When you lead a child with a wand, you undermine their autonomy and their self-confidence, ” the book reads. On the contrary, not restraining him is the best way to protect him from stress and anxiety. But be careful not to confuse independence and autonomy, which are two different concepts. “An independent child is disconnected from others, he is not responsible for anyone other than himself, ” says Rosy’s mother. An autonomous child is master of his actions, but he is not cut off from others, he is always in touch with those around him: “ We expect help, sharing and kindness from him”.

Teach your child autonomy

Following her stay with the Hadza, Michaeleen Doucleff gives several tips and tools to raise your children so that they are independent, which is one of the keys to self-confidence . First of all, you have to be attentive to the frequency of the instructions that you give to your child. Pay attention to how often you give him orders . Limit yourself to three per hour. “ Use orders only to teach the child helpfulness, generosity and responsibilities towards his family”,explains the author. It is then necessary to find a geographical area conducive to autonomy, such as outdoor play areas, where children of all ages can play. You will be able to monitor them from a distance, interfering as little as possible. Then, just like the Hadzas, create an “invisible safety net”. Sympathize with the neighbors, their children, so that your little one is never really alone, that we watch over him. This way, someone can always intervene in the event of a problem.

Allo parents: receiving social support

In recent years, the taboo surrounding parental depression has gradually been lifted, even if there is still a long way to go. In some hunter civilizations, parents are not the only ones caring for children . There are what are called “ alloparents ”. It is all the people other than the father and the mother who take care of the child. Sometimes allomers take over 40% of the child’s physical care . On the sentimental aspect, this circle is more than beneficial, as much for the parents as for the children. In addition to constantly giving love to the baby, they also provide relief to the parents, who are more relaxed. It’s a bit of a virtuous circle. In the book, we can read: “There is a link between the quality of our family relationships in our early childhood and whether or not we experience loneliness and social isolation in adulthood. A child who feels supported by his parents, who knows he can count on them, will keep this feeling throughout his life ”. So don’t hesitate to build your circle of alloparents!

Helping your children fight depression

Thanks to his experience with the Hazdas, Michaeleen Doucleff, understood that being surrounded is essential for both parents and children. “ Babies are designed to be raised by all kinds of people,” she writes. Rosy’s mom continues: “ This network of love and support helps the child see the world as a beneficial and caring place, which protects them from depression and other mental health issues ”. If we instinctively think of the family, or of adults, know that children can be fantastic alloparents! “ They make wonderful playmates and naturally integrate play into learning, and have skill levels closer to those of children than adults”, explains the writer. This circle is as important for health as sport and diet.

Create a social circle to be in good health

As you will have understood, being supported in the education of children is essential, both for you and for them! To do this, you can build a family network, in order to share extra-curricular time with you . This provides emotional support to children, and parents to breathe, be in better shape, and therefore be more present for their children when needed. But for their development and their self-confidence, it is also important that your little ones rub shoulders with people of all ages. To do this, you can go to public places, or organize big snacks. Finally, we talked about it earlier, you can train “mini alloparents”: “Teach older children to take care of their little brothers and sisters at an early age. Link the help they give to their growing maturity ” . Finally, it is essential to accept the help of this circle, to work hand in hand, and to be grateful to alloparents.