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Mainstream parenting is W.E.I.R.D! Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, Democratic. Well, maybe not everyone. But parenting in North American culture has changed a lot in the past few hundred years and it’s a lot different currently than some other places in the world. 


My guest in this podcast set out to look at how some other families around the world operate, how American parenting is different, and what we can learn from parents in other places.


Michaeleen Doucleff, PhD, is the author of the New York Times bestseller Hunt, Gather, Parent. The book describes a way of raising helpful and confident children, which moms and dads have turned to for millennia. It also explains how American families can incorporate this approach into their busy lives.


Doucleff is also a global health correspondent for NPR’s Science Desk, where she reports about disease outbreaks and children’s health. 

We cover:

  • [3:00] Why Michaeleen wrote her book and what influenced it
  • [6:30] How the nuclear family has been a failed social experiment 
  • [13:10] Michaeleen’s TEAM acronym 
  • [20:00] The interesting thing about encouraging our kids to develop autonomy 
  • [37:30] The importance of having minimal interference with our kids
  • [45:55] Culturally specific traits when raising kids
  • [52:00] Advice Michaeleen would give her younger parent self

Doucleff has a doctorate in chemistry from the University of Berkeley, California, a master’s degree in viticulture and enology from the University of California, Davis, and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Caltech.


In 2015, Doucleff was part of the team that earned a George Foster Peabody award for its coverage of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Before coming to NPR in 2012, Doucleff was an editor at the journal Cell, where she wrote about the science behind pop culture. 


She lives in Alpine, Texas, with her husband, daughter and German Shepherd, Savanna.

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