The Darya Rose Show
Nov. 23, 2021

How to parent with less stress and conflict with Michaeleen Doucleff, PhD

How to parent with less stress and conflict with Michaeleen Doucleff, PhD

Best-selling author Michaeleen Doucleff explains how Western parenting styles have led us astray, and how we can get back to calm, joyful parenting.

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Michaeleen Doucleff, PhD, is the author of the New York Times bestseller Hunt, Gather, Parent. She’s a global health correspondent for NPR’s Science Desk, where she reports about disease outbreaks and children’s health. 

Doucleff has a doctorate in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, 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. 

The 80/80 Marriage by Nate and Kaley Klemp


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Dr. Darya Rose: [00:00:00] [music plays] I'm Dr. Darya Rose and you're listening to the Darya Rose show where we bring a fact based perspective to answer all those confounding questions that come up in our day to day lives. From achieving optimal health, to making conscious choices about your purchases and raising kids that thrive. We are here to help you navigate your life with confidence. [music plays]

Hello and welcome back to the Darya Rose show. I am thrilled to Michaeleen Doucleff here to talk about her amazing bestselling book, Hunt, Gather, Parent: What Ancient Cultures Can Teach Us About The Lost Art Of Raising Happy, Helpful Little Humans.

I have been obsessed with this book since the minute I picked it up. And proceeded to read it again pretty much as soon as I finished it the first time. I have long felt that something is broken about the way we parent in Western cultures, as I've seen so many stressed and depressed parents, myself included. [00:01:00] Disruptive and stubborn children and anxious and depressed teens.

And I am just heartbroken by the suicide rate in teenagers and young people in this country. And I truly believe that some of the lessons Michaeleen presents in her book can be a huge part of the solution.

Michaeleen Doucleff, PhD, is the author of the New York Times bestseller, Hunt, Gather, Parent. She's a global health correspondent for NPR's science desk where she reports about disease outbreaks and children's health. Doucleff has a Doctorate in Chemistry from the University of California Berkeley. A Masters degree in Viticulture and Enology from the University of California Davis. And a Bachelors degree in Biology from Cal Tech.

In 2015, Doucleff was the part of the team that earned a George Foster Peabody Award for its coverage of the Ebola outbreak in west Africa.

We have an absolutely fantastic conversation about how to de-stress our parenting lives and help our kids find their intrinsic motivation to be helpful and contributing members of the family. [music plays] I have used several of her tips, and even though I'm [00:02:00] still pretty new at it, the lessons have been absolutely transformative in our home.

I am so excited to share her wisdom with you. Here is Michaeleen Doucleff. [music plays] Michaeleen, welcome to the show.

Michaeleen Douc...: Thank you for having me.

Dr. Darya Rose: I am, I am so excited to talk to you. I think I need to start by saying how incredibly brave you are [laughs] for traveling to the far corners of the earth with your wily toddler. [laughs] Oh my God. [laughs] I just like can't even imagine. What was that like?

Michaeleen Douc...: The first trip was in the Yucatan in Mexico which was the easiest logistically and travel wise. But it was by far the hardest because I didn't have any of the skills and like slowly as we went, especially to the Arctic, I, and Rosie too, changed so much. Like I really started using what was in the book as we traveled because traveling is like such a hard experience with toddlers.

And it's like a perfect opportunity. I realized actually on the flight back from [00:03:00] Cape Town, you know it's the first trip, I, I realized I was like, you know what? If I just kind of channel what I've learned and what these moms, most of the moms have taught me, I'm just gonna see what happens on the six hour flight. And it was like [inaudible 00:03:15], it was incredible. Like she calmed down. She stopped screaming. And I was clearly not good at it at that point at all.

Dr. Darya Rose: [laughs]

Michaeleen Douc...: And I didn't really know the ins and outs of it. But I just saw even like, just that little bit kind of what was possible. So by the end when were in, the Tanzania trip was crazy. It was like 20 some hours of flying and then a seven hour trip.

Dr. Darya Rose: Oh my gosh.

Michaeleen Douc...: Like Rosie was amazing. Like she had really changed because I had changed the way I interacted with her so-

Dr. Darya Rose: Wow. Well, that's great. [laughs]

Michaeleen Douc...: [laughs] And then I got back and I was like this book is really gonna work, because like it's already worked. I mean that, people all, are always like well how can these very different places, these very different communities like teach us thing here in my busy San Francisco life.

And I'm always like, yeah, I know, [00:04:00] I'm surprised myself with how well it works. And it's why I wrote the work because it does like really work in all these different places.

Dr. Darya Rose: Totally. So so much of Hunt, Gather, Parent resonated with me. But like you said, at first I was a little skeptical. Even a little bit by the title. I'm a very isolated western parent.

Michaeleen Douc...: Hmm.

Dr. Darya Rose: And I am very, very aware of that. [laughs]. And so I've heard actually a lot of my friends justify a lot of their parenting practices by saying, "Well, this is how it was always done in these traditional ways." And I'm like yeah, that's fine if you've got seven aunts and all these elders and helping hands helping you in a tribe. Like I don't have a tribe. I don't have a village. I don't have anything. You know, my husband is-

Michaeleen Douc...: You and me. You and me, sister. Like-

Dr. Darya Rose: [laughs]

Michaeleen Douc...: ... This whole week I have been solo parenting and like even I have, do the things in the book and I taught, I, I do all those things. But I end up so many days like just, it's just me. And it's so hard. And I think it's one of the hardest aspects of ... [00:05:00] I'll start to cry because this week has just been like that. But like the hardest aspects of parenting these days is how isolated-

Dr. Darya Rose: Hmm.

Michaeleen Douc...: And there's a lot of men, but it's a lot of women that are just doing it on their own almost.

Dr. Darya Rose: Right. And now with COVID like even our small chances to not be isolated are cut off. [laughs]

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah, yeah and we go in these waves, right? Where like people leave or somebody moves or yeah, COVID comes. School things happen. People get sick and then we, we're back to kind of isolated. And it's just kind of the default is like isolated and [inaudible 00:05:33] I'm sorry. [laughs]

Dr. Darya Rose: No, no, I think it's really important that you talked about your depression that came from that. And I had it too. I'm on medication right now that I am shocked that it happened to me-

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah.

Dr. Darya Rose: ... In some way. Because I've never, I've never felt so helpless and so incapable of in some ... A way that like I ... For something that's so important to me.

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah, [inaudible 00:05:56] like I say, I remember when I wrote those words of I, I've never been so incapable. I was so [00:06:00] bad at something.

Dr. Darya Rose: Yeah, you said that. [laughs]

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah, I really wanted to be good at. Like I really didn't even, yeah, anything, my career, whatever. Like just being a good mom and helping this little tiny creature. Like it's all I wanted and I felt like I was, I felt like I was failing miserably. I mean and I just ... You kind of caught me on like the worst week. I'm just getting so emotional. [laughs]

Dr. Darya Rose: [laughs]

Michaeleen Douc...: But like, you know I think something our society should talk more about, the isolation, because the ... What I argue in the last section of the book is it's actually the opposite is the way children are evolved to be raised, right?

Dr. Darya Rose: Right.

Michaeleen Douc...: That they are like so incapable and needing ... They need five people, right? And to put it on one or two people it's just, it's kind of cruel in a way.

Dr. Darya Rose: Yeah. To the kids and to us.

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah, exactly. Especially to us. [laughs]

Dr. Darya Rose: Especially to us, right. And then, and then, and everything suffers because of it because I'm not as good of a mom if I'm sad or missing-

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah.

Dr. Darya Rose: ... Part of myself which is what it felt like for so many years. And yeah, it's brutal. So it's really, the [00:07:00] second I started reading it and you hit with me that it was just, I knew that, [laughs] I knew that we were speaking the same language.

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah.

Dr. Darya Rose: Because it's so, yeah I'm so in it right now and it's so real.

Michaeleen Douc...: How old are your kids?

Dr. Darya Rose: So I have, my, my, my oldest just turned four on Sunday.

Michaeleen Douc...: Okay.

Dr. Darya Rose: And my, my youngest is only like two. Actually, I think today she's two years and nine months. So they're real close together. Yeah.

Michaeleen Douc...: Wow, you are in it.

Dr. Darya Rose: [laughs]

Michaeleen Douc...: I've only had one and that's yeah. You're doing, you're doing a great job.

Dr. Darya Rose: [laughs]

Michaeleen Douc...: Because no matter what you're doing, they're alive and they sleep at night. You're doing a great job.

Dr. Darya Rose: Usually yeah. [laughs]

Michaeleen Douc...: You know four hours [inaudible 00:07:40]. [laughs]

Dr. Darya Rose: I was really surprised that how practical some of the advice that, that you brought back from tribes was to me in this very isolated situation.

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah, it's, it's shocking. Me too. I was surprised. And actually when I first made the trip, before I wrote the book, I made the trip to the Yucatan for my reporting for, for NPR. And [00:08:00] I got back and I tried like a couple of things and I was, I was floored at how one, how easier it made our lives, but how much better behaved Rosie was afterwards.

And that's really what made me want to learn more cause, because I feel like so much of the advice we have sometimes works a little bit or for a little while. But sometimes it just doesn't work at all. But I really felt like what I learned from the Maya women. It was mostly the women. People give me a hard time for that but it's the truth. [laughs]

But the women were teaching me which is really, just really changed our lives. Like it really improved my relationship with Rosie. [inaudible 00:08:34] the time, she was a two and a half at that time. You know, had such a complex period. But it also just made me feel better. Like I felt better about our lives. And think cause things just got a lot easier.

Dr. Darya Rose: Yeah. Well let's dig in a little bit because I'm totally with you and that I feel like a lot of the issues that come up are an artifact, let's say, of our western style of parenting. And the philosophies that we just sort of [00:09:00] accept as truth.

Michaeleen Douc...: [laughs] Yeah, that's true.

Dr. Darya Rose: And [inaudible 00:09:02] all because it's in our culture and everybody does it. And it sounds right. You know, there's sort of these hand wavy explanations about why this important to stimulate your kid.

Michaeleen Douc...: Right.

Dr. Darya Rose: And why this is important. But we're all miserable. Like you and I aren't the only ones [laughs] that are depressed and, and freaking about this stuff. I mean every single one of my girlfriends that's in this stage of life is having such a hard time. And, and I do think it comes down largely to our philosophies and values that we're using. So can you talk about western parenting philosophies and what you think is broken there?

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah, I mean I think one of the major, major things is that we are really taught to interact with our children in a way that creates like a lot of conflict and stress. Like we kind of, I kind of thought that arguing with your kid, negotiating, [inaudible 00:09:51] like that's the way parents interacted with children and that was kind of normal.

But it's really not. If you look around the world like the vast majority of cultures like it [00:10:00] doesn't matter which continent you're on. Like parents don't argue with kids. Parents don't have these negotiations. They don't have this like conflict filled relationship.

And on the flip side of that is that we don't, we aren't taught how to cooperate with our kids. Or how to cooperate with our family. Like work together as a family. And there are two things that really changed my life.

One is learning how to cooperate with my daughter, with a two year old. It's funny I say, tell some parents and they're like, but I do cooperate with them. And I'm like no. You really don't. You really don't. This is about, this is not about you telling the kid to do something and they do it. That's not what we're talking about here.

This is like actually treating the child in a way where they're contributing to the family and they're contributing to your life. And they're integrated into your life. So that really changed me. So we go to these great lengths to separate the adult world and the child world.

Dr. Darya Rose: Hmm.

Michaeleen Douc...: And then, [00:11:00] but then children never learn how to be adults. They don't, they don't learn how to cooperate. They don't learn how to work together with you. And they're also missing from that, this connection, that I think I was missing as a child. I know Rosie was missing as a toddler.

But when you work together with your parent and your child, it's just amazing connection that gets created. So that's the one thing I think is, is broken, is that our, our way of interacting with them generates conflict and stress, anxiety and isolation because you're not connecting to them.

And then the second thing is there's just this enormous amount of high energy, right? There's just, we are taught that like the more you do as a parent, the more you say, the more you entertain, the like ... The more action packed the days are, the better parent you are.

And for a lot of kids including Rosie, and I think myself as a child, it's not better. In fact, it's the [00:12:00] opposite of what she needs.

She needs days where we do very little. We, we cook, we clean. We garden. We hang out. She needs me to be quiet. She needs, and I don't ... There's some ... There's this weird twist in our society that like if you're calm, it's like sad or bad. If you're quiet and calm, there's something wrong. And I grew up with that feeling and res ... I'm trying to learn. Trying to learn from Rosie that actually being calm and quiet and not talking is this beautiful, wonderful emotion and a wonderful experience.

Dr. Darya Rose: Yeah, so I feel like a lot of that comes from this idea that we need to be stimulating our child to encourage their development.

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah.

Dr. Darya Rose: Like you know, it comes from this good intention. Right?

Michaeleen Douc...: Absolutely.

Dr. Darya Rose: And as, as a neuroscientist, I know that it's very important that in development, we have an, an enriched environments and that's good for a lot of things. But there is such a thing as overstimulation also. [laughs]

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah, yeah, and I mean that ... I think that barometer is different for different [00:13:00] kids too.

Dr. Darya Rose: Totally.

Michaeleen Douc...: And if, and what is a rich ... So the anthropologist, she's a lot in the book, Suzanne Gaskins. She's an amazing psychological anthropologist. She said, "What is a rich environment? Is a rich environment a living room full of plastic toys? Or is like a rich environment being with your family while they make tortillas or, or going on a walk to get the, the water from the river with, with, with a bunch of women?" Or me and Rosie out in the garden? Is it, what is a richness, right?

Dr. Darya Rose: Right. It doesn't need to be like cello lessons and tennis lessons and, you know.

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah, and, and all of that is like directional learning, right? Somebody is directing, telling the child how to learn. There's this like whole other way of learning that actually arguably children are more designed to learn which is through observation and experiencing it with, with another person, right?

And so if, if the child is just ... Actually, the anthropologist, David Lancy has this theory that children [00:14:00] have, have started to lose this skill in western culture. This ability to learn through observation. Because they have been in, just so packed full of instruction.

Dr. Darya Rose: Mm-hmm [affirmative].

Michaeleen Douc...: So they're just waiting for somebody to tell them what to do.

Dr. Darya Rose: Totally, yeah.

Michaeleen Douc...: Instead of like oh I'm here, and this, this person is ... He has this whole story. It's amazing. I should write a piece about it. But it's, it's about kids on learning how to get on the ski lift. And he lives in Utah where there's like a bunch ... And he said, "20 years ago, new kids would get on the ski lift and they'd watch the kid in front of them on how to get off. You know, and then they'd be able to get off. Even though they've never done it before." And he said about five or 10 years ago, kids stopped. They would just fall off.

Dr. Darya Rose: [laughs]

Michaeleen Douc...: [laughs]. And it sounds really funny, but like he thinks it's because they've stopped learning how to learn through observation.

Dr. Darya Rose: Oh wow.

Michaeleen Douc...: That they've stopped thinking like oh, I need to figure out how to do this. I'll just watch the people in front of me.

Dr. Darya Rose: That's crazy.

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah, and he thinks it's because there's just no other time in history, no other culture where kids are just constantly in [00:15:00] instruction.

Dr. Darya Rose: Yeah, wow. There's, there's another thing that I picked up and in the neuroscience community and that is the value of ... I mean they, they say boredom, but it's not really boredom.

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah. Yeah, like that's negative version, right? [laughs]

Dr. Darya Rose: But the value of doing nothing. Right? Right.

Michaeleen Douc...: Of just being calm. [laughs]

Dr. Darya Rose: Right.

Michaeleen Douc...: Or taking initiative.

Dr. Darya Rose: Right.

Michaeleen Douc...: So this is a good one, right? There's a study that, that shows that kids with fairly packed schedules that never have these times when they're bored or free time don't learn the skill of taking initiative. What should I do now?

Like I've got this time. What? Oh, should I do my homework? Should I clean my room? Should I like ... Which is a skill that kids need in, in life, right? I use it every day. What do I do next, right? And they show that if you, if this, if it's just constant stimulation, the child is less likely to learn this skill and develop this skill which you need, you need boredom.

Dr. Darya Rose: Right, right, yeah, and creativity, I mean there ... It doesn't come out of nowhere. You have to- [laughs]

Michaeleen Douc...: Right. [laughs]

Dr. Darya Rose: You have to sort of sit, sit in your head and let it fes ... Let it [00:16:00] percolate.

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah, that's right. Like the woman that wrote Eat, Pray, Love has a whole book in this, right? Where it's like you have to be there for the muse to come, right? And [laughs] if you're watching cartoons the muse can't come. Well maybe, maybe for some people it can.

Dr. Darya Rose: So I'm trying to like put myself, um, in the position of a parent who's reluctant to give up all the scheduling and child centered activities.

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah it sounds scary.

Dr. Darya Rose: And it does. And especially, one counterpart would be like there aren't a lot of Nobel laureates coming out of remote tribes. So will our kids lose their edge if we're not constantly pushing them with their Baby Einsteins and what not?

Michaeleen Douc...: I think for some kids the answer is yeah. Some kids, some kids thrive under this intense parenting. I think that there's no doubt. The flip side of that is, is right now, one in three kids will be anxious or depressed by the time they go to college.

Dr. Darya Rose: Right.

Michaeleen Douc...: Will have gone through. And that figure has ... Is really stunning, right? So for a lot of kids, they're not losing their in ... You're likely probably-

Dr. Darya Rose: [inaudible 00:16:59] [laughs] [00:17:00] Doing an actual disservice.

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah, yeah. And there's a lot of data, right? That links anxiety, chronic stress to lack of autonomy that's in western culture. Western psychology, right? And feeling like your ... Never have these down times. You never have this free time. You're not deciding what your schedule is. Some kids will schedule themselves, right?

One of the Maya kids told me she's, she's eight. She's like yeah, I just had this and I had this. And Mayan dance, I had hieroglyph. I had this. And she's like, "And my mom was just like this is too much."

Dr. Darya Rose: [laughs]

Michaeleen Douc...: But she was like scheduling herself, right? And that's very different than the parent scheduling a three year old or a four year old. Feeling like you don't have control over your schedule, over your life. You're not making choices. That is so linked to anxiety and eventually depression. I mean-

Dr. Darya Rose: And I, I am so terrified by the suicide rates of young-

Michaeleen Douc...: Oh.

Dr. Darya Rose: Young people. Especially, especially in my peer group. The affluent-

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah.

Dr. Darya Rose: Highly educated families, like very academically focused schools. The [00:18:00] suicide rates are like off the charts. And-

Michaeleen Douc...: It's scary.

Dr. Darya Rose: Like I don't need my kid to go to Harvard that bad. [laughs]

Michaeleen Douc...: I mean that's how, that's how I feel too. I mean it's like at the end of the day, what do I want for Rosie? Do I want her to be like genuinely, like healthy, content adult that functions well in society? Or do, do I want her to be some Harvard, I don't even know, protégé? I'm not sure. Like what, I had these plans for her when she was a baby.

I was like hey, if I had all of this, I could do this. So I'm going to channel all my dreams into her. And I just think it's setting, setting, that would be setting her up for mental health problems. I mean if I look at my family, that's what's there. Depression on both sides and anxiety and me and, and it's okay. She's a smart kid. She's gonna do well.

Dr. Darya Rose: Right.

Michaeleen Douc...: She might not go to Harvard but she's gonna do well. And really what do I need to protect her from? And I really think I need to protect her from anxiety and, and stress and depression. And [00:19:00] giving her free time, I think, is the ... I, I think so many psychologists, so many psychiatrists would tell you it's like the number one thing you can do to help a child.

Dr. Darya Rose: Yeah.

Michaeleen Douc...: Not feel anxious and stress is like, being like hey yeah, I'm going to grocery store now. Come with me. Come join me. And then kind of laying off of them. Right? So it's not about just like, in the book it's not about like free rein to where it's like kids do whatever. But it's about including them and then kind of letting them be.

Dr. Darya Rose: Right.

Michaeleen Douc...: [laughs] That's kind of the sum of it. It's okay, I'm gonna go out and garden now. Or I'm going to go do the laundry now. Come out and help. And then instead of being like ordering her around like a field sergeant. Like kind of being like okay, hang these clothes up. Fold these clothes. Like a little bit of instruction, a little bit of direction. And otherwise, it's kind of, we're just here together, kind of hanging out together.

And it, it really is how kids have been with their families for like hundreds of thousands of years. There's no doubt.

Dr. Darya Rose: Right.

Michaeleen Douc...: There's just no doubt.

Dr. Darya Rose: Right.

Michaeleen Douc...: I mean [inaudible 00:19:55] well how do you know? Well, because you don't see any other model than that.

Dr. Darya Rose: Yeah and what else would they be doing? [00:20:00] They wouldn't be [inaudible 00:20:01]. [laughs]

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah, there wasn't like instruction out in, in the, in the Tanzanian bush. [laughs]

Dr. Darya Rose: Right. So while we're on, on this topic, let's talk a little bit about the difference between independence and autonomy because I feel like, especially western parents can, can mix this up a little bit.

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah, so I think western parents love independence. They'll tell you they highly value it. But then when you actually look at what they do, they don't give their children very much of it at all. So even just giving your kids real independence would help them a lot. So independence is really like, uh, dis, disconnected.

Like a child is kind of free to do what they want to do. This is what I had growing up. My mom, in the summers, we had no instruction. We had no classes. We just ran around outside.

Dr. Darya Rose: Mm-hmm [affirmative].

Michaeleen Douc...: And like I say in the book, I wasn't thinking about her.

Dr. Darya Rose: Right.

Michaeleen Douc...: I wasn't thinking oh I should pick up some milk or something for dinner.

Dr. Darya Rose: Right. [laughs]

Michaeleen Douc...: Or maybe I can help her get the laundry or the, the dry cleaning. I never once thought a lick about her. And my, my, my siblings or anything.

Dr. Darya Rose: Yeah.

Michaeleen Douc...: I was free.

Dr. Darya Rose: Our parents were just like our like servants. They would just do [00:21:00] everything.

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah. She would make my bed, right? Like I'd leave and just for school, my bed would be made when I got back, yeah. This is, this is independence, right?

Dr. Darya Rose: [laughs]

Michaeleen Douc...: It's just like-

Dr. Darya Rose: That's why we fall apart when we go to college.

Michaeleen Douc...: And why we're lonely.

Dr. Darya Rose: Right.

Michaeleen Douc...: Right? Because what children need is they need a little bit of that. There's no doubt. Kids need independence. But what they really, especially younger children, what they really crave is this autonomy. And that's, that's this kind of okay, you're free to do what you want to do. You're kind of ... I'm not gonna boss you around at every moment. Like I say in the book, parents give children like three commands an hour or less than that. Tiny-

Dr. Darya Rose: Astounding. Astounding. [laughs]

Michaeleen Douc...: ... Compared to what western par ... [inaudible 00:21:35] Yeah. So it's, it's I'm gonna leave you alone. But there are expectations that we have. And there are responsibilities that you have in the, to the family or to the group, if it's a bigger group.

Of you have to share. So if you have something, you share it. Or you put it away. So there's none of this, this is mine. This is not yours. It is everything is shared. And if, if it is yours then you, you don't show it.

Dr. Darya Rose: Mm-hmm [affirmative].

Michaeleen Douc...: [00:22:00] You, you go somewhere else. So one time Rosie and I were like hiding and eating something. Really hungry and I was like I don't want to share it.

Dr. Darya Rose: [laughs]

Michaeleen Douc...: And there is lots of stories of this. Of like western anthropologists like hiding food and stuff. Because everything is shared. And the same with toys too. Like Maya families, if a kid got, gets a toy, it's shared with the siblings, else it goes away.

Dr. Darya Rose: Mm-hmm [affirmative].

Michaeleen Douc...: Um, you have to be helpful. So you have to be on the look out for things that you can help with. So every time any, really any task in the, the household is done. A child is asked to do, to do something. To contribute in some way if they're nearby. But they're expected to kind of take part a small amount in everything.

And it's really small. Like when we were in Tanzania, I really started to understand this. Because I was making it way too hard. It was like Rosie, set the table or help me with the dishwasher but this is, this was like here hold this water bottle.

Or the mom would even come over and put a baby on my back. Like she wouldn't even ask. It was just like you're carrying this baby. And then they'd hand Rosie something to carry [00:23:00] too. Carry this stick. Carry-

So it's just very easy, the kid's walking by. Put this fork on the table. Put the plate on the table. You know, it's a very very ... But that's teaching the child as they grow up, they're, they're expected to help.

And then you're expected to be kind and respectful. So there's this ... Rosie summed it up. Autonomy is you could do really whatever you want, but you need to be kind, share and be helpful. So this is, it's kind of always just looking back to the group. And that's, that's where that you really build the connection with a child.

Where the child really feels like a ground, I think like a grounding. Like I'm not just this free planet orbiting kind of wildly in space. I'm like grounded to this family. I'm a participant. I contribute and therefore, I'm loved and fed.

Dr. Darya Rose: Yeah. It sounds like the, the main thing, the main difference is the connection. Because when you're independent you're really not connected to anything else going on. Whereas if you're, you have autonomy, you can do what you like, but you are expected to maintain that connection?

Michaeleen Douc...: That's right. It's, and it's exactly right. There is this connection. [00:24:00] Robin Wall Kimmerer calls it like a bundle of responsibility, right?

Dr. Darya Rose: Mm-hmm [affirmative].

Michaeleen Douc...: And it goes both ways, right? You have responsibility-

Dr. Darya Rose: Right, right.

Michaeleen Douc...: ... To the child. The child has responsibility to you. It, children need it. It makes them feel good. Like when Rosie gets really mouthy and really bad behaved, I'm like she needs more responsibility.

Dr. Darya Rose: Hmm.

Michaeleen Douc...: She needs like, like a coup, a couple of mornings ago, my husband was leaving. And her, her dad was leaving and she was upset about it. And I knew she was upset about it. She was just acting horrible. And I was like, "Rosie, come on over here. You need to help me put these dishes away."

And I kind of stood her on the stool and like just started handing them to her. And like immediately things ... And then I was like, "All right, now we're sweeping. And now we-"

Then we went around and we swept. And we spent 30 minutes. And we like cleaned up together and she, she behaved better for the rest of the day because kind of like oh, I have, I have, I have something I need to do. I don't have time to mess around with bad behavior. [laughs]

Dr. Darya Rose: Absolutely. I, I mean I've started doing this since reading the book. And [a] I was [00:25:00] astounded how much they wanted to help and how often I was not letting them, which like breaks my heart.

Michaeleen Douc...: Yes.

Dr. Darya Rose: Cause mom I want to help. And I'm like I'm done loading the dishwasher, you can't do that. So just sit on the counter and shut up. [laughs]

Michaeleen Douc...: [laughs] I love how honest you are.

Dr. Darya Rose: But, but I think, but I give her, uh, she can do it. Like she can, I mean she does one plate a time and she's super slow. But she is so happy. And like you're saying, she is so much better for the rest of the day versus if I like let her sit at the iPad for 20 minutes and watch an episode of Daniel Tiger which actually is great but ... I, like the, the, the difference in behavior after that event is so dramatic that it's and now I'm like telling my husband. No, could you just put that thing away. Like she should be helping you with breakfast right now.

Michaeleen Douc...: I know.

Dr. Darya Rose: They shouldn't be going crazy because it's gonna change how the rest of the day goes. So you-

Michaeleen Douc...: Interesting. That is really interesting.

Dr. Darya Rose: So you, you had a name for this. Yeah. They have, they call this, was it in the Mayan culture, the acomedido?

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah, in Spanish. It's like, it's a term used across a lot of Central America or Mexico. Acomedido. [00:26:00] Yeah, it means like, it's the skill of learning to pay attention to things that are going around. And then helping when you, when you can help.

So kind of like being accommodating. And it's something they start teaching kids around like two. Like your kids two to four is the like key time because that's when they really want to help.

And you're right. There's studies that show that like European, American parents put ... Literally push them away. Go away, go play, I need to finish this. You're in my way. And a lot of psychologists think that over time that erodes children's motivation to help. And so they grow, as they grow up, they lose it around six, seven, eight. They start not wanting to help.

Dr. Darya Rose: Mmm. That explains my husband. [laughs]

Michaeleen Douc...: And in, yes, yes, and I, I, I, um, very early on in writing this book I realized that my husband was gonna be an issue of this because if he's not acomedido or I'm not acomedido to him, how are we going to teach Rosie, right? If we're arguing over the dishes, then [00:27:00] like how is she ever gonna want ... And nobody has studied this, but I think it's got to be part of it, right?

If there parents are arguing over the dishes, no, you do them. I did them last night. The kid's never gonna want to do the dishes, right? So I actually did use the stuff on the book on my husband.

Dr. Darya Rose: Amazing.

Michaeleen Douc...: [laughs]

Dr. Darya Rose: Yeah, I find that for him, it's the hard ... Or men often, in general, like one of the hardest parts is just that awareness part that you were taking about.

Michaeleen Douc...: Yes, yes. No one's [inaudible 00:27:26]

Dr. Darya Rose: Because it's just that they're not ... Right, they're like just not paying attention that there's like already three empty glasses sitting there like help with this. [laughs] Like you put them up.

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah. And you said the magic words to acomedido and that's like paying attention. Like attention.

Dr. Darya Rose: Right.

Michaeleen Douc...: And, and I think it's because nobody ever taught them. Every, no one ever taught them to pay attention. Like you said, like stuff just got done, right? Like-

Dr. Darya Rose: Right, right. Their parents did it. Mom did it.

Michaeleen Douc...: [laughs] It was a spectator sport. I tell them that. But I seriously did like slowly teach him acomedido while I was like learning it, learning how to do it with Rosie. And it, it is [00:28:00] incredible how much better things are.

Dr. Darya Rose: Great.

Michaeleen Douc...: Like he is so much better at cleaning up and we don't fight over dishes and stuff because it, cause another part of this and I talk about this in the book is that we do things together, right?

Dr. Darya Rose: Right.

Michaeleen Douc...: There's not this like arguing over well you did it last night. I did it. Who's doing what?

Dr. Darya Rose: Mm-hmm [affirmative].

Michaeleen Douc...: We do all the things together as a family. So one of the big things, if you cut out all the activities that you're afraid to cut out, all that, all that stimulation, is that you can make just the every day chores the activity.

So like Saturday mornings, we make breakfast together. And it, we take forever sometimes. And we clean it up. And we do it all together. And then every night after dinner, everyone cleans up together. Nobody is really allowed to go off and do something. We're all going to do it together. Husband, child, me. Same with laundry.

So these chores become these team tasks. And so it's a time to work together and be together, but it's also makes it so it's you don't have to keep track. Like you're doing it. I'm doing it. There's no competition or-

Dr. Darya Rose: [00:29:00] Yeah. Yeah, my husband-

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah, it makes a big difference.

Dr. Darya Rose: Yeah, my husband and I actually, we got a lot of benefit from this book called the 80/80 Marriage. And it's basically, what you're saying, it's like it's called-

Michaeleen Douc...: Oh interesting.

Dr. Darya Rose: The idea is basically that you give, instead of trying to be 50/50, you try to each give more than 50% of the effort.

Michaeleen Douc...: Oh interesting.

Dr. Darya Rose: So the, so the idea is just like everybody is trying to help. And so that's sort of-

Michaeleen Douc...: That's very similar.

Dr. Darya Rose: Yeah, but it was just like in the context of our relationship. But it fits perfectly in with trying to get the kids involved as well.

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah, yeah. That's very interesting.

Dr. Darya Rose: And building that teamwork.

Michaeleen Douc...: Because one of the crazy things, so in the book I talk a lot about how westerners are really weird, right?

Dr. Darya Rose: Right.

Michaeleen Douc...: That, that we, we behave really strangely psychologically.

Dr. Darya Rose: It's like white, educated, industrialized-

Michaeleen Douc...: Rich and democratic.

Dr. Darya Rose: Rich and democratic. [laughs]

Michaeleen Douc...: Yes, yes. And then we do like these crazy things on psychological tests.

Dr. Darya Rose: Mm-hmm [affirmative].

Michaeleen Douc...: Well one of them is, is that we think the only thing that's fair is 50/50. And that many, many other countries, people, you say well what's fair? People will say 20 to [00:30:00] 80.

Dr. Darya Rose: Mm-hmm [affirmative], oh interesting.

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah. And it's like I didn't really understand because I was always like well of course 50/50's fair. I didn't really, you know I was like, well how could 20/80 be fair, right? But it's getting at this point, that everyone's just trying their best.

Dr. Darya Rose: Right.

Michaeleen Douc...: And it could fall. The kid could fall at 20 or 10. And then on it's everybody-

Dr. Darya Rose: But it changes every day.

Michaeleen Douc...: And it changes every day. And with different asks, exactly, that, that, if we're trying to be 50/50 all the time, we're just setting ourselves up for misery, right? Cause-

Dr. Darya Rose: So one thing that hit me really profoundly when, when you wrote about it is, so it's one thing to talk about having the kid be involved. And that all sounds lovely. But when you do the opposite. When you put your kid in the corner and just them play while you clean up, like what that teaches the child about their role in the family?

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah, it teaches them that their role, eventually over time, it teaches them their role is to play. [laughs]

Dr. Darya Rose: Right. And my role is to do-

Michaeleen Douc...: Or watch TV.

Dr. Darya Rose: ... Everything for them.

Michaeleen Douc...: That's right. [laughs]

Dr. Darya Rose: It's so funny because that sound so obvious when you say it out loud. [00:31:00] Like of course, that's what I'm teaching them.

Michaeleen Douc...: Right.

Dr. Darya Rose: That's what we do all day long, every day. And, and then you realize that that's not at all what you want. [laughs] Like that's not at all if you want your life-

Michaeleen Douc...: Right. And then you end up with a 12 year old that doesn't want to help.

Dr. Darya Rose: Yeah.

Michaeleen Douc...: And you're like why? [inaudible 00:31:12] I know, that's crazy, right?

Dr. Darya Rose: I know but our, our culture just tells us the exact opposite and it's just, I'm so thankful for that insight because I'm like oh no, no, no, no, it's not your job to play right now. We're, we're making lunch. Like I'm not making lunch. We are making lunch.

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah. And I think kids need to hear that. They need to hear what is their job. Like one of the dads told me, nuance, kids are, kids are not about nuance. [laughs]

Dr. Darya Rose: Right.

Michaeleen Douc...: You know like it takes time and, and it takes ... Yeah, you have to say. And the parents say it, no this is a family task. Again, they don't have to do much. Right? Like literally, like some evenings Rosie, she's better now. She's six now. So she does quite a lot. But the stuff we've been doing, she does a lot. She will help me really clean up the kitchen and stuff.

But you know what? She started off like just bringing a couple of plates in. Or wiping the table at the end. They like, they ... If you can get a kid like [00:32:00] kind of, like one task that they do over and over again, it becomes like their own task.

Dr. Darya Rose: Hmm.

Michaeleen Douc...: And that was wiping the table. So first she just liked spraying it.

Dr. Darya Rose: [laughs]

Michaeleen Douc...: And she was like three, right? [inaudible 00:32:11] So I was okay, fine, you spray it, I'll wipe.

Dr. Darya Rose: Mm-hmm [affirmative].

Michaeleen Douc...: And then some days, she just wanted to wipe. And it was just, but now three years later, every night she comes and she grabs the sprayer and wipes down the table. And that's the idea, right? And but it's ... I had, I had to tell her like no, we're ... Team effort. This is a group effort. Everyone's working together. We're cleaning up together. At the beginning, it was a lot of that.

Dr. Darya Rose: Yeah.

Michaeleen Douc...: With my husband too.

Dr. Darya Rose: Yeah.

Michaeleen Douc...: Team effort. No, you're not going to go get on your phone. We're [inaudible 00:32:38] [laughs] cleaning up the table.

Dr. Darya Rose: I love it. You talked about, one of the things this does psychologically is it taps into that intrinsic motivation.

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah.

Dr. Darya Rose: For a child.

Michaeleen Douc...: It's huge.

Dr. Darya Rose: Especially small children. I mean it is there just in spades.

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah.

Dr. Darya Rose: They are so desperate to contribute and help. This reminds me very much. I talk about this [00:33:00] in sort of my other life when I kind of help people eat healthier.

Michaeleen Douc...: Hmm.

Dr. Darya Rose: You know people, when people start like a diet or, or some sort of health regimen, it's always about these extrinsic rewards.

Michaeleen Douc...: Right.

Dr. Darya Rose: Like I want to look thinner. I want to fit into something. I'm doing this for my doctor, my, my numbers, my cholesterol or whatever. But if that's your motivation to start health habits, they're going to fail.

Michaeleen Douc...: Hmm.

Dr. Darya Rose: Because it's, it's a chore. You're turning something, that, and you actually-

Michaeleen Douc...: Right.

Dr. Darya Rose: And so but like you say in the book, extrinsic motivations actually an undermine any intrinsic motivation that was there. So let's say you might have liked going for a walk.

Michaeleen Douc...: Right.

Dr. Darya Rose: Or you might have really liked eating salad in the summertime, but if it's all of a sudden something you have to do because some, you're supposed to.

Michaeleen Douc...: Right.

Dr. Darya Rose: Then then that, that internal drive goes away. And so that's the problem with like sticker charts and, you know, chore charts and things like that. It, it almost destroys what you're trying to get.

Michaeleen Douc...: Yes, yes. And it, [00:34:00] one of the psychologists would argue, [inaudible 00:34:02] Barbara [inaudible 00:34:03], she argues in one her papers that like it goes against acomedido because it tells the child these are the only things you need to do.

Dr. Darya Rose: Right.

Michaeleen Douc...: [inaudible 00:34:12] And autonomy too is really about looking around and being aware like what needs to be done? How can I help, right? And that changes. It's a much more complex skill than do the dishes on Thursday. Do the ... Sure, but also the chore chart, is that the family's chore chart?

Dr. Darya Rose: Right.

Michaeleen Douc...: I would like the family chore chart. [laughs]

Dr. Darya Rose: Right, the stuff that needs to be done.

Michaeleen Douc...: Right, the family, we're all gonna do these things and like, yeah, because the chore chart too, the psychologists will tell you that when the child has to do it by themselves, especially younger children, it feels like a punishment.

Dr. Darya Rose: Mm-hmm [affirmative].

Michaeleen Douc...: If I ... Go, go, go fold the laundry. Go do this. But then it's I have to be by myself. Like a big part of children helping is, is social. Right? They want to be ... Especially the little ones. They want to be with you and they want to ... They just want ... Children just want to be part of your world.

They want to do what you do. Like Maria [00:35:00] in the Yucatan, she has these wonderful quotes that I have the tape of where she says like, "The little four year old. She wants to do what I do." And she says, and I said, "And do you let her?" And she says, "Yes, that's how they learn."

Dr. Darya Rose: Hmm.

Michaeleen Douc...: And then I said, "But what if she can't do it." She says, "It doesn't matter. That's how they learn." [laughs] And I mean that really sums it up. They want to be with us. They want to do what we do. And you, and if, even if they can't do it, if we can include them somehow that will fan the flame, fan the internal motivation in terms of motivation. And as they grow up, they'll want to do it more and more. And it will become like second nature. And I think it becomes second nature in some, some ways.

Dr. Darya Rose: Yeah, you've seen it. That's amazing. So I would like to dig a little bit into different age groups for this exact concept.

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah.

Dr. Darya Rose: So I, this starts, I'm assuming, with a one and a half two year old, that that's when they start becoming aware.

Michaeleen Douc...: So they teach the babies. They'll even tell you hold the baby while you're doing things. They don't really. A lot of cultures don't put babies down very much, right?

Dr. Darya Rose: Mm-hmm [affirmative].

Michaeleen Douc...: The baby's just kind of on [00:36:00] the person or next to the person.

Dr. Darya Rose: But they're not 42. [laughs]

Michaeleen Douc...: That is true. Or they have ... I remember like I had no clue how to hold the baby. Like we had these pictures of me trying to get Rosemary when she was like a baby in like some of those wraps. She's like screaming and she's like hanging off the side. Yeah.

Dr. Darya Rose: Yeah, that didn't work for us either. [laughs]

Michaeleen Douc...: I had no, no skills at that. But yes, definitely 18 months is like when it really starts to like, they start teaching them to be, to do, to do tasks, to be helpful. So they'll even say move something out of the way or go grab this. Or and then they'll also teach them to share. Like oh give your little, give your sister a piece of the muffin. Give your ... When we were up in the Arctic, this little 18 month, her mom said, "Go give Rosie a potato chip."

Dr. Darya Rose: Oh.

Michaeleen Douc...: A little 18 month year old walked over to Rosie like ... Yeah, and that's, that's, that's how it taught, right?

Dr. Darya Rose: Interesting. Yeah, I remember my youngest she, when she really wanted to help. What was I doing? I was like unloading the dryer. She was just like so glad to just hold the door open for me.

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah, yeah. [00:37:00] It's like it's tiny, tiny tasks. And Suzanne would tell me, especially with young kids, quick tasks.

Dr. Darya Rose: Hmm.

Michaeleen Douc...: That they can kind of just do and be done. Because kids will, you know, it's like a drive by help. It's do this task and then they run off.

Dr. Darya Rose: Yeah.

Michaeleen Douc...: And that's great, right? It's not this thing of like you're going to sit here with me while I do this. It's quick, easy little tasks.

Dr. Darya Rose: Hmm.

Michaeleen Douc...: And then over time, they will grow in complexity and skill, yeah.

Dr. Darya Rose: Yeah. So let's say you're starting with a toddler like a three year old.

Michaeleen Douc...: Okay.

Dr. Darya Rose: And you're, you want to start integrating them into acomedido.

Michaeleen Douc...: [laughs]

Dr. Darya Rose: But what's the type, so they're a little bit older. They're capable of doing a little bit more. Not just like sitting and watching and holding the doors. They're ... And actually, and like maybe they already have a lot of practice playing while I do everything. [laughs]

Michaeleen Douc...: And you know, a lot of, a lot of parents will tell you and a lot of the scientists that study, they just will tell you that a lot of times parents don't even, will not even ask the kid to do something. Like many [00:38:00] days. But they would have the kid there.

Dr. Darya Rose: Hmm.

Michaeleen Douc...: Like just, or they'll give the kid a piece of equipment to play with.

Dr. Darya Rose: Hmm.

Michaeleen Douc...: So like, so like a lot of times, the moms would give Rosie masa ball, [inaudible 00:38:12], or some pots and pans, right?

Dr. Darya Rose: Hmm.

Michaeleen Douc...: And so with the little ones that age, like just being around you and like somehow, integrate it in and the sense of like something to do that's kind of peripheral. That, that also is very common. And then if the kid can do something, hand me the spoon. Very, very small things, that age.

Dr. Darya Rose: And what if, what if they don't want to? What if they're like uh-huh [negative]?

Michaeleen Douc...: They will just not care. Nobody, it's very, nothing is really forced, especially with the little ones. It's just as they get older and five, six when ... Then there could be some comments made. Like one of the moms will say like you just be so helpful. [laughs] You know? And we're like oh that-

Dr. Darya Rose: Like sarcastically.

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah.

Dr. Darya Rose: Okay.

Michaeleen Douc...: Don't be too acomedido. There's even an example of that. Don't be too acomedido.

Dr. Darya Rose: [00:39:00] Yeah. [laughs]

Michaeleen Douc...: You know, yeah. A little snide. Because the thing is, especially with the Maya, especially with the, the groups in Mexico is they want to teach the child to want.

Dr. Darya Rose: Hmm.

Michaeleen Douc...: Right? This is a big difference. This is the thing. A lot of people are like, oh but the kids have to help because they're poor and ... But it's not like that. First of all, the kids don't have to help because they live very different lives than we live and they, they're not ... They're poor on our, in our terms, but they're not starving.

Dr. Darya Rose: Right, right.

Michaeleen Douc...: Or they live very well. But they're not, the moms will tell you, the parents will tell you they're not forcing the children to do it.

Dr. Darya Rose: [inaudible 00:39:33]

Michaeleen Douc...: Because it goes against acomedido.

Dr. Darya Rose: Yeah, you know what you just reminded me of, the way that it was phrased, oh don't be too, don't be too helpful.

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah.

Dr. Darya Rose: It's actually like right up the page of a type of motivational strategy called motivational interviewing.

Michaeleen Douc...: Oh interesting.

Dr. Darya Rose: Have you heard about this? Where the, the idea is that if you're arguing with somebody and they're making the case of why they shouldn't do something, like you've already lost.

Michaeleen Douc...: Yes.

Dr. Darya Rose: What you want to do is to convince them to [00:40:00] argue for why they can do it.

Michaeleen Douc...: Oh cool.

Dr. Darya Rose: And so you, you say things like, oh, well that must be too hard for you anyway.

Michaeleen Douc...: [laughs]

Dr. Darya Rose: And, and they're like oh no, I'm not, I'm not a baby, I could do it. I just don't want to maybe.

Michaeleen Douc...: That, that's it, that's it [laughs].

Dr. Darya Rose: And you can, and you just start, they start arguing for themselves why they can and should and want to do it. And then you've won. [laughs]

Michaeleen Douc...: That's so interesting because so mature, that's another thing a parent will say is they'll link it to immaturity, right? If they think the child should be doing and should be helping, then they'll say oh because you're a baby.

Dr. Darya Rose: Hmm.

Michaeleen Douc...: Which a lot of western psychologists would tell you that you're like shaming them or whatever. But it's super common. Like all over the world.

Dr. Darya Rose: There's no shame in being a baby. You're just a baby. [laughs]

Michaeleen Douc...: I mean and I think that's the difference is it's the way it's said.

Dr. Darya Rose: Yeah.

Michaeleen Douc...: It's not said in a way of I'm criticizing you and I'm being mean. It's just saying oh that, that's what a baby does. A baby doesn't help. Factual. And then they, and then Rosie will start arguing like you said. Oh no, no, I'm not a baby. The, the, the maturity thing works amazingly.

Dr. Darya Rose: Hmm.

Michaeleen Douc...: But I save it for things that I really care about.

Dr. Darya Rose: [00:41:00] Okay.

Michaeleen Douc...: Like I got her, that's how I got her to get rid of the pacifier. I got really shamed by the dentist because she was still using a pacifier when she was like there or something. And then I, I just said to her, oh yeah, because you're still a baby. You need the pacifier. And literally three days later, she handed it to me.

Dr. Darya Rose: Oh wow, that's all you said.

Michaeleen Douc...: Like I said it maybe twice.

Dr. Darya Rose: Wow.

Michaeleen Douc...: Like I even gave her the pacifier. I was oh you need this because you're a baby.

Dr. Darya Rose: Hmm.

Michaeleen Douc...: And then she came over to me like to, like a day later and said, "I don't need this mama, I'm not a baby."

Dr. Darya Rose: I applaud your patience. That's-

Michaeleen Douc...: [laughs]

Dr. Darya Rose: That's a good story.

Michaeleen Douc...: Well, she had it for three years.

Dr. Darya Rose: Fair. [laughs]

Michaeleen Douc...: And she chose to stop it. So that was it. It was amazing. There were no tears because she chose it, right? And that's a big difference in western and [inaudible 00:41:41] what's in the book is that the strategies of the book are trying to get the child to figure out and choose it. Trying to get the child to decide I want to help. I want to be, I want to share. I want to be kind instead of forcing it.

Dr. Darya Rose: Yeah, fascinating. It's like magic. So and then when they do the thing you want them to do, you [00:42:00] praise them right?

Michaeleen Douc...: [laughs] No, no.

Dr. Darya Rose: Right? You just tell them how wonderful they are and how it was the best thing ever? [laughs]

Michaeleen Douc...: I mean I got yelled out when we were in the Maya village because I praised a kid. The first we were there, Suzanne Gaskins, the other person said they do not get praised, like I have it on tape. Um, no, they don't get praised. Kids rarely get praised in all of the world and through history, human history. You can even find it if you, if you go and read the Little, Little House on the Prairie books which are very interesting from a parental parenting perspective, the kids don't get praised. Actually almost everything in the book is in, uh, those books.

Dr. Darya Rose: Oh, that's good to know.

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah, and that's ... That's European, American parenting, circa eight, late 1800s. Yeah.

Dr. Darya Rose: So we haven't been this weird for that long?

Michaeleen Douc...: No, no it really has been like the last 150 years it started. And then the last 20 to 30 has gotten really weird.

Dr. Darya Rose: [laughs]

Michaeleen Douc...: And the praise is one of them.

Dr. Darya Rose: Yeah, so let's, let's, like let's talk about it. Why, why no praise? I [00:43:00] mean I'm so conscious of it now that I, I've read this. And it's just so innate.

Michaeleen Douc...: So innate.

Dr. Darya Rose: I mean these horrible drawings. Everybody's oh my God, it's so beautiful.

Michaeleen Douc...: [laughs]

Dr. Darya Rose: The just boy do one little thing and it's just God's gift to the universe. And I've been conscious of not doing it anymore, but I'll like hear the nanny do it or I'll hear my husband do it. Or I'll grandma do it.

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah, grandma.

Dr. Darya Rose: And it's, and I'm just, like I don't know what to say anymore. I'm just like [laughs]

Michaeleen Douc...: I know. Grandma's a hard one. My mom is really, cause it is interesting because I grew up, my dad didn't praise us at all. I grew up with this hybrid, like our grandparents didn't get praise, right? My mom didn't get praise. But it was the 80s that it really started to take hold in.

Dr. Darya Rose: Oh the, the positive parenting?

Michaeleen Douc...: Yes. And this, there was this whole movement in California that like the problem with children, pregnancy, drugs, alcoholism, everything was because kids weren't being praise enough.

Dr. Darya Rose: Self esteem.

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah, self esteem.

Dr. Darya Rose: Yeah.

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah and the ... But there's no data. I mean the data, the data on [00:44:00] praise are all over the place. In certain situations, praise can motivate children, it can. It certain situations, it de-motivates them. It can, in certain situations, it causes anxiety. It could cause competition. I even, at my job at NPR, I see how praises causes competition between the reporters.

Dr. Darya Rose: Mm-hmm [affirmative].

Michaeleen Douc...: People are like competing for praise. And it's just totally unnecessary I think is ... For a child's self esteem, it's completely unnecessary. And what is way more important is the child feeling like they've made a contri ... Contribution. Feeling that connection. Feeling like they're part of a team. A lot of psychologists would argue that that's way more important than hearing oh good job. You know?

Dr. Darya Rose: Right. So you, you, you say that the, the alternative is acknowledgment, right?

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah. I mean I've been recently, I've just been into like gratitude. Some cultures don't say thank you. Like Mayan culture doesn't say thank you. But the Inuit culture says thank you. And I, and I want to model to Rosie gratitude.

Dr. Darya Rose: Hmm.

Michaeleen Douc...: I, I, I am genuinely thankful that you helped me tonight.

Dr. Darya Rose: I like that.

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah, [00:45:00] and it feels more genuine to me. Right, because I am.

Dr. Darya Rose: Right, yeah, no, that, I think that's one of the hardest things that I struggle with, with my kids is teaching manners.

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah.

Dr. Darya Rose: Because I, I want, obviously I like, I model it. I 100% model it. I, I, I always say please when I ask them for something. I always say thank you when I, they do something nice. And but I'm ... They're so resistant to when I tell them to do it to each other or for me.

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah. And they are.

Dr. Darya Rose: And, and so I've, but I feel like it's important. I feel like all the other kids are thank you and my little boogers won't say anything. And I get this-

Michaeleen Douc...: Right parent shame.

Dr. Darya Rose: ... Like shame around it.

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah, which is also weird. Like doesn't exist anywhere else. Okay, so I won't say anywhere else, but it's ... I will say this. So nowhere that we went do parents tell kids to say please and thank you. They don't tell kids what to say. I call that in the book like ventriloquism. And it starts so young, right? The little baby can barely walk and the parents are like say this, say that, say that, right?

So I [00:46:00] stopped telling Rosie what to say cause I felt like it's taking away her voice and her autonomy and I think a lot of parents in the world feel, would feel that way. Like why are you doing that? I feel like kids hate it.

Dr. Darya Rose: Like she hates it so much. Like I really feel like she would say it sometimes if everybody wasn't asking her to say it. [laughs]

Michaeleen Douc...: And, and I think there's some of that with Rosie. I think there's some of that where it's like I, and again, there's a lot of data on this, right? If people feel like there's, there's not a choice, they sometimes will shy away from doing it because they feel like they're being controlled, right?

Dr. Darya Rose: Mm-hmm [affirmative].

Michaeleen Douc...: So I stopped doing it. And I started to wonder like is she ever gonna say [inaudible 00:46:33]. No, she says it to me, but to like strangers or like her teachers, like kind of out in the world, she's less, she's less likely. And finally I said to her one day, I said, I said, I kind of said, so she's six now. I waited a long time.

And I said, "It makes people feel good if you say thank you when they compliment you or they do something nice for you." And she started saying it. And, and she doesn't do it all the time, but it was like, okay she's ready to understand why it's important. I just kind of [00:47:00] waited and then, I don't think she understood why.

Dr. Darya Rose: Right. I think that's actually when kids develop empathy is around six and seven.

Michaeleen Douc...: Maybe, maybe, it was weird. I was like, I was like, she just doesn't understand. Like that it matters to some people.

Dr. Darya Rose: Huh? That's really interesting. That's, okay, cool. I get it.

Michaeleen Douc...: But I think the difference is like one, like I was telling her to say please and thank you for my sake, kind of.

Dr. Darya Rose: Right, exactly.

Michaeleen Douc...: Because like you said, I didn't to seem like a bad mom. I've been trying not to do those things, because, because I think it does take away the autonomy for kids, right? And eventually they will say it. Because they hate, a lot of psychologists will tell you just because you say it, they will say it. It might take some time, but like you saying it over and over again, right, is probably the biggest correlative.

Dr. Darya Rose: Right, right. And I like know that. Like I can feel it but I still feel like I have to do it [laughs].

Michaeleen Douc...: I know it's so hard. It's so hard because parents are so judgmental of other parents and I'm sorry. [laughs]

Dr. Darya Rose: [laughs] Thanks.

Michaeleen Douc...: Because [00:48:00] it's awful. And I hate it. And, um-

Dr. Darya Rose: Yeah, so one of the things I really love about the, the concepts that you talk about are, is, is the fact that like this good behavior that you're talking about, right? It's, it's a skill.

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah, that's right.

Dr. Darya Rose: And it's something and the parents in these other cultures treat it like a skill that needs to be slowly taught over the years. And we're talking about with the empathy. There are stages when the kid is capable of certain things and not capable.

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah.

Dr. Darya Rose: And, and other times when they're just still not capable of certain things. And that's interesting.

Michaeleen Douc...: This is huge.

Dr. Darya Rose: Yeah. It re, reminds me. So my whole thing right now is, my whole thing in general and the one place I think I've really done all this stuff pretty right is with food.

Michaeleen Douc...: Hmm.

Dr. Darya Rose: So it was really important to me and kind of like the French style of that my kids understand food. That they understand seasonality. That they understand flavors. That they aren't picky eaters. That they have-

Michaeleen Douc...: They have a connection to it.

Dr. Darya Rose: ... This French palette and they have a [00:49:00] connection to it. But I, people think like when they come to my house they're like, "Oh my God." Like when they see my kids eating, they're like, "Wait, where are the hot dogs and mac and cheese?" I'm like, "Oh no, they're having duck and lentils and kale is her favorite food with onions."

Michaeleen Douc...: [laughs]

Dr. Darya Rose: [laughs] And they're just freak place am I living in? But it's, and because I've treated it exactly like this.

Michaeleen Douc...: Like a skill.

Dr. Darya Rose: Like a skill that it's my job to teach them. I don't, and it's not about making them eat or forcing them into anything. But it's about meeting where they are.

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah.

Dr. Darya Rose: And just instilling this is a value.

Michaeleen Douc...: Right. Yeah.

Dr. Darya Rose: And it's funny because I feel like in behavior and food, that's one place where western parents don't do this. But they do it in everything else. Like reading and math and-

Michaeleen Douc...: Read and write, yeah, yeah.

Dr. Darya Rose: ... Playing an instrument and playing sports.

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah.

Dr. Darya Rose: Like we understand that these things are skills that you need to train and be taught and that certain ages are capable of something, some things and then other ages they aren't. Why, why did, why did we lose this?

Michaeleen Douc...: It's such an interesting thing, right? Like why do ... Cause [00:50:00] that's the exact same thing. I mean you like summed it up beautifully with what I realized when it comes to helping, when it comes to sharing, when it comes to being kind, like, like it's ... This is just like reading and writing. Like things are gonna to take time, you have to be patient.

And, and getting angry at Rosie because she's not doing it at that moment is not gonna help, right? It's-

Dr. Darya Rose: Right. It makes it worse.

Michaeleen Douc...: I don't know what. I don't know why we've switched. One of the, I don't know. I could, I could speculate.

Dr. Darya Rose: It's almost like people think like it's innate. Like kids should be able to say thank you if I tell them to say thank you. Or like kids should eat.

Michaeleen Douc...: Well, so there is this belief, right? I mean I want to say that, I want to blame the Puritans. But there is this, there is this like hierarchy in western culture of the parent is telling the child what to do and the child listens, right? There is a long history of this. And this is, what's in the book, is not that philosophy, right?

What's in the book is I'm gonna, the parent is gonna to encourage certain behavior. And there are things that are not tolerated but, but those are very carefully chosen. And it's not [00:51:00] just please and thank you, right?

Dr. Darya Rose: Right.

Michaeleen Douc...: It's like, it's like, it's, but I think you summed it up beautifully that like child learns over time, but they also need context. They need connection. They need to, to understand, right? Like teaching a child seasonality in food, that's so beautiful, right? The child, that, that there's this rich context around what they're eating, right?

And I think it's the same with helping. Well, why are we doing this? You know, this is important to our family. This is important that we have clean clothes. Like I'll tell Rosie, I was like she doesn't want to do, help me with the laundry. I'll be like, oh so you want to wear dirty, you want to have dirty clothes? You want to go to school with dirty clothes?

Dr. Darya Rose: My daughter would be absolutely. [laughs] Yes, that's what I want.

Michaeleen Douc...: [laughs] [inaudible 00:51:40] When she was three, there was like she ... But again, that's like something that I wouldn't tell a three year old, right? You know, it's kind of knowing, yes, you're right. We've lost. We definitely overestimate children's emotional abilities, right?

Dr. Darya Rose: Hmm.

Michaeleen Douc...: Like even we think like a two year old can get angry and upset and be super mad and that they could just stop. Stop crying.

Dr. Darya Rose: Yeah. [laughs]

Michaeleen Douc...: Right? With [inaudible 00:52:01] And [00:52:00] we hear that all the ... Even my pediatrician was like oh just leave her alone. But two, or 18 months, like we think that she's capable of having this incredible maturity. But it's even hard for me if I'm raging mad, for me to just stop. [laughs] You know it's like-

Dr. Darya Rose: No. Takes days. [laughs]

Michaeleen Douc...: [inaudible 00:52:18] Yeah, so we totally overestimate their emotional abilities. And we totally underestimate their physical abilities.

Dr. Darya Rose: Yeah, and I think we underestimate their food tasting abilities. [laughs]

Michaeleen Douc...: Totally do. And we give up so fast. And they, actually there's been some studies-

Dr. Darya Rose: Yeah, I give up so fast, right?

Michaeleen Douc...: So fast. There's been some studies where they talked to parents about this. And the mom will literally give the child the food and then say, oh she won't eat it.

Dr. Darya Rose: Yeah, that's helpful. [laughs]

Michaeleen Douc...: The kid has never seen the food before, right? And he's like wait, and the psychologist said, you're already like telling the child they're not going to ... You like, you're just ... You've given up before. I don't, I don't know why. I don't know why [inaudible 00:52:57].

Dr. Darya Rose: Yeah, anyway, it just, it reminded [00:53:00] me of that. Because I mean, because I treat it likes a skill and it works that way. So-

Michaeleen Douc...: I think you can do that with anything.

Dr. Darya Rose: Yeah.

Michaeleen Douc...: Any problems that you have.

Dr. Darya Rose: Yeah.

Michaeleen Douc...: It's like-

Dr. Darya Rose: And you have, yeah, you have this amazing formula for it.

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah.

Dr. Darya Rose: So, you know, practice. Practicing the behavior. And then modeling is ... And that's what's the parent's job, right, is the modeling?

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah the, yeah. Like you really have to look at yourself, right? If you're eating whatever then, you know, the kids could eat.

Dr. Darya Rose: Yeah, yeah. And then-

Michaeleen Douc...: And practicing is like setting up experiences for the child to practice.

Dr. Darya Rose: Right, right.

Michaeleen Douc...: That's the key, right? Like it's not just, it's like creating those little tiny, okay, give, give Rosie the potato chip, right?

Dr. Darya Rose: Right.

Michaeleen Douc...: Go grab my shoes, right?

Dr. Darya Rose: Right.

Michaeleen Douc...: It's just kind of like creating these little experiences for them to practice. And what, what you're doing with the food, right? You give, I assume you give them small amounts or like-

Dr. Darya Rose: Yeah, I mean when I introduce something new I, I do it in a very, con, like very conscious way. And I, I explain what the ingredient is. And like I don't just expect them to clean their plate. And I tell them how I cooked it. I tell them about why we didn't [00:54:00] have it two months ago because it just came out, out of the garden now. [laughs] And now we have a framework where they understand that I expect them to taste it.

Michaeleen Douc...: Hmm.

Dr. Darya Rose: And that they understand that I tried my best to make it delicious.

Michaeleen Douc...: Hmm.

Dr. Darya Rose: But I also don't expect them to finish it, but I expect them to like give it a try. So it's not, they, they ... And now they know that. And they know that their tastes can change over time.

Michaeleen Douc...: Right.

Dr. Darya Rose: They know that if, if I cooked something one way, that I could totally cook it again differently the next day and they might like it. Like they know that it's not just the ingredient, it's also how it's prepared. So it's just this, this framework that we've established. And now they're willing to work with me. And sometimes it's like hard no. [laughs] Like, like, like-

Michaeleen Douc...: Right. And do you, you don't force it?

Dr. Darya Rose: No, no, I never try to have a conflict.

Michaeleen Douc...: It's, and it's so very similar to how like the Maya parents teach helpfulness. It's very very similar, right? It's like giving context. Explain like even moms that say like why this is so valuable. Why this is important. Maria would say like, "I explain to them why this is important."

Dr. Darya Rose: Yeah.

Michaeleen Douc...: "You know, I don't force it. And it doesn't happen [00:55:00] every day. Things change. Like it really is amazing." And maybe it boils down to values.

Dr. Darya Rose: Right.

Michaeleen Douc...: You know that you really value that and so you've put, created this, like you say, intentionally. And maybe we've lost like the valuing of our food that way.

Dr. Darya Rose: Yeah.

Michaeleen Douc...: And, and I think we've lost, there's no doubt that we, we want our children to be helpful, but we've kind of lost the valuing of it in children. This is actually true. I just realized this. That might be the ... Because about 150 years ago, there was this idea that children should play, that, that is documented in psychology. That the child's job in the family is to play and have this childhood.

Dr. Darya Rose: Mm-hmm [affirmative].

Michaeleen Douc...: And, and, and it came out some of, of the child labor laws, so like children were being kind of forced to really do hard work. And so there was some response to that which is good. We don't ... But I think what happened was we kind of swung the other way where we don't value children as helpers. And we don't value their contributions and we don't, we don't see that like there is something ... Doing [00:56:00] something really good for Rosie to be at home cooking with me. Just as good as probably as her being at like mandarin lessons, right?

Dr. Darya Rose: Right.

Michaeleen Douc...: I mean I'm trying to say mandarin lessons are bad. But I'm saying cooking dinner with me is also really important. And I think we've kind of lost that a little bit.

Dr. Darya Rose: Yeah, we've devalued that.

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah.

Dr. Darya Rose: Yeah, it's super interesting. So I wanted to, I do want to talk about your, your little, your formula because it's really cool.

Michaeleen Douc...: Okay, yeah. Sorry.

Dr. Darya Rose: So the practice for the kids, they do the little things. And then we model by doing it ourselves.

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah.

Dr. Darya Rose: Kind of the full way. So they're doing like little tasks, we do the full-

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah and they have to be around you.

Dr. Darya Rose: Yeah.

Michaeleen Douc...: Right?

Dr. Darya Rose: Right.

Michaeleen Douc...: If they're in classes all the time, I mean like what I say in the book is like anything you want them to do, they need to see you doing it regularly.

Dr. Darya Rose: Right, right. And then, right. And then acknowledgment.

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah, acknowledgment is, I mean it can be praise. And this is like good job, but it doesn't have to be. It, and I say it's like table. Like a cup of practice, a cup of [inaudible 00:56:49], like a tablespoon of ... But it's just kind of pointing out that it's, it's way less emotional, I think, than what we [00:57:00] think of. It's like, it's kind of like oh that was helpful.

Dr. Darya Rose: Right.

Michaeleen Douc...: You know, that's a common ... Like even when I was writing the book, I said that's acomedido. Rosie knew all about acomedido. And like, and I point it out in other people too. Like that, that, that's acomedido.

Dr. Darya Rose: Hmm.

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah, just kind of ... Or accepting the contribution. Accepting what they did, right?

Dr. Darya Rose: Yeah.

Michaeleen Douc...: Instead of trying to fix it, change it, and ... Oh no, it's not like that.

Dr. Darya Rose: Oh yeah, yeah.

Michaeleen Douc...: You know like really kind of like oh yeah, let me take that from you.

Dr. Darya Rose: Yeah. Now that I'm thinking about it, I do what you do with the food. I say. I just say thank you if they tried it. Even if they didn't like it, if they [inaudible 00:57:30], I say, "Thank you for trying. I really appreciate that."

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah, like so that's like modeling like gratitude.

Dr. Darya Rose: And it acknowledges that they did something new and without being overly-

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah. And you're thanking them for eating the food that you ... Yeah, I feel like you can never wrong with saying thank you.

Dr. Darya Rose: Yeah.

Michaeleen Douc...: What hit might while I was writing the book was I was like wait a second, though? What are all the things that I'm teaching her that I'm not realizing I'm teaching her?

Dr. Darya Rose: Right, right.

Michaeleen Douc...: You know, what is she doing-

Dr. Darya Rose: What are you modeling? [laughs]

Michaeleen Douc...: Yes. What am I modeling? What is getting practice at? And you know, what am I actually acknowledging [00:58:00] with a lot of attention? You know, and one of these big things was arguing, right? That she was getting a lot of practice at arguing with me. I was modeling it for sure. And I was acknowledging it by continuing to sit there and talk about and ruminate over it. And so I, the formula like really shocked me the other direction. Because it would be like oh-

Dr. Darya Rose: When you're teaching the wrong skills.

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah. Cause we, I think we do a lot of things with that formula that we don't realize that we're doing.

Dr. Darya Rose: I actually wanted to talk next about the, the silence and talking less because that is also really hard to do with kids. I mean it sounds, it makes sense [laughs]. You know, but I've, in my practicing of this stuff, it's one of the harder things to internalize and make real.

Michaeleen Douc...: And, and [inaudible 00:58:46] don't need it. We needed it. There would be just moments where I was just gonna lose everything. I'm just gonna to erupt in enormous of anger and I would just be like I need silence. Like I, even like my [00:59:00] mom was with us a couple of weeks ago and we were making burgers for, for a bunch of people.

And I was just like you know what? I can't take this. I just can't take this, the words. There's just too many words. I was like can we just do these hamburgers in silence. And I started a timer on Google and for 15 minutes. [laughs]

Dr. Darya Rose: Wow. [laughs]

Michaeleen Douc...: And of course, Rosie would stay talking like, you know, totally like completely like-

Dr. Darya Rose: [laughs]

Michaeleen Douc...: At the beginning my mom was, kept talking. And everyone kept talking. But after about five minutes, everyone was quiet. And then it was like 10 more minutes went by. And you know what? After those 15 minutes, we had made like all these burgers. And it was we were all so much more relaxed. We were all so much ... I wasn't angry anymore. That's all I needed.

Dr. Darya Rose: Yeah. So I find that when I can do it, it's amazing. So I've just ... Like the other day, I couldn't even believe it. I ... Zelda was being really difficult. Didn't want to get dressed for school because everything was [01:00:00] itchy. And I was just like okay, well I have to go. We're going to be late for school. I'm going to take your sister and I'm going to go make breakfast because that needs to happen next.

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah.

Dr. Darya Rose: And I just walked out. And I explained to her, but I just, I didn't fight with her. I didn't argue with her. I was just like I'm not gonna make this happen right now. I have to do something else. And five, 10 minutes later, husband's like where is, where is she? [laughs]

And he goes in there and she comes out completely fully dressed. She had just, she dressed herself. She was all ready. She had a little hair clip in. She just got herself ready for school. And I was like my God. It was like magic.

Michaeleen Douc...: [laughs]

Dr. Darya Rose: And then with my younger one, she was having a full ... I mean she's a much more like fiery emotional child.

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah.

Dr. Darya Rose: And she was having a full thing, full on thing. And I just got really close to her. And I just whispered and I said, "It's all right sweetie. It's okay to be upset." And she just like immediately met my [01:01:00] level.

Michaeleen Douc...: Oh, yeah.

Dr. Darya Rose: And started tell me what was going on. And I was, like not like immediately, but she took a minute and like sniffled. And asked to blow her nose first.

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah, yeah, she calmed down.

Dr. Darya Rose: But she calmed down. And it's so amazing. But again, but even though I know that, it's still really hard in the moment. [laughs]

Michaeleen Douc...: It's really hard in the moment.

Dr. Darya Rose: Yeah.

Michaeleen Douc...: It gets easier, again, practice.

Dr. Darya Rose: Yeah, sure.

Michaeleen Douc...: It will get easier. Cause that, that, I talk about that in the book. The, the brave part. Like the, like our emotions are just all that we practice. And it will get easier. It's such a great skill, right? To just have the world being blowing, blowing up around you. Kids can do a lot more. Like again, we underestimate their physical ability. And if we just let them be. I literally now don't even tell Rosie when I'm leaving. I just walk out of the house.

Dr. Darya Rose: Hmm.

Michaeleen Douc...: And she, even if she's not like completely done, ready, I mean I've trained her. Like what she needs to do to get out the door. But she's six now. And so I will just walk out and I will just wait outside. And it, she always comes.

Dr. Darya Rose: Wow.

Michaeleen Douc...: And sometimes she is missing things, but she has to go back in and get it.

Dr. Darya Rose: [laughs]

Michaeleen Douc...: Today we actually ended up in [01:02:00] school without the mask. And cause I don't, I don't always check and it's like her ... But, you know, I had an extra one in my pocket so I was like oh good.

Dr. Darya Rose: [laughs]

Michaeleen Douc...: But you know, I mean that's the thing I say in the book. Take action. Instead of telling kids, just take action.

Dr. Darya Rose: Hmm.

Michaeleen Douc...: Instead of telling kids, just take action. They'll come. Like I, I'll never forget when I, up in the Arctic. The grandma, it was like time for the bath. And she said, what? She said, "We're gonna take a bath tonight." And that, and then I don't know, 15 minutes later, she went and she drew the bath. And then the kid came and got in the bath.

And I just like ... I would have been like, okay, 10 more minutes to bath time. Five more minutes to bath time. Okay, now everybody's going to take a bath. Why aren't you in the bath?

Dr. Darya Rose: [laughs]

Michaeleen Douc...: [laughs] That that really like struck me. It was like oh, like the kid knows. Right?

Dr. Darya Rose: Yeah.

Michaeleen Douc...: You draw the bath. The kid knows what that means. And why am I telling them.

Dr. Darya Rose: Right. Till you're blue in the face, right. And so I mean you sort of summarize all of this into a concept of T.E.A.M. parenting.

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah.

Dr. Darya Rose: Uh, T. Togetherness. E. Encouragement. Correct me if I'm wrong on anything.

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah.

Dr. Darya Rose: A. Autonomy. And M is minimal interference.

Michaeleen Douc...: [01:03:00] Yes, yes, yes. The M [inaudible 01:03:02] was complex. I think we covered the other ones slightly but yeah. So if you look around the world and throughout human history, this is the way adults treated, treat children.

So they include them in their activities. Like their world together. It doesn't mean that they're like instructing them and talking to them. They're just included. One of the, my researchers says there's sophisticated inclusion in adult tasks which I think ... But at, at least they're just included.

So it's not feeling like you have to entertain the child. It's just being together. And it's not usually the, the, the parents. It can be another child. It can be a friend, a neighbor. It's just that kids are really designed psychologically to do things with other people. Uh, highly social creatures.

And then E is encourage. We talked about this a little bit. The, the, the kids don't like to be forced. They don't. When you force a child to do something, you demotivate them. You create stress. You create anxiety. And so the, in the book, I hope that there's tools that like you can use to [01:04:00] encourage the [inaudible 01:04:01].

That doesn't mean you just throw your hands up and like the kid does whatever, they eat whatever. You encourage over time.

Dr. Darya Rose: Right.

Michaeleen Douc...: Through the practice and the, and the autonomy we talked about a lot. And then-

Dr. Darya Rose: Yeah.

Michaeleen Douc...: Minimal interference is really this idea that like we talked about this at the beginning. Like we have this sense that the more we do and the more we interfere with a child and kind of intervene and talk and instruct and shape, the better parents we are.

Whereas like a lot of parents around the world, it's kind of the opposite. They kind of think like I'm gonna stare, step back and watch and observe. I'm not walking away. I'm not, not there. Because T, we're together. I'm gonna watch. And I'm gonna step in only when I really need to.

And otherwise, I'm gonna be kind of there as a support. So what that means right now for me and Rosie is she's six. And she's just starting to want to do activities. Like soccer and stuff like that.

And so minimal interference is okay, let her drive that ship. [01:05:00] Right? Not, not me signing her up for soccer. But let her, I really want to do soccer mom. Okay. Well, does she tell me that every day? Does she tell me that once a month? And then if she really is driving that ship then it's okay, how can I make it so she is like in charge of it?

Dr. Darya Rose: Hmm.

Michaeleen Douc...: So she eventually gets herself to soccer practice. So she figures out where you sign up. So it's this idea of being kind of, kind of like I, almost a stage hand, right?

Dr. Darya Rose: Mm-hmm [affirmative].

Michaeleen Douc...: We're like the support team instead of the director.

Dr. Darya Rose: Awesome.

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah. [laughs] And, and, and the other part of that, Suzanne will tell you is like we don't need to keep pushing children to the next step, right?

Dr. Darya Rose: Hmm.

Michaeleen Douc...: Rosie will come home and she'll be like, "Mama, what's eight by eight." I'll be like, "16." And then I could just stop there. Or I could say what's nine plus nine.

Dr. Darya Rose: Right.

Michaeleen Douc...: Or like my husband, I could say what's 28 plus 68. And then she's angry because she doesn't know it, right?

Dr. Darya Rose: [laughs]

Michaeleen Douc...: We could just-

Dr. Darya Rose: Right.

Michaeleen Douc...: We just stop. We don't need to like-

Dr. Darya Rose: Yeah. She'll figure it out.

Michaeleen Douc...: Yeah.

Dr. Darya Rose: She'll figure out math.

Michaeleen Douc...: She'll figure it out. We don't need 68 plus 27.

Dr. Darya Rose: Right.

Michaeleen Douc...: It's stressful for kids.

Dr. Darya Rose: Yeah. [01:06:00] Well, thank you so much Michaeleen. Where can people find you?

Michaeleen Douc...: So I am on Twitter. And but you can definitely email me. And we are trying to put together some podcasts that hopefully early next year that we'll actually go into more detail. Some of the things. Some of the ideas. And look at some of the ideas we didn't cover like food and screens and ... But if you email me, I'll definitely put ... I'll definitely email you when that comes out. And you can email me any time. My email is on my, my web page.

Dr. Darya Rose: Right. And what, what's your ... You said your Twitter handle?

Michaeleen Douc...: I'm like foodiescience.

Dr. Darya Rose: Oh foodiescience, that's right.

Michaeleen Douc...: Yes. [laughs]

Dr. Darya Rose: Okay, awesome. Well, thank you so much for your time. I hope everybody can learn so much from your wisdom. I have learned so much. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you. [laughs]

Michaeleen Douc...: Oh, you are so welcome.

Dr. Darya Rose: [music plays] That was such an amazing conversation and I am so excited to continue putting these practices to work with my kids. You can pick up a copy of Hunt, Gather, Parent wherever books are sold.

Thank you so much for joining me [01:07:00] today. If you've found this episode helpful, please share with a friend or on social media. And if you have time, please head over to Apple and give us a five star review so we can continue to get fantastic guests like Michaeleen. Thanks again and I'll see you next time. [music plays]