Research by scientists shows that there was better care for children in the Stone Age

Research by scientists shows that there was better care for children in the Stone Age
Research by scientists shows that there was better care for children in the Stone Age

From the latest research by scientists from University of Cambridge published in “Developmental Psychology” shows that Children living in the Stone Age were provided with much better care than today. This is due to the fact that people caring for minors were more involved in keeping an eye on them.

To examine exactly how traditional hunter-gatherer societies cared for the youngest in their tribes, researchers examined how they Mbendjele BaYakaa semi-nomadic tribe living in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

There was better child care in the Stone Age

Observations show that tribe members prefer contact “skin to skin“, which – as it is now recognized – has a positive impact on the child’s physical and emotional development. Moreover, the fact that the child is taken care of by several people apart from the parents allows the mother to be relieved, who can not only take care of everyday work, but above all to rest.

In addition, babies in Mbendjele BaYaka are cared for by up to 10 different caregivers, and daily contact with the child lasts approximately 9 hourswhich makes children feel that someone is paying attention to them most of the time.

In comparison, infants in Canada and Netherlands May less than 30 minutes a day of such close contact with the caregiver. So the difference is huge.

Doctor Nikhil Chaudharyone of the authors of the study believes that in previous eras mothers not only had support from other people for a longer time, but also the amount of help was much greater than we currently see.

The scientist emphasized that the current changes, among others, in politics Great Britain show that childcare is becoming an increasing priority for the government, which is a step forward, but it is not enough and more needs to be done to ensure the well-being of both mothers and children.

“Evolutionarily programmed children”

“For over 95% of our evolutionary history, we have lived as hunter-gatherers. Therefore, modern societies such as the Mbendjele BaYaka can provide us with clues about the child-rearing systems to which human infants and their mothers have been psychologically adapted since the dawn of humanity,” Chaudhary explained. .


According to researchers, this is why children may be “Evolutionarily programmed“to expect a lot of attention and physical contact not only from parents.

Doctor Annie Swanepoel, a child psychiatrist and co-author of the study, emphasized that there is another positive aspect of this approach to raising children. She believes there is support from members of the entire community it reduces the risk of child neglect and also gives the child greater protection in the event of adversity.

Moreover, research published in Developmental Psychology shows that older children were also willing to engage in caring for infants, which in turn may have increased their self-confidence as future parents.

Scientists point out that currently helping fresh people parents are focused on being able to return to work, and not – as before – on the well-being of the child and the opportunity for parents to rest.

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The article is in Polish

Tags: Research scientists shows care children Stone Age


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