Teaching Children the Inuit Way

David Trammel's picture

First let me say I have no children, so any comments I might make about teaching them will come as third hand. I am though "uncle" to many of my friends' children. I'm born under the sign of Cancer (July 17th) so we tend to be big mothers, even the men. I do look forward to what those of you with experience come up with on this forum.

That said, I found these two articles fascinating, especially because of how integral storytelling is with the Artic Inuit tribal members in raising children.

How Inuit Parents Teach Kids To Control Their Anger

Can Inuit Moms Help Me Tame My 3-Year-Old's Anger?

"Briggs, who died in 2016, wrote up her observations in her first book, Never in Anger. But she was left with a lingering question: How do Inuit parents instill this ability in their children? How do Inuit take tantrum-prone toddlers and turn them into cool-headed adults? Then in 1971, Briggs found a clue. She was walking on a stony beach in the Arctic when she saw a young mother playing with her toddler — a little boy about 2 years old. The mom picked up a pebble and said, "'Hit me! Go on. Hit me harder,'" Briggs remembered.

The boy threw the rock at his mother, and she exclaimed, "Ooooww. That hurts!" Briggs was completely befuddled. The mom seemed to be teaching the child the opposite of what parents want. And her actions seemed to contradict everything Briggs knew about Inuit culture. "I thought, 'What is going on here?' " Briggs said in the radio interview. Turns out, the mom was executing a powerful parenting tool to teach her child how to control his anger — and one of the most intriguing parenting strategies I've come across."