Liedloff and The Continuum Concept - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 86 Old 09-26-2007, 05:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've recently recieved this book via Amazon.. I was so excited when I did. I started reading the book with a sense of hope, but now that I've finished, I'm left feeling deflated. I'll explain why in a moment. I'll start from a positive point of view first, I loved the idea of holding a baby close (slinging) for the first 6 or so months of the baby's life. I liked the idea of encouraging independence and healthy emotional growth.

But here are my sticking points. I realise that there may be another thread out there about Continuum Concept, but I couldn't find anything when I tried to search that was specific.

1. I was very uncomfortable about Liedloff's suggestion in the book that homosexuality is a result of a defective Mother/child relationship. pg. 122-123

2. I felt uncomfortable about the generalizations about Western behaviour, such as people who may choose a lifetime of travelling the world, or a devotion to academia (pg.119) for a lot of years to be a sign of defectiveness in the Western individual.

3. I felt that men and women were reduced to nothing more than gender roles, and their identities solely related to that. I could almost sniff a biology is destiny scent there.

4. I was deeply offended at Liedloff's suggestion that any WOMAN who doesn't have the economic need to work should quit their job. pg.160

As I said before, there was so much that was positive. I have tried to ease my discontent with the fact that the book was written and printed in the late 1970's... but the knowledge of this doesn't provide that much solace.

What are your thoughts people, I'd be really interested to know?

Peace
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#2 of 86 Old 09-27-2007, 01:31 AM
 
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I just finally finished reading the book last week. My thoughts:

1. I chose to just disregard this part. It doesn't fit with my way of thinking. I'm sure there are some cases where this situation might be said to hold, but I don't think it works as a blanket statement at *all*.

2. I saw it as her looking at people who take this to the extreme, not so much as people who have a healthy, balanced desire to travel and study. I agree with that way of looking at it.

3. I think that looking at her context for the book it makes sense. In a culture where roles have been virtually unchanged for years upon years, male and female roles would be quite distinct.

4. The phrase "But very often these jobs are a matter of choice; the mothers could, if they realized the urgency of their presence during the baby's first year, give up the job in order to avert the deprivations which would damage the baby's entire life and be a burden to her for years as well" does not say to me that a woman must quit working permanently. It specifically states "during the baby's first year" which could be arranged by being temporarily unemployed, by taking a leave of absence, or by having a long maternity leave (which we have here in Canada). She also does bring up the suggestion of women taking their children to work with them, so she's not suggesting that employment is counter to attached parenting.

In general, I really enjoyed the book but questioned some things (the homosexuality issue for example). I found the tone to be a bit ominous and would have enjoyed more of a focus on what else parents can do for their children or what adults can do for themselves if they've missed out on the in-arms experience.

Kim - Wife to Liam , Unschooly mama to Nick (10/00) Lily (09/05) and Olivia (07/09)
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#3 of 86 Old 09-27-2007, 01:51 AM
 
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Here ya go:

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...=homosexuality

(started three years ago but still going)
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#4 of 86 Old 09-27-2007, 04:29 AM
 
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She doesn't have children, first of all. What turned me off about the book was the complete lack of acknowledgement that we don't live in a tribe! We live in a modern world, with all of the isolation/lack of family/dangerous streets, etc., that goes along with that. So for me, most of her book was irrelevant to my experience as a parent.

(Plus, my mom met her and had lunch with her once, and said she was a nutjob.)
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#5 of 86 Old 09-27-2007, 11:21 AM
 
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I found parts of the book helpful and others not-so-helpful.

It was helpful as an affirmation of attachment parenting. I agree that her emphasis is on the first several months of life ... after which she seemed to think it was better for babies to spend most of their time being carried around by active older siblings while mothers focused on their adult tasks of living.

About the adult tasks part -- that was a little guilt-inducing for me. I started feeling bad for being so child-centered, and also for not having more hobbies that are interesting for children to watch. My writing isn't actually interesting to my kids at this point.

They do like to help me with cooking and housework -- but with them so young, I tend to do the bare minimum and spend more time watching and playing with them -- bad news in her book, I guess. I need to be their center -- not make them mine, right?

Also, I felt a lot of guilt for hindering my children's development of their self-preservation instincts. You know, how she seems to think that if we don't rush to protect our toddlers from danger, they'll do just fine protecting themselves. And when our western children do have accidents, she seems to think it's all due to our expectation that they will.

Especially her thoughts on children who get burned: she really comes across to me as saying that it happens because the mother subconsciously wants it to happen.:

And before reading her book, I'd actually thought I allowed my kids more freedom to explore than most moms: whenever they were doing something "unorthodox," I'd ask myself if it was really a safety risk, or if there was a way to make it less risky. I always tried to make it possible for them to do the things they wanted to. Still do.

But realized I was a far cry from the Yequana moms, who apparently felt okay about babies handling sharp machetes, running in and out of straw-thatch huts with hot firebrands, and going swimming and canoing in the river without any adults. Oh, and toddlers playing next to deep pits with water at the bottom.

One thing I've concluded is that the Yequana may indeed be genetically superior to us, in the area of self-preservation. Natural selection has continued, without interruption, up to the present time for them, whereas it has been interrupted in civilized culture.

Our culture has, for many years, been able to protect genetic strains that would have died out under the strict "survival of the fittest" regime that's probably even now still prevalent in the South American jungle. But I honestly don't see it as a bad thing, that so many more genetic strains can survive in the modern world.

I think those of us who are "weaker" according to jungle standards, still have many unique strengths to contribute. This may be partly why we have to be more protective of our babies than they do -- but I'm sure part of it is cultural, too.

It's often hard to divide instinct from culture -- but I know I can't pretend to feel comfortable letting my toddler run down a sloping hill which abruptly ends at a 6-foot drop-off onto hard concrete (an issue we dealt with the other day). Regardless of what a Yequana mother might do, I have to do what I feel good about.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#6 of 86 Old 09-27-2007, 02:33 PM
 
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I think that The Continuum Concept is a revolutionary book, but - it should have been written by an anthropologist. What I mean is, I think her lack of academic training in this area is very obvious and a lot of her observations and the context she puts them in are highly subjective.

If Kathryn Dettwyler had written this book, I think it would be a much more useful book and would have provided a lot more context.

For a more helpful view of how traditional cultures view children and a baby's natural environment, I highly recommend "Our Babies, Ourselves" if you haven't already read it. It's wonderful!

Also, "Babies Celebrated" is wonderful just because of the pictures of different cultures and how they relate to their babies. That one is a bit harder to find, though.

This is just my humble opinion and your mileage may vary!
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#7 of 86 Old 09-27-2007, 03:53 PM
 
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For me, I look on it as a historical document. I look at it as a reminder of the cultural biases of the 20th century- how someone can be so receptive to a new culture, and yet so unwilling to address their own privilege. Sometimes, that keeps me humble.
If you look at CC in context with the other baby books around at the time, like Dr Spocks twentrillionth edition, it's revolutionary. A parenting manual, though? No. Take what you can use, and treasure the book for what it is: a thinking parent's springboard.

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#8 of 86 Old 09-27-2007, 04:02 PM
 
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Take what you can use, and treasure the book for what it is: a thinking parent's springboard.
Good point! One thing I can say for the book is that it got me thinking. There's a lot of good stuff in it.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#9 of 86 Old 09-27-2007, 05:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for all your replies ladies, much appreciated

I was a little disappointed with the book by time I finished it, but I definitely agree that there are points that are helpful. So as flapjack suggested, it's probably best to take what I need, and leave what I don't.

Peace
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#10 of 86 Old 09-28-2007, 12:55 AM
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For me, I look on it as a historical document. I look at it as a reminder of the cultural biases of the 20th century- how someone can be so receptive to a new culture, and yet so unwilling to address their own privilege. Sometimes, that keeps me humble.
If you look at CC in context with the other baby books around at the time, like Dr Spocks twentrillionth edition, it's revolutionary. A parenting manual, though? No. Take what you can use, and treasure the book for what it is: a thinking parent's springboard.
:

I read it a few months back and was inspired but also overwhelmed a bit by some of it. I've processed it for a while and it's very much a "take what you like, leave the rest" kind of book for me. I did like how it inspired me to throw DD around a bit more, . I also feel that the part where baby just is worn and I do my thing works well for us-- I finally got BWing down w/ DD and I think she thrives when I spend some time cleaning while she rides along, every day.
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#11 of 86 Old 09-28-2007, 01:04 AM
 
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nak...the main thing i took away was how important it is to babywear and not just set down the baby even if the babe is "okay" with it.

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#12 of 86 Old 09-28-2007, 01:05 AM
 
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I liked the book alot, though it DEFINATELY has its faults. What I would really like to see are different views of the Yequana, partly to gain more insight and partly to check Leidloff's view of things.
The email list I have found to actually be much better than the book. They discuss many things, different native tribes, EC etc. All of the posts are very deep and well thought out and I have learned alot. Here is the website for the list. I believe there is a quote somewhere of her taking back the part about homosexuality.
http://www.continuum-concept.org/

:::
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#13 of 86 Old 09-28-2007, 01:33 AM
 
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but I am discouraged that it just cannot be put into practice, b/c we don't have the tribal community to support it. While I agree with all of the attachment ideas, some of the freedoms that were given to children are just not possible in this day in age. And although I feel that I am extremely supportive of my children's exploratory activity, I feel that I am contradicting myself to them when I have to put my foot down for something that I know is just to dangerous or out of their control. Maybe that is too confusing for kids. I don't know...for the most part, I found it to be a great read. Like other posters have said, I take what I want from it and leave the rest.
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#14 of 86 Old 09-28-2007, 02:40 AM
 
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I haven't read it, but honestly, I am afraid to.

Mainly because I get the screaming heebie jeebies at anything that appears to be "noble savage teaches cultured people about real life".

I am especially troubled when any person (be they amateur anthropologists or professionals) takes ONE group, at ONE point in time and universalizes them as "the way humans are meant to be".

Sorry, this group is not a living artifact of our hunter gather histories. In fact, cross cultural analysis of hunter gatherer communities across time and location shows a great deal of variety in gender roles, child rearing, and so forth.

Also, many hunter gatherer communities have practices we often find morally reprehensible, such as infanticide and euthanasia for the elderly or disabled - cherry picking what we like out of a culture tells us more about what we are looking for than what that culture actually is about.

I feel a bit odd about being critical of a book I haven't read - so the general caveats apply - but I have read many reviews of the book, so I am not completely clueless. It is on my list of books to read if I ever find a copy (I don't want to pay for it).

My 2 cents.

You know the attributes for a great adult? Initiative, creativity, intellectual curiosity? They make for a helluva kid...
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#15 of 86 Old 09-28-2007, 04:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I liked the book alot, though it DEFINATELY has its faults. What I would really like to see are different views of the Yequana, partly to gain more insight and partly to check Leidloff's view of things.
The email list I have found to actually be much better than the book. They discuss many things, different native tribes, EC etc. All of the posts are very deep and well thought out and I have learned alot. Here is the website for the list. I believe there is a quote somewhere of her taking back the part about homosexuality.
http://www.continuum-concept.org/
I will definitely look this site up.. Thanks for the link.

From a hermeneutical position, I wasn't sure which method Liedloff was using in her interpretations. She struck me as nothing more than an 'observer' and interpreted through her own western moulded lens of perception the culture that she was observing.

On closer reflection, the fact that there are no Yequana voices to be heard, only Liedloff's own interpretation of the communications and the tribe itself, made me nervous and consequently I think that many parts of the book are the authors own idealistic interpretations of events.

Without meaning to be too negative though, there are some aspects which have been helpful

Peace
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#16 of 86 Old 09-28-2007, 04:57 AM
 
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I haven't read it, but honestly, I am afraid to.

Mainly because I get the screaming heebie jeebies at anything that appears to be "noble savage teaches cultured people about real life".

I am especially troubled when any person (be they amateur anthropologists or professionals) takes ONE group, at ONE point in time and universalizes them as "the way humans are meant to be".

Sorry, this group is not a living artifact of our hunter gather histories. In fact, cross cultural analysis of hunter gatherer communities across time and location shows a great deal of variety in gender roles, child rearing, and so forth.

Also, many hunter gatherer communities have practices we often find morally reprehensible, such as infanticide and euthanasia for the elderly or disabled - cherry picking what we like out of a culture tells us more about what we are looking for than what that culture actually is about.

I feel a bit odd about being critical of a book I haven't read - so the general caveats apply - but I have read many reviews of the book, so I am not completely clueless. It is on my list of books to read if I ever find a copy (I don't want to pay for it).

My 2 cents.
Excellent post. I have read the book, and I couldn't put into words some of the things that bothered me about it, but you did. That is exactly how I felt about it.
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#17 of 86 Old 09-28-2007, 10:29 AM
 
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She doesn't have children, first of all. What turned me off about the book was the complete lack of acknowledgement that we don't live in a tribe! We live in a modern world, with all of the isolation/lack of family/dangerous streets, etc., that goes along with that.
.)



That is exactly how I feel. We don't live in a tribe, so to have tribal expectations is pretty unrealistic. Plus, people "glamorize" (for lack of a better word) the whole tribal thing. There are valid downsides to that culture as well...things that would never fly in our world.
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#18 of 86 Old 09-28-2007, 10:31 AM
 
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I haven't read it, but honestly, I am afraid to.

Mainly because I get the screaming heebie jeebies at anything that appears to be "noble savage teaches cultured people about real life".

I am especially troubled when any person (be they amateur anthropologists or professionals) takes ONE group, at ONE point in time and universalizes them as "the way humans are meant to be".
Great post. I haven't read the book either, and yeah, I know, I shouldn't be discussing it then BUT I've read lots of reviews and have heard it discussed by people whose opinions I trust and I think I have an idea of the main ideas.
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#19 of 86 Old 09-28-2007, 10:33 AM
 
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I haven't read it, but honestly, I am afraid to.

Mainly because I get the screaming heebie jeebies at anything that appears to be "noble savage teaches cultured people about real life".

I am especially troubled when any person (be they amateur anthropologists or professionals) takes ONE group, at ONE point in time and universalizes them as "the way humans are meant to be".

Sorry, this group is not a living artifact of our hunter gather histories. In fact, cross cultural analysis of hunter gatherer communities across time and location shows a great deal of variety in gender roles, child rearing, and so forth.

Also, many hunter gatherer communities have practices we often find morally reprehensible, such as infanticide and euthanasia for the elderly or disabled - cherry picking what we like out of a culture tells us more about what we are looking for than what that culture actually is about.

.



Yep. This, too. And I have read it.
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#20 of 86 Old 09-28-2007, 11:36 AM
 
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I feel the same way you do about the book. It was interesting, but nothing I was going to hang my hat on. She idealizes one culture and villainizes Western culture. Nothing is that black-and-white. I also didn't like the homophobic and anti-working-outside-the-home slant. The truth is, we are not a hunting-and-gathering society, and you can't just wholly transplant a lifestyle that works in the jungle to the industrialized world.

I much preferred the book Our Babies, Ourselves which is a more objective anthropological view of several different cultures and their childrearing practices, with conclusions about what keeps children healthiest across the board. It points out practices where Westerners need improvement (physical touch and proximity), but also draws attention to some of our positives, like talking to our babies and promoting intellectual development.

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#21 of 86 Old 09-28-2007, 05:09 PM
 
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I think it's a valuable book for getting some perspective on some of the things that are standard in our culture but may not be the best ideas. It is NOT a parenting manual, and there's very little concrete advice that can be directly applied to modern, non-tribal life. There are a few details that are kooky, ill-informed, or just flat-out wrong. BUT it's very thought-provoking, and if you're willing to think through how to apply it to your own real life, it can be helpful.

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They do like to help me with cooking and housework -- but with them so young, I tend to do the bare minimum and spend more time watching and playing with them -- bad news in her book, I guess. I need to be their center -- not make them mine, right?
Right. Your younger child is a few months younger than mine, and your older child is almost five years older; my son has been very involved in cooking, housework, and yardwork for over a year now, so your kids are not "so young"! I just wrote an article about kids working in the home that might give you some ideas for getting beyond the bare minimum and shifting your "center" in the process.

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One thing I've concluded is that the Yequana may indeed be genetically superior to us, in the area of self-preservation. Natural selection has continued, without interruption, up to the present time for them, whereas it has been interrupted in civilized culture.
Our culture has, for many years, been able to protect genetic strains that would have died out under the strict "survival of the fittest" regime that's probably even now still prevalent in the South American jungle. But I honestly don't see it as a bad thing, that so many more genetic strains can survive in the modern world.
I think those of us who are "weaker" according to jungle standards, still have many unique strengths to contribute. This may be partly why we have to be more protective of our babies than they do -- but I'm sure part of it is cultural, too.
Ooh! Interesting! It might be a genetic difference not in self-preservation per se but in balance, edge perception, hand-eye coordination, etc. Many "primitive" tribes are known to have unusual skill in one or another of those areas (with the usual result of such discoveries being that they are dragged to the "civilized" world for competitive sports ). I hadn't thought of that possibility for the Yequana before, but one thing I had considered was that they might have a higher tolerance (culturally, not genetically) for their children getting injured or even permanently disabled; they may be more willing to accept that as a normal part of life.

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I think that The Continuum Concept is a revolutionary book, but - it should have been written by an anthropologist. What I mean is, I think her lack of academic training in this area is very obvious and a lot of her observations and the context she puts them in are highly subjective.
I see your point, and this is the cause of some of the details to which I object. OTOH, Liedloff went into the jungle free of the assumptions a trained anthropologist would have been taught, and that gave her the opportunity for a purer, more intimately felt, more mind-opening insight, IMO. It's a mixed bag in that regard.

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For a more helpful view of how traditional cultures view children and a baby's natural environment, I highly recommend "Our Babies, Ourselves" if you haven't already read it.
I also recommend this article by a mom who applied The Continuum Concept to modern, non-tribal life. And here's a Mothering article about how to create your own tribe.

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#22 of 86 Old 09-28-2007, 05:45 PM
 
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Ooh! Interesting! It might be a genetic difference not in self-preservation per se but in balance, edge perception, hand-eye coordination, etc. Many "primitive" tribes are known to have unusual skill in one or another of those areas (with the usual result of such discoveries being that they are dragged to the "civilized" world for competitive sports ). I hadn't thought of that possibility for the Yequana before, but one thing I had considered was that they might have a higher tolerance (culturally, not genetically) for their children getting injured or even permanently disabled; they may be more willing to accept that as a normal part of life.
According to Liedloff, it's almost unheard-of for a Yequana child to become injured or disabled; she compares this with the frequency of accidents among Western children. Her assessment seems to be that our children are more accident-prone because they're complying with our subconscious expectations.

There may be some truth to this -- but I also think that if Yequana babies really are able to safely run around with hot firebrands, play with sharp machetes, and so on, it sounds like there may also be a genetic difference caused by the uninterrupted reign of natural selection. It's interesting to think about, anyway.

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#23 of 86 Old 09-28-2007, 05:54 PM
 
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I see your point, and this is the cause of some of the details to which I object. OTOH, Liedloff went into the jungle free of the assumptions a trained anthropologist would have been taught, and that gave her the opportunity for a purer, more intimately felt, more mind-opening insight, IMO. It's a mixed bag in that regard.
well, since even experts such as Margaret Mead were shown to have been snowed by her informants and heavily biased to find what she was looking for, I actually think the lack of training makes the book even more suspect.

It is hard enough to have objectivity when studying human subjects - inside or outside your own culture; without any training in identifying the impact of your biases or having methods to test your assumptions, the validity of the analysis is suspect.

In my mind, it turns the book into an autobiographical account of someone's time in the amazon. It becomes more a philosophical musing than an academic analysis.

This isn't a bad thing - I have been very moved by much travel literature - but its ability to tell us something meaningful about how all humans, everywhere should raise children is limited.

What I am confused about is not the popularity of the book - clearly it is written convincingly enough to sway opinions - but rather how some folks seem to use it as an authoritative voice in how to raise children. I think this is what I am most curious about - the folks I see who quote it often brandish it as their "proof" - like it is equivalent to an academic study - that their approach is better.

Btw, I have never found any detailed analysis or critique of the book on the internet, despite looking on several occasions. One of the hallmarks of academics is peer review - it is what keeps science honest. If something has not been peer reviewed, I have no basis for faith in it.

My 2 cents.

Siobhan

You know the attributes for a great adult? Initiative, creativity, intellectual curiosity? They make for a helluva kid...
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#24 of 86 Old 09-28-2007, 07:01 PM
 
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In my mind, it turns the book into an autobiographical account of someone's time in the amazon. It becomes more a philosophical musing than an academic analysis.
which is exactly what it is. It isn't meant to be an anthropologic monograph or anything. It's one persons account of like with a tribe and her philosophical thoughts on society, parenting, homesexuality and thrill seeking (among other things). For me it opened a door to a different way of parenting - it affirmed what I felt I knew deep in my soul. People needed coerce other people into doing things - even little people. We could bring children into "our" world, rather than changing our world completely to meet theirs (the whole parenting REQUIRES sacrifice argument). In my case, I was quite fine nursing and slinging my child AND going back to work for her to stay with her father while she drank my pumped milk. It made me MORE secure in that decision.

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#25 of 86 Old 09-28-2007, 07:05 PM
 
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According to Liedloff, it's almost unheard-of for a Yequana child to become injured or disabled; she compares this with the frequency of accidents among Western children. Her assessment seems to be that our children are more accident-prone because they're complying with our subconscious expectations.

There may be some truth to this -- but I also think that if Yequana babies really are able to safely run around with hot firebrands, play with sharp machetes, and so on, it sounds like there may also be a genetic difference caused by the uninterrupted reign of natural selection. It's interesting to think about, anyway.
If you look up an anthropologist named Sorenson, he talks about this phenomenon wrt to several tribes that were becoming more westernized. He found there were more accidents as they had more contact with industrialized society. I think the idea was that the families were losing their awarness ideals/links to each other. I think he uses the term liminal awarenss or liminal consciousness. Scott Noelle (parenting coach) may have something about this in his writings. I think he's posted this on the big TCC listserv.

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#26 of 86 Old 09-28-2007, 07:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Ellien C View Post
If you look up an anthropologist named Sorenson, he talks about this phenomenon wrt to several tribes that were becoming more westernized. He found there were more accidents as they had more contact with industrialized society. I think the idea was that the families were losing their awarness ideals/links to each other. I think he uses the term liminal awarenss or liminal consciousness. Scott Noelle (parenting coach) may have something about this in his writings. I think he's posted this on the big TCC listserv.
That's interesting! I'll have to look into that more.

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#27 of 86 Old 09-28-2007, 10:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
According to Liedloff, it's almost unheard-of for a Yequana child to become injured or disabled; she compares this with the frequency of accidents among Western children. Her assessment seems to be that our children are more accident-prone because they're complying with our subconscious expectations.

There may be some truth to this -- but I also think that if Yequana babies really are able to safely run around with hot firebrands, play with sharp machetes, and so on, it sounds like there may also be a genetic difference caused by the uninterrupted reign of natural selection. It's interesting to think about, anyway.
Actually, I have to say that I read that aspect of The Continuum Concept very differently than many people seem to do.

Primitive life in a jungle...be careful of sharp knives, hot fires, falling into the river, poisonous insects and wild animals (I may be missing some things, but those would be the biggies, imo). So, the kids are watching the adults handle all those things cautiously right from the time they're in arms. I don't mean cautiously in the paranoid sense that we tend to use it in...but the kids are watching people handle these things carefully from day one.

Western child...beware of automobiles, strangers, stairways, electrical outlets, sharp corners on tables, poisons, etc. etc. How often do we model any kind of caution with respect to these things? How many times a day does a child see a parent plug in/unplug a toaster, a vacuum, a lamp, or whatever? Is there any way for a child to understand that the electrical outlet is potentially dangerous? Sure - we give them dire warnings about it. We, as a modern, industrialized culture, have dozens of dangers in our homes that we never even think about...and we model that to our children, while often simultaneously giving them dire warnings about how dangerous these things are. I really don't think people are wired for that. Dangerous items should be treated with respect, and we don't model that for our kids.

"Don't talk to strangers." Okay - I don't support that one, anyway...but the parents who do it are subverting their own message on a daily basis, because their child sees them talking to a cashier, gas station attendant, bank teller, person waiting at the bus stop or whomever. We're giving our kids mixed messages about many dangers, by modeling one thing, and telling them something else.

I don't think they injure themselves out of some attempt to fulfill our "expectation" that they will do so. I think they get injured, because we have too many dangers around them, and we're totally inconsistent in how we present them.

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#28 of 86 Old 09-29-2007, 11:19 PM
 
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You make a good point, Lisa!

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#29 of 86 Old 10-01-2007, 02:03 AM
 
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1. I was very uncomfortable about Liedloff's suggestion in the book that homosexuality is a result of a defective Mother/child relationship. pg. 122-123

2. I felt uncomfortable about the generalizations about Western behaviour, such as people who may choose a lifetime of travelling the world, or a devotion to academia (pg.119) for a lot of years to be a sign of defectiveness in the Western individual.

3. I felt that men and women were reduced to nothing more than gender roles, and their identities solely related to that. I could almost sniff a biology is destiny scent there.

4. I was deeply offended at Liedloff's suggestion that any WOMAN who doesn't have the economic need to work should quit their job. pg.160
Like you, I've attributed these issues to the fact that the book was written in the 70s. To me, the value of The Continuum Concept is the way it's written...it's personal, it's convincing, and it's intriguing. It gets you emotionally in the right place to think about baby care. I'm willing to forgive some of the small stuff and the blatant idealism because it seems like our society swings SO far the other way...we need more strong, clear voices like Liedloff's making a counterpoint to the baby trainers out there.
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#30 of 86 Old 10-01-2007, 03:27 AM
 
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I've read it, and I thought it was racist, heterosexist, misogynist, classist, and, to add insult to injury, full of appallingly bad "research."

I've always been surprised at how often it's touted here.

So, yes, OP, I pretty much agree with all your points.
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