Author Topic: How Inuit Parents Teach Children to Control Their Anger  (Read 1091 times)

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Offline Arachne

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How Inuit Parents Teach Children to Control Their Anger
« on: July 23, 2019, 07:30:02 AM »
Back in the 1960s, a Harvard graduate student made a landmark discovery about the nature of human anger.

At age 34, Jean Briggs traveled above the Arctic Circle and lived out on the tundra for 17 months. There were no roads, no heating systems, no grocery stores. Winter temperatures could easily dip below minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Briggs persuaded an Inuit family to "adopt" her and "try to keep her alive," as the anthropologist wrote in 1970.

At the time, many Inuit families lived similar to the way their ancestors had for thousands of years. They built igloos in the winter and tents in the summer. "And we ate only what the animals provided, such as fish, seal and caribou," says Myna Ishulutak, a film producer and language teacher who lived a similar lifestyle as a young girl.

Briggs quickly realized something remarkable was going on in these families: The adults had an extraordinary ability to control their anger.

"They never acted in anger toward me, although they were angry with me an awful lot," Briggs told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. in an interview.


https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2019/03/13/685533353/a-playful-way-to-teach-kids-to-control-their-anger
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Offline Alpha60

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Re: How Inuit Parents Teach Children to Control Their Anger
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2019, 12:19:16 PM »
This is really interesting and insightful.  Do you suppose this could work in the noisy, visually stimulating, resource rich environments of the cities and suburbs in which most children are raised?  Or is it perhaps a factor of the extreme isolation of the arctic region, which like the deep deserts of Egypt, but perhaps even more so, requires a certain attitude?

By the way I recall seeing the first Inuit language film made in Nunavut, in an arthouse, in 2002,
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atanarjuat:_The_Fast_Runner , and it was interesting in that it did depict something like a fight to the death between two men who were rivals, I believe over an issue of betrothal and inheritance.  But this fight was done in the context of an extremely formal sparring, inside a tent or igloo, in which the two men took turns striking each other on the left temple.  As opposed to being an all-out brawl or even a regulated duel of swords; the only thing like it I am familiar with are duels with pistols, and even that seemed quite a bit removed from this.  There seemed to be a lack of uncontrolled wrath between the two opponents; they were angry enough to duel, but not enraged with one another to the point where they lost their temper.   And as both characters were young men, this at the time struck me as remarkable.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2019, 12:21:00 PM by Alpha60 »

Council of Nicea:
Εθη ἀρχαῖα κρατείτω. 
Mores antiqui obtineant.
The ancient ways shall prevail.

The sentiment of Nicea in Greek and Latin, translated into English.

Offline RaphaCam

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Re: How Inuit Parents Teach Children to Control Their Anger
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2019, 10:46:04 PM »
Amazing.
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Offline platypus

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Re: How Inuit Parents Teach Children to Control Their Anger
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2019, 10:56:57 PM »
Interesting - in my experience you really, really don't want to upset an Inuit. Perhaps this sort of thing varies from place to place.

I often wonder about the benefits of showing anger. My parents took the Proverbs 22:15 approach to childrearing, and the kids all turned out excellent except for me - the one degenerate.

The thought of lying to children to improve their behavior -as in the article- seems troubling. But, like yelling or spanking, parents have been doing it since time immemorial with some success.

The article seemed to equate parents yelling at their children with parents losing their temper - an idea I find odd, possibly because my parents had good self control. In my work, I sometimes get very upset at my subordinates but have to hide it, and I sometimes have to act upset at my subordinates when I am actually not. I assume my parents did the same thing.

I would definitely agree with the author that parents with no self control are likely to pass this trait onto their children. I'm also not a parent so none of my opinions really matter here.
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Offline Arachne

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Re: How Inuit Parents Teach Children to Control Their Anger
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2019, 06:34:59 PM »
This is really interesting and insightful.  Do you suppose this could work in the noisy, visually stimulating, resource rich environments of the cities and suburbs in which most children are raised?  Or is it perhaps a factor of the extreme isolation of the arctic region, which like the deep deserts of Egypt, but perhaps even more so, requires a certain attitude?

I don't see why it couldn't work. There may need to be adjustments, but it focuses on the parents' attitude. Children suck at following instructions, but are very good at mirroring their parents.

Pamela Druckerman's book French Children Don't Throw Food, which deals with a much more western-aligned culture's way of raising well-behaved children, has some interesting parallels.
'Evil isn't the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as evil, maybe more so, and it's a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against stupid. That might actually make a difference.'~Harry Dresden

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Offline Arachne

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Re: How Inuit Parents Teach Children to Control Their Anger
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2019, 06:35:47 PM »
Interesting - in my experience you really, really don't want to upset an Inuit. Perhaps this sort of thing varies from place to place.

One doesn't have to show anger in order to make someone else's life miserable.
'Evil isn't the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as evil, maybe more so, and it's a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against stupid. That might actually make a difference.'~Harry Dresden

~ bookshelf ~ ugly writing ~ jukebox ~

Offline rakovsky

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Re: How Inuit Parents Teach Children to Control Their Anger
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2019, 12:59:38 AM »
This is really interesting and insightful.  Do you suppose this could work in the noisy, visually stimulating, resource rich environments of the cities and suburbs in which most children are raised?  Or is it perhaps a factor of the extreme isolation of the arctic region, which like the deep deserts of Egypt, but perhaps even more so, requires a certain attitude?

By the way I recall seeing the first Inuit language film made in Nunavut, in an arthouse, in 2002,
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atanarjuat:_The_Fast_Runner , and it was interesting in that it did depict something like a fight to the death between two men who were rivals, I believe over an issue of betrothal and inheritance.  But this fight was done in the context of an extremely formal sparring, inside a tent or igloo, in which the two men took turns striking each other on the left temple.
This still sounds bad.

I am also inclined to think the coolness in temper is climate related.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2019, 01:00:17 AM by rakovsky »
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