The Evolved Nest: Nature's Way of Raising Children and Creating Connected Communities (Paperback)

The Evolved Nest: Nature's Way of Raising Children and Creating Connected Communities By Darcia Narvaez, PhD, G. A. Bradshaw, PhD, Gabor Maté, MD (Foreword by) Cover Image
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A fascinating look into nurturing and parenting in the natural world, supplemented with original illustrations

For readers of Becoming Animal and World of Wonders

A beautiful resource for Nature advocates, parents-to-be, Animal lovers, and anyone who seeks to restore wellbeing on our planet, The Evolved Nest reconnects us to lessons from the Animal world and shows us how to restore wellness in our families, communities, and lives.

Each of 10 chapters explores a different animal’s parenting model, sharing species-specific adaptations that allow each to thrive in their “evolved nests.” You’ll learn:

  • How Wolves build an internal moral compass
  • How Beavers foster a spirit of play in their children
  • How Octopuses develop emotional and social intelligence
  • How, when, and whether (or not) Brown Bears decide to have children
  • What their lessons can teach you--whether you’re a parent, grandparent, caregiver, or childfree

Psychologists Drs. Darcia Narvaez and Gay Bradshaw show us how each evolved nest offers inspiration for reexamining our own systems of nurturing, understanding, and caring for our young and each other. Alongside beautiful illustrations, stunning scientific facts, and lessons in neuroscience, psychology, and evolutionary biology, we learn to care deeper: to restore our innate place within the natural world and fight for an ecology of life that supports our flourishing in balance with Nature alongside our human and non-human family.

About the Author

DARCIA NARVAEZ is a Professor of Psychology Emerita at the University of Notre Dame and founder of The Evolved Nest Initiative, focused on developing appropriate baselines for lifelong human wellness by meeting the biological needs of infants. Dr. Narvaez is the author or editor of over twenty books and dozens of articles. G.A. BRADSHAW is the founder and director of The Kerulos Center for Nonviolence. Her diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder in free-living elephants launched the field of trans-species psychology. She holds doctorate degrees in ecology and psychology and a master’s in geophysics and was a Fellow at the National Science Foundation National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis.

Praise For…

"This gem of a book, vast in erudition and insight and rich in mind-boggling scientific observation, will leave the reader both humbled and grateful." —From the foreword by Gabor Maté, author of The Myth of Normal

"[An invitation] to turn to Nature and our nonhuman Animal relatives to learn the ways of 'mothering'—of care for the earth, all her beings, and future generations." —Dr. Vandana Shiva, physicist, ecofeminist, and food sovereignty activist

"The most thought-provoking, fascinating, challenging, beautiful book I’ve read in years." —Bruce D. Perry, MD, PhD, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University

" absolute pleasure to provocatively challenges us to rethink our relationship with and moral responsibilities to the other species with whom we share the planet." —Allan N. Schore, PhD, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine

"...timely and vital...a crucial documentation of how our ancestral history is [more] one of collaborating as a larger identity than the lessons modern culture portrays of solo-self in isolation." —Daniel J. Siegel, MD, author of IntraConnected

"...our refusal to accept and cherish the commonality we have with other beings is undermining our ability to raise children to be happy and socially functional adults. If only we paid attention to how other Animals do it." —Dr. Reed Noss, past president of the Society for Conservation Biology

"...breathtakingly comprehensive, insightful, and singularly creative..." —Richard M. Lerner, director of the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development, Tufts University

"In this masterpiece of reconceptualization, [the authors] reveal the deep commonalities in the developmental systems of both humans and our nonhuman Relatives." —Jeremy Lent, author of The Web of Meaning

"Profound, wonder-filled, and deeply reasoned." —Dacher Keltner, director of the Berkeley Social Interaction Lab

"The future of our fragile, magnificent, and interconnected planet depends on the goodwill and love of everyone living everywhere.... And there is no better cohort on which to focus than youngsters, because they are the future." —Marc Bekoff, author of Rewilding Our Hearts

"...simultaneously brilliant and breathtaking." —Douglas P. Fry, PhD, author of War, Peace, and Human Nature

"[The authors] compassionately remind us of our evolutionary and contemporary connection with the diverse social systems of nonhuman species that populate the Earth." —Stephen W. Porges, PhD, author of Polyvagal Safety

"[The book] has much to teach academics, society, and parents about how to support the rearing of a healthy child." —C. Sue Carter, PhD, professor of psychology, University of Virginia

"...highly original and thought-provoking..." —Robert Lickliter, professor at Florida International University

"A rare and respectful engagement with the kinship worldview in a manner that acknowledges and invites us to learn from the guidance provided by our Plant and Animal relatives. —Amba J. Sepie, multidisciplinary author, teacher, and Whitinga Fellow, Massey University, Aotearoa New Zealand

"The book we all need to be reading right now." —Nakia S. Gordon, associate professor of psychology, Marquette University

"[The authors] provide teachings that stem from observing our nonhuman relations, showing how they exemplify a life-sustaining kinship worldview that guided us for most of human history." —Wahinkpe Topa (Four Arrows), aka Don Trent Jacobs, PhD, EdD, coauthor of Restoring the Kinship Worldview

"...lessons for how we as parents of our own species can better understand what it means to raise a child to be healthy in body and mind." —Carl Safina, author of Becoming Wild

"...beautifully traces the natural science and living process available within, between, and all around us to grow the caring, lasting, deep connections essential for children, families, and communities to thrive." —Christina Bethell, PhD, MBA, MPH, professor of child health, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University

"Revelations for a hopeful future are visible within our natural world and revealed from Indigenous and ancestral wisdom." —David W. Willis, MD, senior fellow at the Center for the Study of Social Policy

"[The authors] offer insights into the costly tradeoffs we have made to live in the crowded, hierarchical societies we call civilization, and how to find our way back to the living world." —David Johns, retired professor of political science, School of Government, Portland State University

"...fascinating, important, and accessible...a brilliant addition to the developmental literature on prosocial behaviour." —Paul Gilbert OBE, The Compassionate Mind Foundation

"...highlights the importance of taking both an evolutionary and animal-comparative perspective for understanding the nature and development of any animal, including humans." —David F. Bjorklund, PhD, professor of psychology at Florida Atlantic University and author of How Children Invented Humanity

"A fascinating and lively way to begin learning about how human childcare fits into the vast spectrum and deep evolutionary history of the caring that is central to community." —Melvin Konner, MD, PhD, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Anthropology, Program in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology, Emory University

"...essential reading for those who care about children, those who care about life on this planet, and those who recognize (or need to recognize) that those topics are inextricably intertwined." —Derrick Jensen, ecophilosopher and author of The Myth of Human Supremacy

"...a fascinating work...[and] a cautionary tale on the perils of turning against Nature." —Riane Eisler, author of Nurturing Our Humanity

"...beautifully written [and] scientifically rich..." —Gordon M. Burghardt, professor of psychology at the University of Tennessee

"Scholars and practitioners alike will be informed and inspired by the interweaving of remarkable insights drawn from across many Animal species." —L. Alan Sroufe, professor emeritus of child development at the University of Minnesota

"Narvaez and Bradshaw's brilliant, soul-nourishing stories of human and Animal families are a welcome journey home." —Lisa Reagan, editor of Kindred Media and cofounder of Kindred World

"[The authors] take up perhaps the biggest question of all: Who are we? Their answer: an evolved species deeply connected to the more-than-human world, joyously so, if we can but rediscover nature's relational ways of being." —Peter H. Kahn, Jr., author of Technological Nature

"By respectful dialogue between Indigenous knowledge and Western scientific insights, the authors point a way forward to creating the kind of earth-bound, caring communities which are so vitally needed." —Celia Deane-Drummond, director of Laudato Si’ Research Institute, Campion Hall, University of Oxford

"...a compassionate, wise, and gently thought-provoking investigation of our natural capacities to care for and raise our young through benevolent human and non-human relationships." —Tina Malti, PhD, professor, psychotherapist, and co-editor of The Cambridge Handbook of Prosociality

"...a powerful plea to heal our connections to the natural world and to each other." —Sue Gerhardt, psychotherapist and author of Why Love Matters

"A good place to begin the profound process of political and scientific re-thinking we all need." —Professor Chris Knight, Senior Honorary Research Associate, department of Anthropology, University College London

"From Whales to Wolves, the authors give touching examples of whole-child parenting that could easily pass for the human ideal." —Tamarack Song, founder of the Healing Nature Center and author of Blossoming the Child

"[The authors] help us to look within our species' deep history for clues to inspire a more humane and sustainable future for our children and all our Kin." Ruth Anne Hammond, author of Respecting Babies

"...simultaneously a revelation and a return to Indigenous ways of knowing.... a call to reclaim nature-based childrearing knowledges that are caring, ethical, spiritual, and social." —Jennifer Markides, assistant professor in the Werklund School of Education

"...a compelling case for re-embracing Nature and natural history to optimize our children's development and our societies' relationship to the natural world." Eric Nelson, PhD, Principal Investigator, Abigail Wexner Research Institute, Nationwide Children's Hospital

"...a beautiful description of the contexts for birth and development in various Animal species, with the focus always on helping us understand ourselves and our truest needs in relation to Nature." —Peter Gray, research professor of psychology and neuroscience at Boston College and author of Free to Learn

"Truly a wonderful book." —Stuart Shanker, Founder of The MEHRIT Centre

"The Evolved Nest enriches our imagination about how we can embrace companionship care to build a relational world of resilience, empathy, reciprocity, and respect." —Mary Watkins, PhD, author of Mutual Accompaniment and the Creation of the Commons

"This book provides the rationale we need to nurture children towards our humane species potential rather than adapting them to the cutthroat patriarchal capitalism that is now destroying the intricate web of all life." —Genevieve Vaughan, author of The Gift in the Heart of Language

"The book is a call to come home—to a home that is multispecies, that is nurturing, and that is healing, for parents and children alike." Margo DeMello, cultural anthropologist at Carroll College and author of Animals and Society

"In this terrifying time, we need a new animist cosmology. This book which examines the 'evolved nest' of a range of complex intelligent mammal and bird species, including humans, could provide the source." —Dr Camilla Power, anthropologist

"A delightful nest of knowledge, woven from strands of scientific, Indigenous, and nature-based thought." —Cheryl Alexander, filmmaker of Takaya: Lone Wolf

"A glorious manifesto for re-wilding humanity, our return to the ways of relationship that will bring us back to peace and ecological belonging."—Robin Grille, psychotherapist and author of Parenting for a Peaceful World

"...a blueprint for a compassionate world." —Barbara Nicholson, cofounder of Attachment Parenting International profound as it is illuminating." —Lysa Parker, cofounder of Attachment Parenting International

" and inspiring wisdom drawn from animals, children, sages, and scientists to help us feel kinship as our Indigenous birthright and restore the nest we call earth." —O. Fred Donaldson, author of Original Play, husband, father, play specialist, aikidoist, calligrapher, cowboy, and Native American craftsman

“Dynamic and rich.... at once inspiring and a warning to how we must return to natural ways and rhythms if our species is to survive." —Kate White, MA, BCBMT, RCST, CEIM, SEP, PPNE, PLC, founding director of education for the Association for Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health

"Let this book raise us and our children and theirs to come." —Deena Metzger, author of La Vieja and La Negra y Blanca

"Darcia and Gay take us back to the future, revealing that our authentic nature is Nature.... Everyone who turns these pages will be struck, awakened, and hopefully transformed by the symphony of brilliant insights these two sing." —Michael Mendizza, entrepreneur, author, and founder of Touch the Future
Product Details
ISBN: 9781623177676
ISBN-10: 1623177677
Publisher: North Atlantic Books
Publication Date: August 8th, 2023
Pages: 248
Language: English