‘Alloparenting’ Is The New, Less Isolating Way To Raise Kids and It Entirely Makes Sense

Have you ever heard the phrase, “It takes a village to raise a child”? If you have and tend to agree, this new parenting style may just be for you.

What is alloparenting?

‘Alloparenting’ Is The New, Less Isolating Way To Raise Kids and It Entirely Makes Sense.

What Is Alloparenting?

Alloparenting is the act of someone other than a mother or father raising children. This could be grandmothers, grandfathers, aunts, uncles, cousins etc. In a sense, it’s receiving help raising a child so you as the parent, are less isolated.

This method of parenting was first introduced in 1975 by socio-biologist Edward Wilson.

Since that time, researchers from a variety of backgrounds have investigated thow as humans especially young humans, require a group of caregivers to survive.

Primatologist Sarah Blaffer Hrdy argues that social support was crucial to human success and that compared with other primates, humans are uniquely cooperative. That cooperation in child care is what gave rise to life as we are now.

Alloparenting is the parenting method that is less isolating for parents

And get this, experts believe that without alloparenting, humans wouldn’t have survived from the beginning. Crazy, right?

Aside from initial survival, there are many benefits to the alloparenting method.

For starters, parents feel less isolated. It’s easy in this day and age to get stuck at home doing the same tasks with parenting and the housework over and over again.

Back in the 1950’s this way of life, being able to stay home while the other parent provides, was the American dream.

But now, research is showing that the individual parenting is toxic and can leave to burnout for parents, depression, and anxiety in both parents and children.

“Contemporary mothers feel a lot of guilt about sending kids to preschool, daycare or having nannies. This is despite the fact that these are much more normative arrangements, historically speaking, than being with a child 24/7,” said Darby Saxbe, associate professor of psychology and director of the Center for the Changing Family at the University of Southern California.


So, how can you take part in the alloparenting method?

Find your tribe. Find people you trust around your children. Experts say, it’s not about finding people who parent the same as you, it’s about finding people who are non-judgmental, trustworthy and reliable.

So, what do you think? Is Alloparenting for you?


  1. Laura L. Lin says:

    Alloparenting, as a term, might have been introduced in the manner and timing that you mention in your article, but the concept is not new, by any means, nor did that person come up with the idea.
    Indigenous societies have raised children with the inclusion of multiple generations, extended family members, and community members for more of their existence than not.
    In fact, I can remember a time when that method of parenting wasn’t called anything other than parenting… and I’m a 60-something in the Midwestern US.
    That said, I’m glad to see someone of the current child-raising generation recognize the clear advantages of something that definitely needs to come back!
    For more ideas on the subject I highly recommend the book, Hunt, Gather, Parent.

  2. Kristen Yard says:

    Thank you for the info and the book recommendation, Laura!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.