Coming of age can be a trying time both for those going through it and those trying to help adolescents make the journey into adulthood as safe and satisfying as possible. In the animal kingdom, it turns out, there are many commonalities among species in that regard. In the book ‘Wildhood’, Dr. Barbara Natterson-Horowitz and Kathryn Bowers demonstrate through their research that like human teens, animal adolescents can be moody, boundary-pushing and sometimes socially awkward. Wild animal ‘teens’ often take outlandish risks-and like their human counterparts, take more of them under peer pressure. At the same time, there is commonality in their creativity, exuberance and need to explore the boundaries of behavior that are societally acceptable. They found that these not quite grown up creatures of various species-including ours-share a horizontal connection. And all of this is routed in the evolutionary past. This is groundbreaking work and their ability to explain it in terms that are clear and compelling makes this podcast a must listen, particularly if you’re trying to understand this time of life because you’re raising a child now part of the wildhood club.
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