How Do Society's Ideas About Children Change over Time? Why Is This Significant for Those Working with Children and Families?

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There has been a significant change of ideas about children and childhood within our society for the past fifty years and across the centuries within different cultures. Therefore, I will look in further and explain in detail how society’s ideas about children have changed over time and why it’s important for those working with children and family. A child is legally defined as a ‘Minor’ which is used to ‘refer to a person who is under the age in which one legally assumes adulthood and is legally granted rights afforded to adults in society’ (The Free Dictionary, 2000). The definition of ‘Childhood’ is a ‘The time or state of being a child’ (The Free Dictionary, 2000). Many children in today’s society and in the past did not get the opportunity to experience this, as children were seen like little adults who took part in the same work as adults such as Indian children are still seen today working in factories. However, I believe in today’s British society, lives are more enjoyable for children better than ever before. They have extraordinary expectation of longer lives then 50 years ago, including their parents living healthier, happier and longer lives. This is due to children in Britain today receiving a decent education and technology offering astonishing benefits to their understanding of the world, but most of all they have their rights to be heard. The change of childhood has changed in recent years, which has improved the material circumstances in some situation, better health and education, and children are more likely to play and spend time more indoors doing activities that will keep them away from crime. We are surrounded by many powerful stories, both negative and positive, about the way in which childhood has changed. Some have a very little opinion of children and their potential, and therefore are seen as needing to be controlled and disciplined. Others view children as worthy of the same rights and respect as adults. In the western industrialised...
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