The Beginning of Modern Parenting
Up until the 1900’s there was not a whole lot of research on parenting styles. It was generally considered to be very rigid and almost barbaric is some sense (French, 2002). There were practices such as infanticide, which is the practice of leaving unwanted babies out in the environment. Most children who were put in these situations died of exposure, and the lucky ones were picked up by families who couldn’t have children (French, 2002). Children were not considered members of the family until around age 12 or 13 and even then they were considered more of a property or possession and not person (French, 2002).
Industrialization in the United States
The late 1800’s to the early 1900’s is considered the beginning of modern parenting practices. Research begins to look at trends in parenting practices, both positive and negative. The 1900’s is considered an industrial time period. America’s population was growing; much of this growth is due to immigration. At the same time America was becoming industrialized. With industrialization came many problems. Children were forced to work, and many parents had to work as well, so the role of parenting was given to older siblings who were not working, or elder grandparents (Johnston, 1993). The progressive movement attempted to remedy the negative consequences of industrialization. The progressive movement lead to the first White House conference on children (Johnston, 1993). The development of this conference was the start of Children being thought of as more important and essential members of society. This movement also led to child labor laws and greater health benefits like treatment of milk with the clean milk campaign and treatment of common childhood illnesses like croup and whooping cough (Hart, 1991).
There was also an introduction to “scientific” child-rearing where parents were encouraged to raise their children based on scientific...
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