The Role of Children in Colonial New England

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A revolution has taken place in family life since colonial times. In recent years, families have gone through many disconcerting and disruptive changes. But if family life today seems unsettled, so, too, was family life in the past. The family's roles and functions, size and composition, and emotional and power dynamics have all changed dramatically over time. Perhaps the biggest difference between families then and now is that colonial society placed relatively little importance on familial privacy. In colonial America, the family was, first and foremost, a unit of production. It also performed a variety of educational, religious and welfare functions that were later expected by other private and public institutions. The family educated children in basic literacy and the basics of religion; it transmitted work-related skills; and it cared for the elderly and sick. Children were taught things that children today are not taught so strictly. They had a somewhat good idea when they would send their children to another house to learn. People tend to have more respect for others then for those in their own household. Most families today don’t have much control over their children as they did back then. Parents still teach their children some of the things they did back then but it has completely changed. The basics are still around. Since women are now considered equal to men and don’t have to only care for their families has made a big difference. It has affected both the mothers and the children too. Women now seek careers equal to men. You now see young women learning trades that only men would learn. Daughters are encouraged to strive for a higher education and at the same time to learn the basics of running a house. Sons are also encouraged to strive for a higher learning and to be a responsible head of the household. Although it is a great thing that women are able to work equally as men do it has had its negative side also. Having both parents working leaves...
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