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Is there a right way to treat children? Or: Is Developmental Psychology common sense?. The stages of human development render childhood basically the same everywhere. Yes___ No___. Is there a right way to treat children?. Historical childrearing practices included:

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Is there a right way to treat children? Or: Is Developmental Psychology common sense?


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    1. Is there a right way to treat children? Or:Is Developmental Psychology common sense? The stages of human development render childhood basically the same everywhere. Yes___ No___

    2. Is there a right way to treat children? Historical childrearing practices included: • Infanticide and abandonment • Early separation from parents • Wet nursing, swaddling, child labor • Hardening; field trips to view hangings • Regimen of physical discipline • Restrictions on marriage choice • Focus on children’s economic value

    3. Infanticide and Abandonment • Children have always been abused and neglected • Evidence in Jericho 7000 BC of infanticide • First Century Greeks put to death weak, infirm and those who lacked courage • Second Century Greek physicians instructed midwives to dispose of unfit children • Roman Law of Ten Tables prohibited raising defective children • 19th Century Europe justified infanticide: children were property and not vested with right to live before age 7

    4. Boswell, John The Kindness of Strangers: The Abandonment of Children in Western Europe from Late Antiquity to the Renaissance.

    5. David I. KertzerSacrificed For HonorItalian Infant Abandonment and the Politics of Reproductive Control(Beacon Press, 1993)

    6. Abandonment -- How… Why... How Left on hillsides, side of the road, revolving try in monestaries and churches Why • Ancient Greeks: Of course a man can do whatever he wants with his own children • Aristotle “As to exposing or rearing the child born, let there be a law that no deformed child shall be reared” • Poverty, too many previous children; boy preference

    7. Abandonment became institutionalized in the 13th century Historically, women were more likely to abandon if they were: • Young • Unmarried • Lacking in social support • (What do you think: Were women who abandoned likely to be poorer mothers when they did keep their babies later in life?)

    8. Pope Innocent III organized foundling homes in 12th century: Important manifestation of Christian piety Huge increase in abandonment in 1750-1850. By early 19th century, babies were being abandoned in vast numbers in France, Belgium and Portugal. Why: Crisis of unwed mothers… breakdown of the family

    9. Contemporary Abandonment(Photo from China… see:http://www.taliacarner.com/deadnewborningutter.htm)

    10. Correspondence between married couple, England, 1847 Edward Stanley writes to his wife, on hearing that she is pregnant for the 10th time. This your last misfortune is indeed most grevious and puts all others in the shade. What can you have been doing to account for so juvenile a proceeding, it comes very opportunely to disturb all your family arrangements and revives the nursery and Williams in full vigor. I only hope it is not the beginning of another flock for what to do with them I know not.

    11. Henrietta writes back... A hot bath, a tremendous walk and a great dose have succeeded but it is a warning. • Edward replies…I hope you are not going to do yourself any harm by your violent proceedings, for though it would be a great bore it is not worthwhile playing tricks to escape the consequenes. If however you are none the worse, the great result is all the better. Henrietta responds… I was sure you would feel the same horror I did at an increase of family but I am reassured for the future by the efficacy of the means. (Henrietta had another child in 1849)

    12. Early separation from parents:Wet nursing

    13. Lack of stimulation:Swaddling

    14. Lack of stimulation:Swaddling

    15. All countries swaddled...

    16. What were the Advantages, Disadvantages to Swaddling?

    17. More Early Separation from Parents... By age 6-7… Send children out to work as: • servants in others’ homes (girls and boys) • apprentices in a trade • workers in mines, factories (18th-19th century)

    18. Breaker Boys" were used in the anthracite coal mines to separate slate rock from the coal after it had been brought out of the shaft. They often worked 14 to 16 hours a day. Miner “Breaker” Boys

    19. Child Labor in the Factory

    20. Family Piece Work

    21. Newspaper Boys

    22. Children in Agricultural Work

    23. But did wealthy families also practice early separation from parents?

    24. Nannies, Governesses, Tutors,Boarding Schools...

    25. Field trips to view hangings... General hardening, cold water bathings, ghost stories, morality tales

    26. Moral Values in Childhood

    27. Regimen of physical discipline Paddle used in schools

    28. The wisdom of brutal beatings became heavily debated in the 19th century • In the 1800s, many humanitarians began to protest the practice of harsh discipline

    29. Corporal Punishment was used in Schools until the 1970s in the US and Australia (this photo, Australia 1926)

    30. Restrictions on marriage choice • Before the 20th century in Europe and North America, parents fought to control children’s marriage choice • … especially wealthy parents

    31. Why was treatment of children so harsh? • Infanticide and abandonment • Early separation from parents • Wet nursing, swaddling, child labor • Hardening; field trips to view hangings • Regimen of physical discipline • Restrictions on marriage choice • Focus on children’s economic value

    32. Why was treatment of children so harsh? Sociocultural, historical explanations • Life was hard; high probability that children would die • Children understood as property of parents • Children served necessary economic function Cultural factors meant adults had different psychology • Lacked the concepts of progress • Different understanding of causation, human psychology • Different goals for behavior of children • Lacked modern idealization of mother love • Adults lacked emotional maturity, empathy (DeMause)

    33. Life was hard...

    34. Tenement Life

    35. Infant and Child Mortality

    36. Children understood as property of parentsChildren served necessary economic function

    37. Economic Primacy in the Pre-Industrial Family • Marriage was a contract that revolved around economic concerns. • Having children was an economic decision based on need (for labor) or old age support. • Family represented the main mode of production—mostly farming—and it used what it produced.

    38. Who Had Power in the Pre-industrial Family • Patriarch of family—oldest male—controlled land, the most valuable resource • This power commanded veneration—profound respect—but not necessarily love • Power of patriarch was based on resources that would flow to younger generations.

    39. Why did this required childrearing that emphasized obedience? • Sons could only marry when father turned over some land to them • Relations between parents and children were autocratic and based on control of this valued resource • Children had were viewed more in instrumental than in sentimental terms (as “little adults”)

    40. Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother?

    41. Cultural factors meant adults had different psychology • Lacked the concepts of progress • Different understanding of causation, human psychology • Different goals for behavior of children • Lacked modern idealization of mother love • Adults lacked emotional maturity, empathy (DeMause) So how did society change?

    42. Urban Life Changes in 100 Years

    43. Psychology Changed with Social Structure Cultural factors meant adults had different psychology • Adults lacked emotional maturity, empathy (DeMause) • Lacked the concepts of progress • Different understanding of causation, human psychology • Different goals for behavior of children • Lacked modern idealization of mother love