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Parenting in the 19th Century

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Jessica Buhrman

on 16 April 2013

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Transcript of Parenting in the 19th Century

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Images from Shutterstock.com Education Education is a big concern for parents at this time; there are several articles that implore parents to "think of the children" when it comes to proper schooling
There is a great emphasis placed on religious education, more so than public education (at least from what I've seen so far)
Quote from 1833 newspaper: "In these 'days of rebuke and blasphemy,' I know not a more important duty devolving on us followers of Christ, than to train up our offspring in the knowledge and love of his truth."
Most of the articles that I've found repeat this sentiment... "If your Chrild'ren you'd command,
Parents, keep a steady hand." Most of the advice that these newspapers are dishing out seems reasonable and similar to what people would say nowadays
Gentleness and love, rather than violence, is emphasized, but once the punishment is administered, parents should not try to "make it up to" the child
"Never strike a child while you are in anger"
"Never interfere with your husband or wife in the correction of a child in its presence"
"Use the rod sparingly; it is better and easier to command from their love and respect than by fear"
Through the books that we've read, we are given very few examples of parents who are raising their children correctly
Tom Sawyer's aunt Polly is a pushover and is easily tricked by him
Huckleberry Finn's dad is an abusive alcoholic
Elsie Dinsmore's father is cold and distant
There are a few good examples that we have, like Marmee from Little Women and Tom Bailey's parents from The Story of a Bad Boy
We seem to have a plethora of bad parents in the novels that we've read this semester...why is that?
Could it mean that kids who have bad parents are more entitled to act out (or have books written about them, since they are "different" in that way)?
I'm not exactly sure, but I'm still looking into it! How does this compare? How to Raise a Child in the 19th Century Exploring the duties and roles of parents and authority figures in the 1800. Strangely enough, parenting manuals did not really exist at this time; in fact, the word "parenting" shows no results when searched in the database
Instead, 19th century newspapers employ the use of articles to offer advice and tips, in particular a set called the "Parents' Department"
Government, Religious Discipline, Quarrels, Duties of Parents to Children, Do Not Deceive Children, Unpromising Children, Parents Reproved by their Children
These articles are more interested in the "what" than the "how"
Occasionally, there will be another segment of the newspaper called the Children's Department, which urges kids to do right by their parents, usually through cautionary tales Parenting Manuals
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