Changes in parenting

Essay by misshellkittyUniversity, Master'sA, September 2004

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There have been many changes throughout the past three hundred years in the way children and adolescents are taught about becoming parents. The transition to parenthood, as it is called, has transformed because of changes in society, changes in family structure and also changes in the adolescents themselves. When the times change, ways of life have to change as well. With the onset of wars (American Revolution in 1775, the Civil War in 1861 and the Vietnam War in 1959, for example), industrialization, the rural to urban shift, smaller family sizes, divorce and single parenthood, it can be easily understood why these certain changes have occurred.

As they evolve, family and community structures adapt to the physical and social conditions of production (Wenke 1984). Similar evolutionary forces lead to changes in family dynamics and in child-rearing practices. Parents adjust their child-rearing behaviour to the risks that they perceive in the environment, the skills that they expect their children to acquire as adults, and the cultural and economic expectations that they have of their children (LeVine 1974; LeVine, Miller, and West 1988).

There is a powerful interplay between a society's technology, family structure, and social values.

The first phase of industrialization during 1891 and 1911, attracted a steady supply of rural Canadians to the cities (Baker, 2001). Although industrialization did provide thousands of jobs, it did not create an egalitarian society (Baker, 2001). Instead, a new social class was spawned: the working poor. These families faced inequities in the labour force, weak government protection, and social discrimination (Baker, 2001).

Several forces were responsible for the changes that became apparent in families. The modern family evolved in concert with industrialization, science, and technology. With the growth of specialized wage labour, economically productive work moved beyond the reach of the family compound (Baker,