Source: Big Mouth Strikes Again | Peggster
I was just thinking about how different childhood is in the last 100 years and lo, this shows up in my feed. For those who dwell on the ages old chicken and egg conundrum, I submit to you an alternative to consider… That of the of riddle and the blog post.
Moving along now, I come back to where I was. I do not think the vast majority of children living in 1st world countries have an analog for what their lives would have been like prior to the 1900’s. I am certain their parents do not, judging by all the comments regarding childhood and where this or that doomed generation is heading. I am no historian, but I do think that the way our lives are now, is basically unprecedented. I don’t know of another point in history when our fight for basic survival has ever been less. That got me to thinking what impact that has on our children. In a word, they are allowed to be children, and for a much longer period of time than ever before. Children aren’t learning a trade as they begin their double digits, they aren’t helping on the farms like they did before. They are allowed to pursue extra-curricular activities, alternative educations, experience society at a more leisurely pace. Not to say that there aren’t downsides. The rise of the ultra competitive parent has children as young as two in preparatory schools, being exposed to additional languages, maths, etc in an effort to give them an edge when it comes to getting into college. The effects of that approach are relatively unknown in the West, but if you look to Japan you can get a good idea of how that turns out…
Where this is going, I do not know, but I am cautiously optimistic.
A century ago children worked for their living as soon as they could. Milt in the Depression supported himself from 13 years. I am still not quite an adult….
My dad was born in 1940. At age 10 he took a job setting up pins at a bowling alley in order to have money to buy clothes. It wasn’t an economy issue but a family one, but even at that age he learned to depend only on himself. There was no safety net.