CHILD AND PARENT RELATIONSHIPS

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  • CHILD & PARENT RELATIONSHIPS
    • Aries (1962)
      • claimed childhood is socially constructed and can change over time
      • during industrialisation, working class children worked in factories, mines, farms, up chimneys etc.
      • In latter part of the 19th century it was expected that a working class child would leave school at 14, start work and contribute to family income
      • in upper and middle class families children saw little of their parents and went to private boarding/grammar schools & looked after by a nanny
      • in both working and middle class the father was the head of the household and has little involvement in childcare
      • children had few rights but were seen not heard
      • Research
        • Palmer (2006) 'toxic childhood'
          • cultural changes= parents ‘pacifying’ their children with junk food, TV, video games etc. rather than interacting with them
        • Neil Postman (1994)
          • 'childhood is disappearing' -  boundary between childhood and adulthood is erroding
        • James & Prout (1997)
          • emphasises that childhood has been socially created
        • Pilcher (1995)
          • modern childhood sees children as a special part of society
          • 20th Century saw emergence of a child centred society
          • increasingly higher standard of living meant major decline in infant mortality rate
          • having children is more expensive - people therefore choose to have less
    • Childhood in the 20th Century
      • 20th century saw emergence of a child centred society
        • Weaknesses
          • parents don't have much time for themselves, more need for childcare
          • children may have less independence as they may be 'mummycoddled'
          • more dependant on parents - preventing taking risks, causing anxiety and paranoid parents
          • the commercialisation of childhood
        • Strengths
          • better careers and independence for young people
          • better compulsory education
          • children get to do activities and their time is planned out e..g clubs
          • changes in legislation
          • increased rights of children
      • Functionalist/New Right thinkers see children as vunerable
        • both under threat from and in need of protection from adult society
        • suggests you need two parents of opposite sex to provide role models
        • blame working mothers/single mothers for social problems
        • need to protect children from sexuality and media violence
      • Reasons for changes in childhood
        • laws controlling children e.g. alcohol
        • children are a market for consumer goods
        • children are no longer expected to work, laws in place that stop children working
        • children are legally entitled to education
        • laws protecting children (age of consent)
        • change in family structure (e.g. divorce)
        • fewer children in families, improved contraception
    • Why has the Relationship between Parent and Child changed?
      • child centred society
      • Paranoid Parents
        • due to cultural and societal changes there are now more concerns about safety & well-being of children
        • some argue this has gone too far and is 'paranoid parenting'
        • Children become increasingly wrapped in cotton wool for their parents to protect them
        • Furedi (2001)
          • argues paranoid parenting has led to parents not wanting children to go out alone and have reduced independence & affected fitness levels
      • children are a market for consumer goods
      • changes in family structures
      • changing role of fathers
        • Men now take more responsibility for child care.
        • often take on more practical than emotional roles. ‘postmodern man’ Beck, Superdads
      • education
      • Changes in Legislation
        • every child matters - every child, no matter their background, has the support they need
        • Children’s Act 1989 - child's welfare is of paramount influence
      • Dual Earning Parents
        • increases in no. of married women in employment changes parent/child relationship
        • 1960's mothers were criticised for neglecting their children
        • now seen as better for children to go to nursery/child minder while mothers work
        • Chapman 2004
          • studied changes in parent/child relationships
        • Gershuny ‘dual burden’ (1992)
      • Increasing family diversity
        • Family life is insecure for children due to increasing diversity of family
        • Smart (1999)
          • Found 1 couple in 60 who fully shared parenting before a divorce
          • many mothers continued to advise their former spouses about how to relate to their children.
    • Research
      • Palmer (2006) 'toxic childhood'
        • cultural changes= parents ‘pacifying’ their children with junk food, TV, video games etc. rather than interacting with them
      • Neil Postman (1994)
        • 'childhood is disappearing' -  boundary between childhood and adulthood is erroding
      • James & Prout (1997)
        • emphasises that childhood has been socially created
      • Pilcher (1995)
        • modern childhood sees children as a special part of society
        • 20th Century saw emergence of a child centred society
        • increasingly higher standard of living meant major decline in infant mortality rate
        • having children is more expensive - people therefore choose to have less
  • Changes in Legislation
    • every child matters - every child, no matter their background, has the support they need
    • Children’s Act 1989 - child's welfare is of paramount influence

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