In the pre-industrial society, childhood did not exist and children didn't have toys or games. They were also seen as an economic asset in the family rather than a symbol of love. Creating an emotional bond with your children was too hard because the infant mortality rates were so high.
However, children weren't completely invisible as in medieval Europe there were laws for children too (unable to marry under 12 years of age).
Since the 1800's, child status has been labelled:
- The deliquent child, mid 19th Century
- The schooled child
- The psycho-medical child, end of 19th Century
- The welfare child, 20th Century
- The psychological child, late 20th Century
In the late 19th Century, child labour was common and children would usually start work at the age of 7. Shorter (1975) found that many children were treated with indifference due to high death rates and it was uncommon that parents would forget how many children they even had.
During industrialisation, the middle class attitudes changed. As infant mortality rates decreased, more families created emotional bonds with their children. During the 19th Century children were unable to work in mines and…