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Historical roles of children in families and society Lesson 1


Historical roles of children in families and society Lesson 1 What is childhood Childhood is a universal term It is a time or period between infancy and adolescence ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Historical roles of children in families and society Lesson 1

Historical roles of children in families and
society Lesson 1
What is childhood
  • Childhood is a universal term
  • It is a time or period between infancy and
  • It is characterized by rapid growth, rapid
    learning and mastery of skills becessary for
    survival and everyday life
  • At this time children discover their roots
    (family, community, countries)

  • Describe your families roots
  • Is your family new to Canada?
  • When did they arrive and from where?
  • Is your family always been in Canada?
  • How far back can you trace your roots?
  • Originally where did they come from?
  • Do you know the origins of your last name?

  • Historically not always thought of as a separate
    or distinctive life stage.
  • Canadas concept of childhood is drwn from two
    main groups
  • Aboriginal populations
  • European populations

Aboriginals Prior to European Settlement
  • Before Europeans arrived, Aboriginal people lived
    in areas from the Arctic Circle to South America.
  • They lived in kin (family) groups with separate
    identities and different languages.
  • Many were hunters and gatherers that moved to
    follow the migration patterns and seasons.
    Survival was their main goal. Men and women had
    distinct roles to play.
  • Men did hunting, fishing, trapping, and made
    weapons. Women prepared the food and gathered
    nuts and berries, and dried the meat for winter
  • Daughters were taught to bring up other kids.
    When they got older, they would help the other
    women to care give. The boys would go help the
    men in hunting.

Aboriginals Prior to European Settlement
  • The child was treated as an equal in the
    community. The children were treated with
    respect. Families were close.
  • The birth of a child connected them to ancestors.
    Children were not a burden because everybody
    shared in raising them.
  • Everybody in the community helped to raise the
  • The elderly played a role in sharing wisdom and
    guiding them through their culture and rituals.
  • Wraps for babies.
  • Short childhood. Would grow up fast, joining the
    adult community. They learn independence at an
    early age.

Aboriginals Prior to European Settlement
  • Even as children grew up, the gender roles were
    clear. There was a smooth transition from child
    to adult, and the roles stayed the same.
  • Boys achieved adult status when they completed a
    big achievement, like killing a moose. Girls
    became adults at menstruation.
  • Many groups celebrated this adulthood through a
    rite of passage.
  • Marriage would be the next step after puberty.
    The elders choose the partner, and a bride price
    or dowry was given. It was given to the groom by
    the brides family.
  • They were typically married at 14 to 16 years of
    age, and then were considered full adults.

Europeans 1200-1500
  • There are many paintings from this time period
    that show children as mini-adults.
  • Kids dressed and acted like adults. The role of
    children was not separate from that of adults.
    They participated in all aspects of life.
  • They didnt have school.
  • They worked and attended functions like adults.
  • Didnt get the same love, because children often
    died early of illness and disease. They were
    viewed as easily replaceable. Parents therefore
    tried not to get too attached to them.

Europeans 1200-1500
  • Kids were property of their fathers (called
  • Could be sold, traded into slavery and killed.
  • They would be beaten for doing something wrong.
  • Treated more like resources.
  • They were present at births, deaths, sick beds
    and festivals.
  • They did not receive formal education, but would
    learn the family trade or worked in kitchens or

Europeans 1500-1800
  • Christianity spreads.
  • A new view children have souls so they should be
    protected and taught.
  • People are supposed to teach their children the
    right ways.
  • Paintings from this period show children as
    looking like cherubs and angels. They were often
    painted in the arms of their mothers.
  • Children got more school, especially religious
  • Seen as more innocent and more pure. They played
    and had fun.

Europeans 1800-1900
  • In the 1800s there was a huge gap between the
    rich and the poor.
  • Rich children
  • Attended school, private training, religious
  • Poor children
  • No formal education.
  • Worked along with adults.
  • Many became factory workers as Europe became
  • Kids valued for their size. Could fit into
    smaller areas, do unsafe work. For example, they
    would do work like setting up weaving machines,
    cleaning oil fittings, carpet making and chimney
    sweeping (especially orphans used in chimney
  • Child labour was predominant, and accidents were
  • A lot of kids in the streets.
  • In the late 1800s, mechanization meant that
    children were not needed in factories. Without
    jobs, idle children became a problem on the
  • Churches were the first to provide education to
    lower class children.
  • By the end of the 1800s, most children in
    Britain and Europe attended school. Compulsory
    education was promoted in many countries.

French Settlers 1600-1700
  • By the late 1600s, French settlers had settled
    in small communities in Quebec, where man vastly
    outnumbered women.
  • To help generate a new population, the King of
    France Louis XIV, offered transportation and a
    dowry to any woman who came to the New World to
    find a husband.
  • Starting in 1663, seven hundred women came from
    France to become wives and daughters. They were
    known as the the Kings daughters. Some were
    as young as 13 or 14 and from orphanages in
  • Penalized bachelorhood. Many French Canadians
    can trace their roots to these weddings.

English Settlers 1600-1700
  • Settlers from Britian also started to arrive in
    North America in the 1600s. Their population
    grew quickly.
  • Many came to escape religious persecution. They
    were shaped by strict Protestant values if you
    spare the rod, you spoil the child.
  • Discipline and physical punishment, kids werent
    to speak until spoken to.
  • They worked from sunrise to sundown idle hands
    invited the work on the devil.
  • When Loyalists moved to Canada when the US became
    its own country, the new immigrants looked more
    towards the Aboriginal way of life. This meant
    more freedom and independence and less
  • The girls would work on embroidery, boys in
    woodwork, etc.
  • Looked to Aboriginal for ways to hunt, prepare
    food and take care of children. Girls helped
    mom, boys helped dads traditional gender roles.

Pioneer Families 1700-1800
  • Immigration started to grow in Canada.
  • For families who came to Canada before the
    1900s, life expectancy was low and infant
    mortality was high.
  • Midwives were sometimes not used because they
    couldnt afford it.
  • Most births occurred on their own beds.
  • Children who did survive usually worked on the
    farm or family business.
  • In the 1800s, public schooling became more
    common in most provinces.
  • Emphasis on learning to speak, read and write in
    English. Especially important for new immigrant
    children to bridge the language barrier with
    their parents.

Early Canadians (1800-1900)
  • By the mid to late 1800s, cities grew rapidly in
  • Families left rural areas to go the cities, but
    found that life was not easier.
  • More children, often boys, left school to work
    and support family. Jobs such as shoeshine boys,
    paperboys, and delivery boys.
  • Most children lost parents to accidents, disease
    or illness. Those ended up on their own or in
  • Cities grew rapidly. People moved into the
    cities to find employment, but finding money was
  • Relatives would sometimes take in kids street
    urchins. Seen as a menace to society. They
    didnt have education. In the winter, many died
    of exposure.
  • High schools more common around 1900s, as an
    answer to youth unemployment.
  • Reform schools and trade schools were common.
  • Provinces made school mandatory up to 16 years to
    get them into school and off the streets.
  • The term teenagers in first used on March 11, 1921

Recent Canadians
  • No longer work from dawn to dusk.
  • Children spend more time playing than on chores.
  • By law, expected to attend school regularly from
    4 to 18.
  • Expected to complete high school and complete
    higher levels of education.
  • Achieve adult status and marry later.
  • Laws in place regarding child labour.
  • Spend more time with peers than adults.
  • Health system today ensures healthy and longer
  • Children are not isolated from adult society.
  • Exposed to adult world from early years because
    of TV, media, internet.
  • Higher stress levels than kids did 20 or 30 years
    ago (regarding family, education, friends).
    Continue to face the same challenges that kids
    did years ago.

New terms
  • Mortality rates
  • Dowry
  • Midwife
  • Bride Price
  • Chattels

Your Task!
  • Using this information, the Blue Textbook
    Parenting in Canada Nelson (p.29-41), and
    other information that you find on the internet,
    do a visual timeline, using pictures and words,
    of the history of childhood.
  • Add your own childhood and key dates in your own
    life at the end of the timeline.
  • You may do this electronically or on paper. It
    is your responsibility to let me know what
    resources you need.
  • Remember to cite any outside sources (including
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