Anonymous

When Was The Concept Of Childhood First Invented?

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Christopher Adam Profile
Although most people take the existence of categories such as "children" and "teenagers" for granted, the entire notion of childhood is a relatively new phenomenon.

Prior to the 18th century, children were widely seen in European societies as "little adults." Rather than being dressed in specially tailored children's clothing, young adults wore the same clothes as their seniors, only in smaller sizes.

Childhood, however, became a category in the late 18th century and early 19th century, when professionals realized that children represented a new market for a number of services, such as schools, playgrounds, toys and clothing.

In 18th and 19th century Europe, there was a prevalent belief among society's upper crust that working-class parents did not care for their children as much as middle and upper class parents did. Middle-class parents often believed that they valued children the most and treated them best. A frequently recited refrain among middle-class parents when referring to children was to talk of the "economically useless, emotionally priceless child."

In the early 19th century, children ceased to be "little adults," and thus the least important members of a household who would be expected to perform child labour, and instead became the recipients of parental love.

The first historical studies of childhood and the changing perception of parents and children were produced in the early 1970s.
thanked the writer.
Omega Wolf
Omega Wolf commented
Too bad we can't go back to those more natural times. "Childhood" and "adolescence" were invented and are not natural parts of our lives.

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