A Brief History of Parenting – Part 2/3

June 12, 2011

Amy Chua’s so-called Chinese parenting style, identified as mostly Authoritarian, is the “CLASSIC” no nonsense do as I say, not as I do parenting style that first developed during Victorian England in the 18th century. The other parenting methods did not materialize until the 20th century, so how Amy Chua raised her two daughters had been in practice for more than two centuries.

Amy Chua says, “I believed that raising my two daughters the same way my Chinese immigrant parents raised me was the right way and that I had nothing to learn from the laxer parenting I saw all around me.” Source: USA Today

Positive Parenting Ally.com (PPA) says, “I think we can see the early seeds of the authoritarian parenting style in the 18th century. At that point in time, parents in the Western world (particularly the British) began taking the first steps toward a mind shift and become more involved in their children’s upbringing.”

PPA also says, “The mind of an authoritarian parent likes order, neatness, routine and predictability.… Children of authoritarian parents tend to do well in school and are said to generally not engage in drinking or drug use. They know the consensus rules and follow them.”

Instead of calling this method of parenting authoritarian or Chinese, I’ve used the term Old-World, which fits and is an acceptable choice of parenting

Authoritarian parenting was a vast improvement over how children had been raised (or not raised) before the 18th century. Prior to the authoritarian parent, children were mostly treated as adults and faced severe punishments such as mutilation, slavery, servitude, torture, and death. In fact, the US has a long history of treating children this way. Source: Child Labor in U.S. History

It was in the 18th century that Western parents stopped seeing their child as a potential representation of dark and evil forces that had to be kept in check physically (harsh beatings etc.) and instead attempted controlling their minds, their feelings, and their needs.

Continued on June 13, 2011 in A Brief History of Parenting – Part 3 or return to Part One

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of “The Concubine Saga”, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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