Anxious Parents: A History of Modern Child-Rearing in America

Peter N. Stearns

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Anxious Parents: A History of Modern Child-Rearing in America

Anxious Parents A History of Modern Child Rearing in America The nineteenth and twentieth centuries saw a dramatic shift in the role of children in American society and families No longer necessary for labor children became economic liabilities and twentieth c

  • Title: Anxious Parents: A History of Modern Child-Rearing in America
  • Author: Peter N. Stearns
  • ISBN: 9780814798492
  • Page: 296
  • Format: Paperback
  • The nineteenth and twentieth centuries saw a dramatic shift in the role of children in American society and families No longer necessary for labor, children became economic liabilities and twentieth century parents exhibited a new level of anxiety concerning the welfare of their children and their own ability to parent effectively What caused this shift in the ways parenThe nineteenth and twentieth centuries saw a dramatic shift in the role of children in American society and families No longer necessary for labor, children became economic liabilities and twentieth century parents exhibited a new level of anxiety concerning the welfare of their children and their own ability to parent effectively What caused this shift in the ways parenting and childhood were experienced and perceived Why, at a time of relative ease and prosperity, do parents continue to grapple with uncertainty and with unreasonable expectations of both themselves and their children Peter N Stearns explains this phenomenon by examining the new issues the twentieth century brought to bear on families Surveying popular media, expert childrearing manuals, and newspapers and journals published throughout the century, Stearns shows how schooling, physical and emotional vulnerability, and the rise in influence of commercialism became primary concerns for parents The result, Stearns shows, is that contemporary parents have come to believe that they are participating in a culture of neglect and diminishing standards Anxious Parents A Modern History of Childrearing in America shows the reasons for this belief through an historic examination of modern parenting.

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      Posted by:Peter N. Stearns
      Published :2018-06-16T05:58:58+00:00

    One thought on “Anxious Parents: A History of Modern Child-Rearing in America

    1. Sandy D. on said:

      This is an interesting and important book, but I've been plowing through it bit by bit for over a month (while also reading much more engaging stuff). The author is a social historian, and he couldn't write a short sentence to save his life. If you can mentally translate academic-ese into English, this is worth reading. But don't expect much humor, though there are myriad wonderful opportunities for it.The main sections are on "The Vulnerable Child" (kids were assumed to be tougher a century ago [...]

    2. Rebekah on said:

      A strong academic book on the changes in child rearing over the last century. While the author covered each thematic topic (school, boredom) with interest, coherent arguments and interesting facts, it also felt a little repetitive at times. The writing itself was a little less formal than your average academic title: while it made the book easier to read in places, it made checking the sources or looking for specific references more challenging (which, when writing a dissertation about this topi [...]

    3. RJ on said:

      I think I would have enjoyed Anxious Parents more if I had chose to read it voluntarily. Still, I'll give it 3 stars because it is an incredibly comprehensive study of various areas of childrearing that have been especially stressful to parents in the 20th century. At times I felt it was a little too comprehensive - Stearns is a bit long-winded (but then again, it is a historical book, and those tend to be a overloaded with qualifying examples). I would definitely recommend this to anyone intere [...]

    4. Melusine Parry on said:

      This was an extremely enjoyable, unorthodox academic book (references at the end of each chapter, explained with reference to their place in the chapter rather than in alphabetical order), very clearly written, packed with fascinating details, about the evolution of parenting in the 20th century and the associated construction of countless anxieties by the media, psychologists, doctors and consumer culture.

    5. Emily on said:

      Very interesting book, detailing cultural events (child labor laws, the automobile, pop psychology, vaccines, birth control, etc.) that led to major shifts in parenting philosophies from the 19th to the 20th century. Gets a little repetitive after about half way through, but I like the thesis: that the trend towards overbearing "helicopter" parenting is damaging to child and parent, and one that parents can and should choose against.

    6. Lauren Albert on said:

      A fascinating examination of the anxieties of parenting in 20th-century America along with analysis of how they were provoked or calmed by "expert" advice. Interesting discussions of chores, "boredom," homework and other phenomenon that were the subject of both anxiety and changing advice.

    7. Julie Verner on said:

      If you are interested in understanding from a historical perspective why contemporary parenting seems to reflect such worry and insecurity, this book is a great read. I did not read the book cover to cover, but used it more as a resource book dabbling in various parts.

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