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The Historic Evolution of the American Family on Child-rearing and Parenting - Research Paper Example

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The Historic Evolution of the American Family on Child-rearing and Parenting Historic Evolution of the American Family The American family system evolved historically under the colonial, developing rules to decide the custody and guardianship over a child…
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The Historic Evolution of the American Family on Child-rearing and Parenting

Download file to see previous pages... A number of state legislations ratified this trend in case laws as well. A leading change happened in the 1970s when both father and mother were preferred to be given the joint custody of their children after their parents’ separation, thus, reversing a well-rooted tradition in favor of mothers. Non-biological parents, especially step-parents, and foster parents who assisted in bringing up the children after the cracks started appearing in the traditional family system, were put on the next ladder preference-wise. The ever-increasing community of single-parents was given all support by the state governments. The rights of biological parents once again were on the verge of secondary preference because of new technology introduced in the reproduction, separating notion, and child-upbringing (Mason, 1994). Child custody issues open a window to observe American history of varied perspectives on childhood and parenting becoming a catalyst of social change. The transforming rank of mother is one of the significant factors of social change. Considering the colonial time when custody of the children was an issue, to quote the example of the Virginia Company, children were not keen to go to the Virginia colony to work as trainees, but the English Privy Council allowed the Virginia Company to take the children to the Virginia Colony by any means and also permitted it to take any suitable action, such as imprisoning them as per the company’s convenience. Important thing to consider was that most of the children who immigrated to the New England colonies did it in their capacity as members of their families. Thus, separation from parents was although not forced, but all children were not with parents. The strength of slave children was one/fifth of the total number of children sent for slavery by the end of the eighteenth century, taken away from their parents. Children could never feel the blossoming of their childhood, as change did not occur before the nineteenth century. The relationship between the child and father in the colonial hierarchical structure got ignored before the relationship between slave and master (Mason, 1994). Common law related to custody because of divorce or death of a parent, and the condition of orphans and bastards remained the same everywhere. Colonial laws were made for the New World Experience of meeting the labor needs from adult workers, which remained unchanged till the Nineteenth century. The custodial arrangements only came into practice for those children who were not aware of the common law (Mason, 1994). Later time saw custody disputes between mother and father after divorce or separation, which was the leading custodial problem. Rights of women were non-existent; divorce was not a common happening too. In comparison to these, widowhood had its share of problems where the custody was given to the mother or to the father for a short time or awarded by court to the guardian. In the case of illegitimacy, both mother and father were sentenced by the court, besides, the fate of the illegitimate child was decided by the court (Mason, 1994). Fathers: Rights and Responsibilities Responsibilities of fathers were pre-determined to teach their children different roles of life. Fathers had right over the wages of their children below 10 years of age. They had total command over their natural legitimate kids, leaving no room for maternal impact. Actually, there ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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