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The Transatlantic Trade in Children of African Descent, Research Paper Example

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Research Paper

In the United States, it is evident that transfer of responsibility to the young is rampant and has provided children with an earlier autonomy, which built their confidence. Under the perspective of the middle-class, childhood increased to be precious, protected and a stage in life that was sentimentalized. In this response paper, emphasis is given on family structures because over centuries, they have changed the mode of raising their children. As a result, this has affected the perspective of children and research conducted has shown this circumstance in length through discussions and published articles.  In addition, adults have perceived fears and anxieties experienced by children. The American generation of 1960 matured in terms of child rearing habits that changed and thus, a different cultural configuration was encouraged among family structures. At certain ages, among the Native Americans, children were not coerced and struck by their parents, which meant that their discovered their ways on their own. This permissiveness was absent among the European-Americans yet children have their own will and do not do things by compulsion. Native American children were raised by the community or village and thus, they remained under their watchful eyes. These specifications account conformed to Bowlby’s secure attachment theory (Illick, 1997). Accordingly, the practice of Native Americans lacked corporal punishment with the fear that a humiliated child would commit suicide.

The European-American childhood adapted to loss circumstances that taught them how life is transitory at a very early age. Here, children were termed as miniature adults due to the general attitudes of the society as they lacked modern psychology benefits (Beales, 1975). Moreover, childhood gave them access to Scriptures and was done when children could absorb and comprehend. In the eighteenth-century, continuity of past and new developments showed among the Americans, which gave a reflection of how religion influenced the parent’s upbringing of their children. However, enlightenment and the emergence of world commerce brought change in terms of children upbringing methods. Parents expected children to be responsible without demanding from them submission. However, this depended on their geographical regions, family types, and economic classes (Lassonde, 1996).

African-American childhood was marred with traditional sanctions and forced them to have fear because their mothers were always working in plantations. To the children, their enslaved condition dawned to them at a very early age and their parents used to enforce discipline on them by whipping them. This was a way of making their children submissive workers in order to be able to conform to the demands of their masters in future. This interfered greatly with the process of child rearing (Illick, 1997). Childhood for such cultures experienced abrupt changes, and fear was intensified at an early childhood stage. To them, socialization had obstacles and eventually left them isolated and fearful.

In the current decade, children have a right to education because it propels them towards attaining their future goals (Lassonde, 1996). Parents have an obligation to give their children an upbringing that promotes them to attain their goals in a positive way through encouraging them. Furthermore, childhood is a stage that gives the young a chance to socialize and build their self-esteem, which contributes to their positive relations in the society. Therefore, children are able to understand and comprehend what their rights are thus, are able to defend themselves. Advancement in technology has also left children enlightened of their rights and privileged because they understood where their boundaries lay. This has been an advantage to them because they are able to attain their future goals in a manner that fosters fairness and justice.

In conclusion, it is evident that over different decades childhood took a different path. This path considers the values of the family, their status in society and also what their parents had attained from their parents. Skills nurtured by parents help children to develop into adults with substance because they are aware of their rights as individuals. They should be encouraged to socialize with others because it contributes to their future.

References

Beales, R.W. (1975). In Search of the Historical Child: Miniature Adulthood and Youth in Colonial New England. American Quarterly, 27(4), 379-398.

Illick, J.E. (1997). Childhood in Three Cultures in Early America. Pennsylvania History, 64, 308-323.

Lassonde, S. (1996). Learning and earning: Schooling, juvenile employment, and the early life course in late nineteenth-century New Haven. Journal of Social History

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