What About the American Family?


Abortion, education, economics, illegal immigrants, and governmental policies are very important to our country. They are the well-known issues that are a part of our every day life and the American culture. Far too often the little small things, the American values, which make a difference, are not noticeable and they are the ordinary factor that helps to change the entire society tremendously. One important value of the American culture is family. This group of people has change over time in the perspective of tradition, lifestyle, childhood, and parental control. Every set of parents have their own way of raising their children from the time they are born until they are old enough to go out and have a mature life of their own. As the time change, the family and raising of children has change, too.

In 1946, Benjamin Spock published “Baby and Child Care” that dealt with for parents on how to raise their children. There were many different typical problems he Dr. Spock discussed about in this book that the parents would have to deal with whenever they had their babies. This book was looked as quick advice whenever the father or friends whom were often away were not around at the quickest rate. One idea of this child-rearing literature is the fact that parenthood was given more emphasis on the mother raising the children while the father went out and worked several hours a week. This started to be a psychological issue for both the mothers and towards the children. Advice was also given help to change the way the family was perceived in the manner of placing both single and divorced parents a hand in child raising. By the 1950’s, everyone had access to these different material. This does include the idea of spanking children when they are misbehaving versus not spanking them letting them be out of control

From the article Benjamin Spock: The Public Pediatrician, the author Ray Lewonia mentions that “Spock was certainly human. Maier's biography describes with balance and sensitivity the difficulties that Spock experienced as a husband and father. Spock's early interests in psychoanalysis might have attributed his personal traits to the strict upbringing by his mother, and her rules, catechisms, and obsession with fresh air (Lewkonia).” This could mean that from his time of being raised by his mother, the ideas and childhood could have lead him to form these beliefs and produce so many articles and books on child rearing and the ideas of spanking and how there are other ways around to punishing a child if he or she misbehaves. Nevertheless, parents, especially mothers, were able to find helpful information on just beyond spanking the child, but the smallest thing such as changing a diaper or being able to manage time to spend with the children and form relationships. In an historical sense, families could have wanted their children to perfect such as the mother of Spock. There is a difference between raising the child during the war worlds and the time of Spock’s and how that has changed up until the present century.

Drastically moving into a new century, by 1877 the United States changed politically, economically, and socially. With the changes to overturn the industrial society into an urban society of jazz, the big city life, and education came the changes of the family. During these specific years, parents enforced the Victorian lifestyle through strict standards such as sexual behaviors, mannerism, and how the children dressed. Sometimes when the children got the chance they would run off to be alone with their friends. The clothing they wore reflected the type of family they were—middle-class families. Besides being closeness and strict standards were the religious values of Protestants and Roman Catholics from most church members. While the families were in their Victorian lifestyles, the entire family worked in factories and began to move to the suburbs. Wives were known as the stay at home wives because they had to raise the children while the husband did the work to bring in the money. Historically, blacks, immigrants, and other ethic groups had fewer babies in order to continue to help take care of the family and be the stay-at-home moms (Divine).

The role of parenting and child raising changes significantly in the twentieth century from the strict Victorian parents with children, to the middle-class working wives, and finally the family seems to go into a direction of being nontraditional. This simply means families started to live in the suburbs with a mixture of people white Christians, Jews, and blacks that worked in the factories and in the inner cities like New York. Transportation was important because the families lived a good distance away from the cities since their jobs are located there. Typically the wives went shopping while the husband worked and the children eventually rode the bus to school and played recreational activities. The home was viewed as such in the movie Pleasantville and 1950s sitcoms. Women started the work and played the role of wife and mother. As mentioned before they read Dr. Spock’s and many other how-to magazine and books to help them with their daily routines. Towards, the end of the century, the traditional family is no longer exists and now families are different in the number of children raised by two parents or a single parent or having more then two siblings to live with. Birthrates, divorce rates, and married couple stats increased and declined by 2000. Presently, the American family is much different this century than the last and the way children are being raised from household to household is different and most likely not in a traditional way (Divine). Unlike the past where the mother was generally raising the children and then being able to be a working wife, both parents deal with the misconduct of the children and work while the children are at school.

The raising of a typical American family has changed due to the emerging of cultures and new advancement each year and over centuries help advances our lives until this present day. In a historically sense “these changes led to increased urbanization, greater ethnic diversity, and growing social unrest” (Divine) within the borders of America. Every day there is a new invention, new reading material, and concepts that are being brought off a white piece of paper and into our lives in order to better help us. This is what happened with the raising of children and the role of the American family over the decades.

Divine, Robert, et al. Americana Past and Present. Brief 7th ed. Pearson Education, Inc., 2007. Print.

Lewkonia, Ray. "Benjamin Spock: the public paediatrician." The Lancet 352.n9130 (Sept 5, 1998): 825(1). General OneFile. Gale. University of Memphis. 24 Mar. 2009

Spock, Benjamin. 1946. The Commonsense Book of Baby and Child Care. New York. Pocket Books.

"Spock, Benjamin (1903–1998)." Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood in History and Society. 2008. The Gale Group. Web.28 Apr 2009. <http://www.faqs.org/childhood/So-Th/Spock-Benjamin-1903-1998.html>.

Now It's Your Turn: How do you feel about the raising of the American family? How's the child raising life in other countries if you are not from the United States? Are parents loosing their moral values as authority figures? Is there a lack of respect and discipline among the family? The comment section is open to you for discussion!

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FDR and the Great Depression


  • Key ideas and programs that occurred during the Great Depression.

New Deal is the plan Roosevelt created to help the country get out of terrible condition (The Great Depression). This is similar to modern governmental plans that help get present day Americans out of debt, wars, economic issues, including humanity situations.

Bonus army can be thought as the war veterans who wanted help also out of the Depression since they served during the wars of the country; however, it did not sound as easy because of the Depression caused these people to riot and go crazy.

Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is the big company that deals with the environmental issues in the Tennessee region and within some other states in the rage. TVA can be thought of as assistance to help advance the Tennessee Valley area and the environment as well from the Depression to the modern times.

National Recovery Administration (NRA) is one of the New Deal programs by Roosevelt to help the business wages and other issues that dealt with workers. This is the recovery plan to bring back the spending of money and the country out of the Depression. This was also a plan of administrating the country’s time of need during the 100 days of FDR’s presidency.

Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA) is another plan during the country’s time of need that helps out the farmers and making sure they crops and products are being managed effectively. To help adjust this, the government paid farmers subsidies. With this in mind, this piece of legislation would allow the government to have interest and control the farming.

Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)
helped to continue to support Roosevelt’s plans by allowing young men to help with the conservation of the environment and to help preserve the wildlife. These men were unemployed while this plan was for them to earn money and continue to help the country to recovery.

Works Progress Administration (WPA) was established to provide another means to help those who were unemployed by providing jobs to those who need it to survive during the Depression. This was a major impact to many of American lives since they were paid to work and provide basic needs for everyone. Almost like today’s stimulus plan.

Social Security Act a federal, government program as a New Deal legislation for Americans of old age, those who are jobless, and a welfare program. This system was set up so everyone can contribute to the country’s economics as well as contribute to the needs of others by the current generation.

Wagner Act is the legislation that outlawed labor union and to make sure that labor laws were enforced and also everything was and equal to those who are in the working class since fair business practices sounds reasonable and the country work together to recovery. There are guidelines set that the National Labor Relations Board must go by in order to ensure that laws and laborers were treated fairly and with respect.

“Court-packing” scheme deals with the safety and respect of Roosevelt’s New Deal programs by allowing him to add on more justices to the Supreme Court since the constitution does not say limit the size of the Court. In other words, FDR played his to add more people in order make sure his programs were not said to be unconstitutional.

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On Blog Hiatus


Don't worry readers, visitors, followers, I have not fallen off the face of the earth. I've decided to go on a bit of a blog hiatus.... aka "blogger's block." I believe that all bloggers encounter their moments where they need a blog. Been a few months since I have written a post. Don't worry I am still active online and within the blogosphere. Do not fret. I'm still here but I may not post regularly; however, I'm sure to bumped into you somewhere, someplace online.

Feel free to shoot me an e-mail, instant message or a comment. I'm always up for a good chat.
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