Religion influence on understanding and experience of childhood in Europe
In Europe religion had great influence on understanding and experience of childhood. Religion beliefs were applied by mothers in rearing their children. Children who had both parents were considered to be of good omen.
People in Europe strongly believed in religion. Women in roman started their pregnancy by praying to goddess Juno Lucina for safe delivery and to goddess Carmenta to watch over the newborn. After birth, the ritual of purification was carried out as it was with patria protestas. At dawn the festivals would began for ceremony of naming the child with tradition names.
A sacrifice was usually offered in the baby’s’ name. Children were usually dedicated to a religion after birth. According to roman norm wet nurses were the ones who supervised the child’s education up to puberty. Roman writers expressed their concern by writing that patience and love is important in nurturing a child in Christian ways (Read, 1981).
In middle age there existed a special bond between children and their parents. The relationship between parents and children were intense, enduring, and emotional. Childhood was viewed as special as it was a process of forming an adult. Parents and teachers had responsibility of bringing up children in the right manner where religion was mostly applied to ensure a responsible adult was formed. Biblical views were followed to shape the relationship between children and parents.
According to biblical advice children are supposed to honor their parents. Religion was used to dictate the behavior of children. Children stayed in church up to the age of ten where they learnt biblical teachings on how to relate with their parents and other people in the society. For example the Ten Commandments were usually taught to guide them as they grew.
According to medieval views children were seen as holy and perfect. Adolescents were expected to undergo some rebellion and conflict with their parents. Children are viewed as saints and thus they were expected to behave well. According to Aslemes ideas of children rearing, children of both sexes were placed in religious places until the age of ten.
This was a long life commitment of a child to religion. Children of all ages were found in religious communities across Europe. These children needed to be nurtured and educated. Religion was seen as a good root to the child for what a child was educated in religion was seen in his adulthood (Ole, 2005).
Religion was being used to impact moral values in children and this influenced their lives positively. According to Aslemes, children are supposed to be brought up with tender love, patience and understanding. Beating and threatening them has a bad influence as they continue to harbor rebellion in their hearts.
They are supposed to be brought up in good will and pity. Protestantism brought about grammar education which has taken over in enhancing morality of children. People understand that religion impacts good morals that are essential in the society. On the other hand education is important in impacting knowledge and intelligence that makes people productive citizens.
Effects state (government) had on the lives and upbringing of children in Europe
The state has a great impact on lives and upbringing of children in Europe as it has emphasized on education that is essential on lives of children. The state ensured children protection. Between 1869 and 1969 children were removed by state and church mission from their families. This was with the aim of protecting children when it was expected that black people would end. Stolen generation was the term used for taking children from their homes.
Children were mistreated and neglected in the process. The rules that were followed to separate children from their mothers were meant to protect them. This was done in attempt to eliminate black people. These affected children severely for children need their parents to develop socially and mentally. Though the aim of resocialisation of the separated children was aimed at integrating them to modernity, studies showed there was no improvement compared to those who were not separated.
The separated children were more likely not to finish secondary education (Read, 1981). With this, state has really impacted negatively in upbringing of children in Europe. The children were affected socially and psychologically. Those children complained of having lost their lineage and culture. They said they had material things but did not have non material things. Some viewed this positively for state assisted them to get education and a good job (Ole, 2005).
Industrial revolution brought with it children exploitation. Child labor came in force and children were involved in hard labor. This was a shameful event on British industrialization. This was associated with domestic industry. In early steamed power factories, children continued to be an important part of labor force. Children worked in cotton mills for the family benefits. The state should have protected children from this by enhancing rules to keep children in schools and keep them from child labor.
The state through this influenced the lives and upbringing of children in Europe as they were exposed to hard lives of struggle when still very young. Children started working when very young such that they did not go to school. The children of black people were the ones who suffered from this as there was racial discrimination. The state failed in upbringing of these children as it supported racial discrimination.
The state supported religion in their support to children. This contributed greatly to the morality and upbringing of children. Religion worked together with the state to bring up schools. This was a positive influence on lives of children. Some of the churches through the help of the state are used as boarding schools and orphanages. This has been used to support the children who do not have parents. In this, state has influenced the lives of children positively in Europe.
Development of relationship between parents and children in Europe
The relationship between parents and children has developed overtime in Europe with parents becoming more responsible in upbringing their children. The natural education starts at home. Children learn from their parents some of values in life. The natural educators are the father and mother. Mothers give their children freedom to experience life and with this they learn at an early age.
Making children learn from nature trains them to be more independent in life. The other education a child receives is one that comes from man and it is under control. Everyone is born with a sensation and this helps one in detecting the world around us and learning from it.
The education has greatly contributed to the relationship between parents and children. More knowledge is being acquired by parents on how to bring up their children. This has brought about the end of restraining and harsh parents to understanding and tender ones. Parents have gained knowledge that using harsh punishment to children always leaves more harm than good. This kind of punishments makes children to be more rebellious and filled with hatred.
Mothers used to suckle their children and bring them up with good morals. Today because of the changes in economics, mothers have also taken the role of providing for their families. This has led to mothers employing caregivers to take care of their children. Children lack their first education that comes automatically from their mothers.
The women employed find themselves strangers to the children and they lack natural affection. Children become neglected and they lack the guidance they need to grow morally upright (Read, 1981). Mothers should embrace back their roles in rearing their children and the impact will be seen later as there will be fewer children involved in illegal activities.
The right nurse is always the mother and the wise teacher is the father and therefore a child should never be abandoned by the parents. Children who are left under the care of nurses lack the natural education that comes from the parents. They struggle with their lives and these distances the relationship between parents and their children.
Over time, parents have stopped disciplining their children harshly and instead they are encouraging and giving them advice more often. This has strengthened the relationship between parents and children for they feel freer with each other.
This has helped children in confining in their parents and as a result they get the right advice with matters of life. If parents are too strict to their children they loss vigor and industry. They tend to become more rebellious. Today, parents have learnt that rewarding and appraising children is more beneficial than corporal and harsh punishments (Read, 1981).
Children in Europe have always been introduced to religion at an early age and this is important as they learn moral values to guide them in life. This is still been practiced with parents encouraging their children to be regular members of churches for their good. In the church, children are taught their gender roles as they grow up and become productive citizens.
Presently, parents are protecting their children from child labor and instead they are enrolling them to schools where they learn to be responsible adults. The state has assisted the parents in this by providing affordable education to all. The relationship between parents and children has developed and it is filled with intense love and tenderness.
Ole, B. (2005). The Black Death; The greatest catastrophe. New York: Boydell & Brewer
Read, P. (1981). The Stolen Generations: The Removal of Aboriginal Children in New South Wales 1883 to 1969. Department of Aboriginal Affairs (New South Wales government).