Essay on The Evolution Of Parenting From Colonial America

Essay on The Evolution Of Parenting From Colonial America

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Kathryn Lofton examines the history of religions and its association with the authority in American parenting. She demonstrates this through her analysis of the evolution of parenting from Colonial America to the 21st Century, parents as religious agents, the politics, science and service of parenting, and the market, or child-rearing manuals, for parenting. Lofton seeks to argue that “there has been a persistent relationship between religious ideation and parental religious practice in the twentieth century” (23). She makes the conclusion that the expectations of the meaning of parenthood have actually become more orthodox in the sense that more people treat parenting very religiously. The subject matter of this essay argues that the belief of the parent as the sole influencer on a child’s moral conscious is what has placed such high expectations on parenting and increased the need for “giv[ing] their children a religious education” (23).
As previously stated, Lofton supports her argument through her examination of the evolution of parenting through history, the role of parents as religious agents, how parenting plays a part in science, politics and service, and marketing towards parents. She utilized theories and views of children in previous centuries and how that determined the type of parenting and degree of authority used. For example, British colonialists believed children “were innately sinful, and required the controlling authority of a parent to teach them self-discipline” (10-11). Such ways of thinking, that parents were religious agents apt to instill moral codes in their children, have been passed down to our current generation. “64% of parents interviewed [in a study by Dean R. Hoge] claimed they were “more religi...


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...em what they did wrong and what they can do next time instead. I also agree with Lofton that parenting is like a religion, which is what I had glued into my mind the entire time I was reading this article. Despite the fact that defining “religion” in itself is a hassle, a majority agree that religions are something that require an intense devotion to something, has rituals and consumes the soul. Well, to me, that is parenting; parenting is something that parents assume as another “occupation,” devote all of their time to ensuring they have the means to raise and nurture their child, and produce rituals of parenting, i.e. bath time and napping schedules. This article just reinforces what I asked in the last article review, that something that people follow “religiously,” that consumes their lives, and involves rituals can easily birth a new religion, such as Jediism.

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