If there’s one thing we know about raising children, it’s the fact that there are plenty of opinions. People sometimes argue until they are blue in the face to make others believe they are right, but it rarely ever works.
When you look back in time, you also find that parenting has changed over the years. This is especially true if you look back to the 1920s, when there were many trends and some of them were not the best thought out.
One of the older trends that didn’t work as well as they expected was the thought that you should not give children too much love and affection. They thought you would spoil the child if you were too nurturing.
In addition, new mothers were told that they couldn’t have any negative or distressing thoughts so their milk didn’t dry up. They also thought that the mother having bad thoughts could give the child colic.
Quite simply, we were lacking in understanding and sometimes, that put our children in harm’s way.
There was also something else that was rather strange, and it got its start thanks to a book from 1896, Diseases of Infancy and Childhood. That book said that children should spend time outdoors because the fresh air would ‘renew and purify the blood.’
I think that all of us would agree that fresh air is good for children but parents begin taking this to the extreme. Children would be off on their own running around all day long without anyone to watch them.
Of course, those were different times and children were a lot safer back then. It’s not that abductions and other problems didn’t occur, we just didn’t hear about them as often.
There was another invention that came up thanks to a woman named Emma Reed. She wanted children in the city to also have the opportunity to get fresh air, so she designed a cage that would hang outside of the window.
This cage for babies was essentially a metal box that would be suspended on the outside of the building. It started to gain some traction and even Eleanor Roosevelt started using one, until a neighbor said they would call the authorities if she didn’t take it down.
Looking back on baby cages and some of the other choices that were made in the 1920s, we may feel as if we weren’t always doing the right thing. Parenting is not easy, and we are all going to make mistakes.
These days, we may be a little more lenient on our children but some balance is needed. When we incorporate some of the old days in with the new days, we may just find that we have the options necessary to raise healthy and happy children.