The Puritan child-rearing practices described in chapter 2 in “Thinking though the past” portray a family/society centered on their God. The society goals, values, and beliefs are all built on a God based foundation. Matters of discipline, education, and other typical child-rearing practices were all centered around their God. The children of today are not much different with the way they look at things and dealing with being told to act like an adult. They feel like they are alone and have nowhere to turn. Is this any different Han Puritan times?
The Puritan children were raised to fear God. This fear was clearly evident in the letter of Samuel Matter stating that he felt God was mad at him. The child was praying to God for mercy and grace yet never acknowledges any previous blessings his God may have given him. He acknowledges that he is a sinner and even questions his own spiritual worth. In regard to his unanswered prayers, Samuel even says “… He even throws them down as dust in my face; and he does not grant my continual request for the spiritual blessing of the feting of my hard heart. The intense stress he is under is something a boy only twelve years old should not have to endure. The child believes he is one of God’s chosen few but his own self-evaluation indicates otherwise. The Puritan society’s main goal was to educate their children. An education meant the children would learn to read and write. The children would then be TABLE to read the Scriptures. Reading the Scriptures would teach the children Gods expectations and his wrath against the sinners who did not follow His will.
Scripture is quoted in “The Duty of Children Towards Their Parents” instructing the children how to obey God and their parents. The cartoon titled “A Puritan Primer Warns Against Frivolous Behavior’ illustrates the wrath of God against sinners. It depicts young boys playing Foote-ball on the ice and drowning for not keeping Gods commandment of keeping the Lords Day holy. This showed that if you did not keep the Lord’s Day holy and scared you were going to die in a pond.
The Puritan authorities oversaw the education and general welfare of the children. Massachusetts Court Records indicate that the authorities verified that the children were being taught the English language and some orthodox catechism. Parents had been found guilty of not teaching their children accordingly. There were also laws in effect that would punish children for not obeying their parents and the maximum punishment would be death. The society values of God and family are clearly defined, as well as punishment for deviations.
In society today within the school districts there are as many different courses that are required for the children to take; his is no different than the time of the Puritans having to learn English and the bible. The only difference between today and Puritan times is that God is missing from the school curriculum. Today there are many single parent families. When the Father or Mother leaves, they are told you are now the man or women of the house take care of your Mother or Father. This maybe a little different in the times of the Puritan times; however, the puritan child are told they needed to act like adults. In medieval society,” he observed,”… As non as the child could live without the constant solicitude of his mother, his nanny or his cradle-rocker, he belonged to adult society’ It is in every culture that the parents try’ to insist that their children grow up faster. Parents in the puritan times used a faith based foundation to raise their children. Many people in today’s society have removed God and replaced him with the glamour of Holly,voodoo, sports figures, and money. The core beliefs and values in children rearing have not changed since puritan times, the only thing that has changed is the method to achieve the goal.