Disciplining Children, Disciplining Parents: The Nature and Meaning of Advice to Canadian Parents, 1945-1955
AbstractAdvice to parents of school-age children and adolescents in Canada in the postwar period was shaped in many ways by the discipline of psychology, and more specifically child psychology. The psychological imperative in parenting, promoted in postwar manuals and popular magazines, influenced the social construction of gender. Moreover, the teachings of child psychologists, strengthened by their claim of safeguarding the emotional well-being of the country’s children, justified the intervention of outside institutions such as the public school and public health department into the home. Close interpretive attention to the discourse surrounding “proper” parenting reveals much about the nature of social relations and social change in Canada’s recent past.