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Modern parents

Bringing up children is harder than ever

By Suzanne Franks   April 2002

Is it harder to bring up children? It is an old refrain. But it may now be true. The task of successfully launching an adolescent into the world does seem to have become more complicated, whilst the surrounding support for the values associated with being a parent is dissolving.

In pre-modern societies children received scant attention. They were viewed as unfinished people-childhood was an unimportant transitional phase to adulthood. This was against a background of high infant mortality and a society where children still had a function as workers or heirs. Over the centuries, parents started to invest more in…

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