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1900 Vs. Now: Are the Traumas of Today Damaging the Children of Tomorrow?

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1900 Vs. Now: Are the Traumas of Today Damaging the Children of Tomorrow?

The psyche of a child is precious but fragile, and what goes on in their lives during those delicate years from about 3 to 17 are the events that will make them the people that they will be for the rest of there lives. Clearly, everyday life in 1900 was much different may have been much harder than life today, but what may be unclear is whether the children today are any better off than the children of 1900. The list of pros and cons for both sides goes on and on when discussing divorce, child abuse, and the high-stakes testing that has been permanently adopted by the American educational system. Attitudes vary, but after sorting through the fact, it becomes apparent that the children of today are much better off then children were in 1900.

Each year, over 1 million children suffer the divorce of their parents. The number of children whose parents divorced grew by 700 percent from 1900 to 1972 (Davis). This increase, however, must be considered in connection with the increase in population. In the six years from 1900 to 1906 alone, population, as estimated, increased 10.5 % and divorces 30.3%. It appears that at the end of the six-year period that divorces were increasing about three times as fast as the population. However, in 1900, children of divorced parents were an oddity. Today they are the majority. That, in fact, may make divorce easier on the children today than the children of the yesteryears. Now, it is much more likely that they will have friends, mentors, and other family members, and even media that can relate to the situation at home, while most children of divorced families in 1900 only had themselves to see it through. All in all, children today have better means of adaptation to divorce than the children of 1900.

Next up for critiquing is the subject of child abuse. From 1900 to 1994, the number of child abuse cases increased 27%. However, that statistic is based solely on how many cases have actually been reported. Certainly, in 1900 child abuse was not nearly as big an issue as it is in 2005. The difference is that now the response to what qualifies as child abuse is so much more extensive and so much more broad, that various methods some parents used a century ago that were once popular means of child discipline are now considered child abuse. Now there are numerous organizations that have been set up since 1900 to protect victims of child abuse, so many more cases are being reported and many more abused children are being rescued.

The undertakings of the American educational system may seem futile when discussing the delicate nature of a child’s mentality, but it has an unimaginable affect on a child’s feelings towards his or her own potential. The American educational

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