Psychology / Has Childhood Changed

Has Childhood Changed

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Autor:  anton  21 September 2010
Tags:  Childhood,  Changed
Words: 1262   |   Pages: 6
Views: 483

Has Childhood Changed?

By Charve’ Brown

The purpose of this assignment is to examine if childhood has changed in the past 40 to 50 years. For the assignment I interviewed a 9 year old African American female and a 54 year old African American female. During my interview I found out that childhood has changed tremendously. Morals and values have been subsided due to priorities. Then on the contrary stress has taken a dramatic rise due to more children being raised in a single-parent home. In this paper I covered these basic areas: family history, school, friends, and extra-curricular activities.

When I asked the 9 year old (Trinity) to tell me about her family she started out with “I have a dad, a mom, and a grandmother.” Then I asked her did she live with all those people? Trinity said, “well, no I live with my mom and grandmother, but my daddy comes to see me every week and sometimes at school during the week.” We kept the conversation going in that direction and I asked her to tell me about her school. Trinity loved school even though she was teased a lot because she did not have a “complete” family. Her school was a big school in the city where diversity was no issue. Even the classes were well distributed with students of all kinds. Trinity however, had a small group of friends that she liked. She did not really try to fit in with a lot of the other kids because she said everyone teased her. She worried sometimes about the things people said about her and her father (Joshua). Especially considering that she absolutely loved her father. Once she even hit a girl at school and that just happened to be a day that her father came to eat lunch with her. She said she told him that the girl was picking on her. She said her daddy told her to tell someone what was going on next time and not try to handle it by herself. “Good girls don’t fight, T (that’s what her father called her for short)” was what she remembered him say. Then she started to drift back into her family a bit.

She said she always enjoyed her time with her father. She especially enjoyed when he came over to their house and played games with her and helped her with her homework. Joshua spent a lot of time with Trinity. To my surprise Trinity did not talk a lot about her mother. Seeing in which that was the parent that she lived with and shared the same sex with, I thought she would talk about her more. Then as our conversation continued I discovered the answer to my question. Joshua had been to see Trinity that day at school. She said that she can’t talk to her mommy about her daddy because mommy would get upset. Then to digress from family for a while (but I was sure that we would eventually venture back there) I asked her did she like sports? Trinity loves to play basketball and she was fast like a butterfly (as she so eloquently put it). Her father would take her to the gym with him when he worked out and her and her cousin would play basketball. She also loved to go play putt putt golf. And to my surprise guess who always took her to play putt putt golf? That’s right her father. In my conclusion to Trinity’s story I would say that the balance in her stressful unbalanced life would be her father. When I asked her about her grades she said she makes okay grades but sometimes when she misses her daddy she doesn’t do so well. Let’s move back 45 year ahead of today and see how childhood was then.

I interviewed my mother for my second person. Linda is a 54 year old African American female. When my mother described her childhood it sounded like this. Well, in my family there were my four brothers, my two sisters, and my mother. My father left us when I was a little girl. In school she was a popular and very outspoken individual. That was until her senior year. She dropped out of school to help her mother take care of her brothers and sisters so all of them would not have to drop out of school. That was one of her main concerns in life, how her family was going to survive. Instead of shopping (like we do now) for clothes, her mother made all of their clothes for school. They also only had one pair of shoes to last them a whole year. The school she attended was mainly Blacks. From observing our conversation I would have to say my mother had two diverse roles to play in life. One she was a partial provider and the other was a trouble-maker. She was always getting in trouble for things she did that her mother told her not to do. That was her way of keeping everybody happy. Her family was taken care of and they got a few laughs from her getting in trouble. That also helped my mother keep her sanity. Back then my mother did not worry about things like what people had to say about her family, clothes, shoes, boys, fitting in, or anything of that nature. As a matter of fact she said that they did not even have to lock their doors when they were or even were not at home because everybody in their neighborhood was like family. Trust was not an issue for them when she was growing up. During this time my mother did not mention any after school activities as we have them now. When she was in school after school it was time to go home and do your work. No playing basketball, or volleyball, or running track. If they were lucky my grandmother let them go outside after they did their work and run around in the fields and play before it got too dark. They did not have a car, they had to walk or ride animals wherever they went. After hearing her story I feel that I have truly a lot to be thankful for.

I would most certainly say that childhood has changed to the extreme opposite. For these two young ladies growing up in a very similar environment, life was totally different. Trinity would never have to drop out of school to help her mother raise her. Even the issue with her father, he stayed around to be a part of her life, unlike Linda’s father, he was never talked about. Trinity has transportation to take her wherever she wants to go. She does however; have to lock her doors when she is not at home as well as when she is at home. Trust is not as strong in communities as it used to be. Trinity’s main stage for worry was fitting in with the kids at school. Also, she had to deal with the teasing about her parents not being together. So I would say that priorities have been reversed from the time that my mother was growing up. Parents now are the only ones worrying about things that need to be done. I agree that children should not be stressed about at home issues but they still should be concerned with doing well in school so mommy and daddy don’t have to struggle to take care of them.

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