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|What I mean by "at home"
Written by Margaret 7
(9/27/2005 6:24 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Is he around all of the time?, penned by Barbara
is the idea that, though he has work to do and sport to attend to (work and play would overlap somewhat in the life of such a man), Charles is not going off to the office and gone from home 10 hours a day, or more. Remember, he was missed at luncheon? And the boys, "fine, healthy boys" would have had the run of the property.
My point is, parenting was a less self-conscious enterprise in that day. I agree that JA seems to give more credit for good parenting skills generally to very few of her characters. But I think Charles seems a sensible fellow, whose sons would be matter-of-factly included as they made their daily rounds about Uppercross.
It is interesting to read Laura Ingalls Wilder's "Little House" books to see how parents handled their children in a bygone era. The children were valued, loved sacrificed for, but parents would tolerate no nonsense and required obedience. In "Farmer Boy" especially we see the youngest child being served his dinner last, and children being expected to be silent at the table. Parents did their work, and children did not interfere or interrupt.But this was part of the training of the child for his/her future work. Learn by observation, then be allowed to do tasks little by little.
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