By Marie-Aimée Cliche, W. Donald Wilson
At one time, using corporal punishment by way of mom and dad in child-rearing used to be thought of basic, yet within the moment half the 19th century this start to switch, in Quebec in addition to the remainder of the Western global. It was once in this interval that the level of ill-treatment inflicted on children—treatment as soon as excused pretty much as good child-rearing practice—was discovered.
This publication analyzes either the recommendation supplied to oldsters and different sorts of baby abuse inside households. Cliche derives her details from kin magazines, experiences and suggestion columns in newspapers, people's existence tales, the files of the Montreal Juvenile court docket, or even comedian strips. dates are given specific concentration: 1920, with the trial of the oldsters of Aurore Gagnon, which sensitized the general public to the phenomenon of "child martyrs;" and 1940, with the arrival of the hot schooling stream, which used to be in line with psychology instead of strict self-discipline and non secular doctrine.
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Additional resources for Abuse or Punishment?. Violence toward Children in Quebec Families, 1850-1969
13 For the same reason, some people condemned the practice of shutting children up in dark rooms. From the middle of the nineteenth century, Charlotte Brontë and Victor Hugo had described the fear that the dark can cause in children. The English novelist told how, after being shut up inside a room where she imagined seeing a ghost, a little girl suffered a nervous shock, the repercussions of which remained with her into adulthood. The person responsible was an aunt who merely thought that she was eradicating the child’s bad tendencies.
First, children’s boisterous behaviour is characterized as misbehaviour. Then, in his anecdote about the little girl and the book, the author fails to mention the child’s age and provides no information about her tastes or personality. Perhaps this was a little girl of school age who was already showing intellectual curiosity. 20 If it was the latter, the desire to read it could be considered quite legitimate. But for the author none of that was important. The book was an object chosen at random.
In Quebec, it is possible to trace the transformation of ideas and customs related to violence against children, starting from the mid-nineteenth century. We have chosen the 1850s as our starting point because the first treatise on child-rearing intended for parents written by a French Canadian, Le Manuel des parents chrétiens, by Abbé Alexis Mailloux, was published in 1851,14 while the first pedagogical journal, the Journal de l’Instruction publique, began publication in 1857. Later, two key dates will serve to demarcate the other parts of our book: 1920, the year of the Gagnon trial, which contributed more than any other event to sensitizing the Quebec public to the phenomenon of physically abused children, and 1940, because of the advent of the New Education movement.