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Parenting in the ’40s: Harder than years ago? Are moms too soft? Opinions from the good ol’ days

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The Inquirer inquires Are modern mothers too lenient in raising their children

Are modern mothers too lenient in raising their children? (1940)

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WHERE ASKED: 20th St. and Hunting Park Ave.

Are mothers too easy on their kids? What people said in 1940


Question about parenting in the ’40s: Are mothers too easy on their kids?

MISS EDNA JEFFERSON
2011 Fairmount Ave. – Unemployed

“No. I don’t think they’re entirely too lenient. In these modern times, even the children need more freedom to live properly. I think the children today get the best of care. Modern mothers have competent physicians and science to look to. for the care of their children. There are some mothers who go to extremes and spoil their children. On an average, the children today get even better care than the children years ago.”

CHARLES LIEBMAN
3824 N. Gratz St. – Dyer

“Yes, they are too lenient. Children today aren’t being raised like they were in the old days. They get too much their own way. Parents today are spoiling them. Crime is on the increase. That shows you what leniency will do for children. The good old-fashioned way of raising children is still a good way. I often wonder why parents won’t use that method to raise better children.”

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MISS SARAH AFTERGOOD
4821 N. 12th St. – Cashier

“I don’t believe they are. I feel that children benefit from the leniency they get from their parents. All the parents are trying to do today is to give their children the opportunities they didn’t get a generation ago. I feel that instead of being too lenient with their children, parents today are generous. They want to give their children all they possibly can.”

Kids today! Are mothers too lenient What they said in 1940

EDWARD RAFFERTY
4436 N. 18th St. – Unemployed

“No. I don’t think so. Children are being raised properly today. They’re being raised to cope with times that have changed. Everything is streamlined today. It’s a streamlined age, and the children are the same way. Leniency and freedom are necessary for children today. It really does them more good than harm. I think it cultivates an individual ambition in every child.”

MRS JESICA ATEN
Collingswood, NJ – Sales promotionist

“Frankly, I feel that children would have much more respect for their elders if they were not given as much freedom. Parents today are spoiling their children. A child can get unreasonable, and the parent does nothing about it. I don’t think the modern psychological way of caring for children can begin to compare with the old-fashioned method with its restrictions.”

Are mothers too easy on their kids? What people said in 1940

JOHN MANN
1827 Butler St. – Accountant

“Times have changed. You must keep that in mind when you speak of parents and children. The majority of the parents give their children great latitude, because they find that’s one way for the children to fit into the modern world in which we live. Parents must divert their minds from the old-fashioned way of raising children, to give the youngsters an equal opportunity to grow up with others.”


Question about parenting in the ’40s: Is it more difficult to raise children today than it was 25 years ago?

WHERE ASKED: Front St. and Allegheny Ave.

Girls with a Raggedy Ann doll in the 1940s

MRS. EVE SAUDER
4880 E. Roosevelt Blvd. – Clerk

“Yes, I believe it is harder. Children today are getting so much individual attention, the mother and the father find it just that much more difficult. In the old days, families were large. Not nearly as large as they are today. In the old days, the grown-up child took care of the one who wasn’t quite mature. There are many more temptations for children today.”

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WILLIAM GILLESPIE
3228 Kipp St. – Chauffeur

“No. How could it be harder to raise children today? When I was born, 45 years ago, we had to take a hot brick to bed with us if we wanted to keep warm.

“Today, the children have all the conveniences in the world. They’ve got all the studies of sciences and the best hospitals. They didn’t have all those things in my day. It’s really simple raising children in these modern times.”

MRS. GERTRUDE GORDON
3230 N. 6th St. – Housewife

“Yes, it is. Everybody wants too much for their children today. That’s the whole trouble. We have all the facilities to make it easy for raising children, but not everybody has a job.

“Times are kind of bad today. If general conditions were better, and if everybody had a job and a good income, I think the job of raising children would be much easier today than it ever was.”

Parenting in the 40s Is it harder than 25 years ago

ALFRED GABLE
2662 Richmond St. – Hosiery knitter

“It’s much harder. There’s no security today. In the old days, maybe we didn’t have the conveniences we have today, but you had security. You could get a job when you wanted one.

“Now if you lose your job, the best you can do is to go on relief. You can’t give children the proper care on the relief money. Even if we do have wonderful things for children, most people can’t afford them.”

MRS. J. P. PARVIN
2867 N. Front St. – Housewife

“They raise children so differently today, I think the job is made harder. Some of the parents just can’t do anything with children. They’re given too much freedom to do as they please. Why, some children are raised on the streets. The parents don’t get a chance to tell them anything. Children can’t seem to understand today that they’re supposed to be raised by their parents.”

CHARLES GRILLO
3158 Edgemont St. – Ironworker

“It’s a lot easier today, on account of the conveniences we have. Children don’t have to walk far to go to school. They are forced to get themselves an education until they’re 18. That keeps them out of trouble a good bit and the parents don’t have to do too much watching.

“In the old days, a boy of 18 was work-weary. He didn’t know anything. Today education is the thing and it makes the job of raising children much easier.”

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