In early modern Europe there were many different views on children which in turn changed the way some thought children should be raised. Some claimed that a child should be spoiled and cherished for it was a great blessing for the child to have survived. Others believed a child should be left to grow up and make some decisions on their own seeing as though the child had rational thought and could think for themselves. There were some that believed that a great deal of discipline was required to make sure a child grew strong so that they may deal with the harsh world they live in and to allow the parents to speak fondly of them.
In the 1500s children were viewed as precious due to high mortality rates and thus were often treated like adults. Christoph Scheurl a jurist speaks fondly of his son, talking about how his child presents himself at the table even though he is only age 5. In a letter written by Martin Luther, a protestant reformer in the 1500s it is written that his daughter just died and how hurt and disheartened he is by the loss, though he respects god and his reasons for taking her away. Margaret Cavendish speaks of her upbringing in a letter, she describes how her mother cared for them tenderly and lovingly, never threatening or beating them, but instead were reasoned with and shown the error of their ways.
In the 1550s a Russian manual came out known as The Domostroi, the manual claimed that for a child to grow to be something a parent could be proud of they must be beaten, often and thoroughly, the manual claimed that the child would then grow to be something a father could boast of to his friends and enemies alike. In an autobiography a metal crafter and soulpton, Benrenuto Cellini talks of a visit to his natural son, while there he sees that his son, of age 2, is in good health and is ready to leave, however as Cellini attempts to leave the child clings to his leg crying not wanting him to go. Cellini was appalled at this act of affection from a child born of wedlock who would be treated cruelly, thus was the nature of the time period. In a letter to Madame de Montglat from Henry IV, Henry is distressed and appalled to find that his son is not being whipped or beaten, he requests that he be beaten when he does something wrong so that he may grow to be the respectable young man he is meant to be, as Henry learned from his experience as a child.
In the 1600s there was a change in the way children were treated,…