Look around any old, inner city suburb and see how little we care about kids. Compare the grounds of most private girls schools to most private boys schools and see how little we care about girls. (Though perhaps their style of socialising actually requires less space).
In the last generation or so competition for resources has hotted up. That’s been good for ‘the economy’ as it has imposed greater disciplines and driven economic efficiencies. And from the late women jacked up about the one dimensional role they had been given as housewives. Fair enough too.
Trouble is in all these battles for hearts, minds and resources the battlers are adults. Kids are the great residual. Always were, always will be I guess. But in some important respects (though not others) the cultural conventions that oppressed protected children’s interests.
The Age has an interesting review of two books that deal with children’s welfare. I’m a bit suspicious of some of its rosey perspectives on the past. But its a very timely subject.