Parenting values, models, and expectations in images

7 min readJul 18, 2023


written by art historian & curator Mihaela Manolache

Raising children has always been a complex and multifaceted task. Our lives are a dynamic mix of challenges and experiences, technological immersion, global communication, distraction, and opportunities. Humans experience the best living standards regarding commodities, health care, access to information, cultural awareness, and education. Although the overall situation is much better and raising children is much easier than before, social demands and parenting challenges seem to be higher, more stressful, and address a wide spectrum of physical and psychological issues. Today a good parent must show some basic understanding of parenting styles, parenting practices, physical and psychological knowledge, child needs, and early education while shaping a healthy environment for the kids and preparing them for the future world. The entire experience can be daunting for parents, and as we see in the current demographics, fewer and fewer couples have children.

Nowadays, each family has its unique dynamics, values, and circumstances that shape their parenting choices. They strive to provide a nurturing and supportive environment that allows children to grow, thrive, and become well-rounded individuals. Some parents choose traditional education paths, while others believe in the beneficial features of alternative parenting styles, such as homeschooling, unschooling, and world schooling. In this way, they challenge traditional notions of education and offer unconventional learning and child development methods. We will see how humanity changed its perception of education over the years and what is the balance between parenting and expectations.

Behaviour Patterns in the Past

In many traditional societies, child-rearing was a collective responsibility shared among extended family members and the community. Children grew up in close-knit communities where multiple generations lived together or nearby. This allowed for shared caregiving, support, and the passing down of cultural values and traditions. In most societies, children began learning practical skills at an early age. Compared to modern times, childhood in the past was often shorter, as children were expected to contribute to household…