What a 1940s family looks like

Separation between families was not a choice; women, men and children were forced to separate and were either killed or used as slaves. Food was limited too, unlike now shops and restaurants were not as accessible. In turn, the Government decided to ration food and provided coupons that detailed exactly how much a family could buy from a shop.

In this case, families wanted to be together but the enforced lifestyle denied them that right. There was only the use of the radio, which did not provide much entertainment as broadcasting would contain updates on the war. Families would gather around and listen intently to the daily news on their radio. Only one out of ten families owned a car therefore, it was harder to go out socially.

Although, families did try to attend social activities such as the cinemas at least once a week. Family time was never taken for granted. Children: There was not much time for children and family time. Women born in Canada married early, especially if their families were poor, but those who immigrated were often prevented from marrying at a younger age by long contracts for domestic service. Although remarriage was strongly encouraged, religious beliefs and the desire for legitimate children to inherit the property in these settled communities accounted for the strong sanctions against premarital and extramarital sex, especially for women.

Marriages were frequently arranged, for the wealthier to ensure the protection of their property, and for the poorer to ensure their own survival.

What Life Was Like Years Ago Compared to Now - History and Trivia

The British, and many of the other European settlers who came later, brought with them a firm belief in private property and self-reliance, but those who worked the land formed families that were similar in many ways to those of New France. The household was the place where the majority of goods and services were produced. Therefore, for most people - even those earning wages - home and workplace were one. Households were large, including as they often did an average of four or five children, hired help, single relatives and paying boarders.

Few contained grandparents because most people did not live to be elderly and because many children left at an early age. In these early agricultural communities, the differences in family assets and resources tended to be small because almost everyone worked the land for a living. Labour was divided by gender and age. Women centred their activities around the house, performing highly skilled and visible tasks such as baking bread, preserving food, and making soap, candles and clothes.

In addition to bearing primary responsibility for teaching children to read and write and for the family's health care, women also frequently tended the vegetable gardens and the small animals, looked after the milking, and worked in the fields at sowing and harvest times. Men tended the larger animals, constructed furniture and buildings, slaughtered animals, felled and chopped trees, and planted and harvested the fields.

Children worked alongside their parents, carrying out the more menial tasks and learning the skills necessary for survival. While this meant that men were actively involved in child rearing, infants were primarily cared for by women, older children and the hired help. In English common law, men were the decision makers, although women and children had some basis for power, because they contributed in obvious and visible ways to the maintenance of the household.

The physical distances between many of these households meant that entertainment was mainly a family affair. Even in more populated areas, social gatherings tended to involve the entire family, allowing the parents to supervise many of their children's contacts with others. In these households, the selection of marriage partners was less likely to be arranged formally. The idea of romantic love was gaining popularity, but economic and family considerations were still the most important factors in many decisions to marry, and marriages, particularly among wealthier families, often required parental approval.

It was not until the early part of the 20th century that what came to be called the "traditional" family - mother at home, father in the labour force, children at school and no other hired help or related individuals - appeared as the dominant family form in Canada. For a time, this kind of family structure was popularly regarded not only as ideal but also as universal and the way we all used to be. Twenty years earlier, more than half of all families were couples with children.

Contemporary Canadian families are experiencing a significant change in that the transition to adulthood is taking longer to complete and "adult children" are living with their parents longer or returning to their families after their initial departure. One reason for this change is home ownership: the likelihood of becoming a homeowner increases proportionally with the age at which the person left home, but only to a certain point.

Children who leave the family home at a very early age and those who leave when they are older have the lowest rates of home ownership.

The factors that precipitate a child's return to the family home include the end of a relationship or finishing studies; however, these children are no less likely to become homeowners than those children who never returned to live with their parents. Another important reason for a delayed transition to independent living is that children, especially females, are staying in school. Today, Canada's young adults are participating in a more competitive labour market than their earlier cohorts and with greater financial insecurity the delays in family formation are increasing. In , Although there is not a "typical" family, there are several generalizations that describe Canadian families.

Most Canadians marry; for first marriages, brides and grooms are in their early thirties men Most of these couples have children, and most children are born and raised in two-parent households. The children are usually born to women who are in their late twenties to mid thirties, and births to women 35 and older are nearly four times higher than a generation earlier.

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Since most women complete their childbearing within a short period of time, the children are separated in age by only a few years. While there is little information available on the sexual practices and attitudes of these families, the numbers and spacing of children clearly indicate that most couples practise some form of birth control. Although most women now hold paying jobs for much of their lives and although there have been some important moves towards greater equality in the household, women still do most of the HOUSEWORK.

As family time has decreased so has the conventionality of the activities shared by family members.

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For example, watching television or reading may have been perceived as individual activities, however today they are often done as a family or a couple. Over the last 20 years, the time spent viewing television has increased during free time, and is the activity to which family members devote the most time on the average workday, during their free time. While family members do not necessarily interact with each other while watching television, they are nevertheless likely to be in others' company.

These dominant patterns too often become defined as the only appropriate ones. But the important variations in family forms have always existed in Canada and have provided people with as much love, support and sense of family as the most common one. For example, people have frequently lived together without being married, although few people may have known about their lack of a marriage certificate. Cultural and language, as well as race, class and regional differences often mean that, even within what appears as a common pattern, there are great variations in families and that the patterns change over time.

Although most Canadians lived in rural areas until after the turn of this century, some people worked for wages from the earliest years of settlement. Both women and men frequently began life in Canada by working for someone else, often as servants or on farms, in shops, in hotels and, somewhat later, in factories, but only men held jobs in the army and in the government. At first, readily accessible land meant that there was a way out of this work and a large proportion of men married and left the paid labour force to establish their own farms.

When good land was no longer available and when new technology reduced the need for workers in the fields and forest, it was primarily men who were cut off from the means of directly producing for their needs and who thus had to work for others. A large number of single women, and women whose husbands were dead or disabled, did work for pay, but for the overwhelming majority of women, marriage meant the end of such labour at least on a regular basis.

Until well into this century, most women could still contribute directly to the family's survival by growing, preserving and preparing food, making clothes and baking bread. Many also generated cash income by selling their produce, by sewing clothes, and by taking in laundry and boarders.

1940s House (Complete Series) - Channel 4 (U.K.)

As job possibilities expanded in the labour force, many single women rejected domestic labour in favour of the somewhat greater freedom and pay associated with other work. The decline in domestic servants coincided with changing household technology, a technology that made it increasingly possible for one married woman to do the work alone. The application of these laws, combined with the declining need for labour and the increasing need for a literate labour force which contributed to the introduction of compulsory schooling , meant that from the latter part of the 19th century, the number of employed young children dwindled.

The need for children's labour in the household also decreased as fewer goods and services were produced in the household. Children became economic liabilities rather than economic assets.

This, along with better health care, which meant that more children survived, contributed to declining birthrates. These changes, which started in central Canada, gradually spread to the western and eastern parts of the country. Increasingly, families were distinguished from each other by social and class differences. The legalization and increasing accessibility of contraceptives have helped to lower birthrates, as have rising costs for raising children.

Most families now have only one or two children and are having them closer together. These children are staying in school and often live in the family home longer, especially with current high youth unemployment rates. These declining birthrates and increasing education levels have in turn contributed to the rising number of women in the labour force.

Most women stay in the workforce after marriage and childbirth and fewer men anticipate being the sole income earners in the household.

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Family size has been decreasing; in the average family had 4. As the age at marriage has been rising, fertility rates have been falling and the age at which women have their first child has been increasing. Delayed fertility is generally linked to women's increased education and labour force participation. At the same time, higher unemployment rates for men may also, in some households, mean a reduction in male authority. Despite the greater independence that is associated with participating in the labour force, women continue to fight for wage parity in the workplace.

The earnings ratio for full-time workers has held steady with women earning 0. As the length of the workday for men and women has increased, the amount of time spent doing unpaid labour in the home, generally referred to as housework, has declined. Although the gap is narrowing, participation rates for housework continue to be significantly higher for women than for men in all family types.

Tension from the demands of employers, longer workdays, and the necessity of the "second shift" associated with family responsibilities, including an imbalance in the division of household labour, is associated with family conflict and reduced physical and mental well-being.