Roles for Children
In the 1850's jobs, tasks and roles depended on gender, even for the children. Men did most, if not all of the outside work while women took care of duties inside of the house. By around age 5 children were expected to start helping with the tasks either inside or outside of the home. The young girls would learn how to spin, sew, knit, work in the garden, care for the other children and of course cook. A typical duty for young boys was to help care for the livestock. At age 14 the boys were expected to be able to work a full day on the farm, usually in the fields. When the girls reached about age 14 they were expected to be able to complete any domestic task within the home. Parents relied very heavily on the children to help around the home and therefore, education was never really an option for most children.
In the 1950's the roles of the children at home didn't really change as the focus was on the nuclear family. Every family was striving to produce the ideal nuclear family image.