Humanities › History & Culture Childbirth, Childhood and Adolescence in the Middle Ages What We Know About Being a Medieval Child Share Flipboard Email Print History & Culture Medieval & Renaissance History Daily Life People & Events American History African American History African History Ancient History and Culture Asian History European History Genealogy Inventions Latin American History Military History The 20th Century Women's History View More By Melissa Snell History Expert B.A., History, University of Texas at Austin Melissa Snell is a historical researcher and writer specializing in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. She authored the forward for "The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Crusades." our editorial process Melissa Snell Updated May 30, 2017 What do you really know about medieval children? Perhaps no other period of history has more misconceptions associated with it than the Middle Ages. The history of childhood is also full of misconceptions. Recent scholarship has illuminated the lives of medieval children as never before, dispelling many of these misconceptions and replacing them with verifiable facts about life for the medieval child. In this multi-part feature, we explore various facets of medieval childhood, from childbirth through the teen years. We'll see that, though the world they lived in was very different, medieval children were in some ways very like the children of today. Introduction to Medieval Childhood In this article, we dissect the concept of childhood in the middle ages and how that influenced the importance of children in medieval society. Medieval Childbirth and Baptism Discover what childbirth was like in the middle ages for women of all stations and classes and the importance of religious ceremonies like baptism in the Christian world. Surviving Infancy in the Middle Ages The death rate and average lifespan in the middle ages were drastically different from what we see today. Discover what like was like for an infant as well as the realities of child mortality rate and infanticide. The Playful Years of Childhood in the Middle Ages A common misconception about medieval children is that they were treated like adults and expected to behave like adults. Children were expected to do their share of household chores, but play was also a prominent part of medieval childhood. The Learning Years of Medieval Childhood The teenage years were the time to concentrate more intensely on learning in preparation for adulthood. While not all adolescents had schooling options, in some ways education was the archetypal experience of adolescence. Work and Adolescence in the Middle Ages While medieval teens might have been preparing for adulthood, their lives may have been full of both work and play. Discover the typical life of a teen in the middle ages.