March 21st, 2013
by Brian Walker, Greg Walker and Chance Browne
Benjamin Spock published, “Baby and Child Care,” in 1946 and it became an essential reference book for parents during the Baby Boom era. Dr. Spock was the first pediatrician to use psychoanalysis to understand the needs of children and applied these theories to child development and family dynamics. His ideas encouraged parents to be more flexible and affectionate with their children, and to treat them as unique individuals.
The “Theory of the Month” series in Hi and Lois began in 1966 and was inspired by Spock’s teachings. In each episode, a systematic solution to a family issue was presented in an idealistic attempt to get the kids to cooperate. The children, of course, would always find a way to outsmart these directives. As result, new theories were required frequently.
The “Theory of the Month” was an immensely popular feature in the strip for a number of years and gave Dik Browne a chance to do some beautiful calligraphy.
Here are some “Theory of the Month” episodes from the first year of the series.
We will share some more “Theory of the Month” strips with readers in future posts.
– Brian Walker
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