Sidonie Gruenberg

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Sidonie Matsner Gruenberg (1881-1974, left) and Bird Stein Gans (1868-1944). (Acc. 90-105 - Science Service, Records, 1920s-1970s, Smithsonian Institution Archives)

Sidonie Matsner Gruenberg (1881 – 1974) was a parenting expert, writer, and director of the Child Study Association of America.[1][2]

In her 1912 book Your Child Today and Tomorrow, Gruenberg popularized the idea of giving an allowance to children so they could understand how to spend it.[3]


Sidonie Gruenberg was born in Austria and educated in Germany and New York City.[1] She married Benjamin Gruenberg, a biology teacher, in 1903, and had four children between 1907-1915: Herbert, Richard, Hilda, and Ernest.[4]

In her parenting books, she said that children do not have any moral actions, so parents should permit actions to help them grow in their individual expression.[3] Gruenberg rejected what she saw as "arbitrary puritanism" in American parenting, saying that strict parents suggest "every desire and impulse of being Satanic."[3] On behalf of Macy's, she lectured at an exposition on "why children should have toys" in 1928.[5]

External Links[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Sidonie Matsner Gruenberg". American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise. Retrieved 2015-09-20. 
  2. ^ Sicherman, Barbara (1980). Notable American Women: A Biographical Dictionary. Harvard University Press. pp. 295–296. 
  3. ^ a b c Leach, William (1993). Land of Desire. New York: Pantheon Books. p. 330. 
  4. ^ Roberta Wollons. "Sidonie Matsner Gruenberg". Jewish Women's Archive. Retrieved 2015-09-20. 
  5. ^ Leach, William (1993). Land of Desire. New York: Pantheon Books. p. 329.