This chapter explores how early modern Europeans imagined the place of children within the family. It deals with a discussion of the important ideological role which children played within the imagining of the family. The chapter also deals with a discussion of the challenges of applying some of the ideals to the complex and evolving family. The early modern family was complex, diverse and mobile, changing in form over time and across the life course. Like many histories of childhood, the historiography of children within family life is indebted to the classic and controversial work of Philippe Aries. During the early modern period, most children were raised, and later lived and worked, in families. The surviving children look remarkably like the parent with whom they share a gender, a resemblance that marked the legitimacy of the child and their place within the family.